List of Steampunk secondary sources

When I first started my research, a search in the University of Alberta's databases for "steampunk" turned up only one article: Steffen Hantke's "Difference Engines and Other Infernal Devices: History According to Steampunk." While one of my goals has been to be at the forefront of academic research during the upsurge of interest in steampunk, I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in my current endeavors. Here is a list of some steampunk secondary sources, both new and old. Please feel free to include more works in the comments section, but please limit them to peer-reviewed scholarly sources - google is adequate for finding the web articles.

Blaylock, James P. "James P. Blaylock: Impractical Machines." Locus 691 (64.4, April 2010): 6, 57-58.

Bullen, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth Parsons. "Dystopian Visions of Global Capitalism: Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines and M.T. Anderson's Feed." Children's Literature in Education. 38.2 (2007): 127-139. 

Fast, John. "Machinery of Blood: Melville's 'The Bell Tower' as Ambiguous Steampunk Horror." New York Review of Science Fiction 20.1 [229] (2007): 18. 

Gordon, Joan. "Hybridity, Heterotopia, and Mateship in China Miéville's Perdido street Station." Science Fiction Studies 30.3 (2003): 456-476. 

Hansen, Adam. "Exhibiting Vagrancy, 1851: Victorian London and the 'Vagabond Savage'." A Mighty Mass of Brick and Stone: Victorian and Edwardian Represenations of London. Lawrence Phillips, ed. New York: Rodopi, (2007): 61-84.
(Not directly related to steampunk, but rather to Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor, which served as a source text for Jeter, Powers, and Blaylock's steampunk works.)

Hantke, Steffen. "Difference Engines and Other Infernal Devices: History According to Steampunk." Extrapolation (Kent State University Press) 40.3 (1999): 244-254.

Hendrix, Howard. "Verne among the Punks, Or "It's Not Just a Victorian Clockwork." Verniana. 2 (2009)

Kelleghan, Fiona. "Interview with Tim Powers." Science Fiction Studies 25.1 (1998): 7-28.

Kendrick, Christopher. "Monster Realism and Uneven Development in China Miéville's The Scar." Extrapolation (University of Texas at Brownsville) 50.2 (2009): 258-275. 

Latham, Rob. "Our Jaded Tomorrows." Science Fiction Studies 36.2 (2009): 339-349.

Nevins, Jess. "The Nineteenth Century Roots of Steampunk." New York Review of Science Fiction 21.5 [245] (2009): 1.

Onion, Rebecca. "Reclaiming the Machine: An Introductory Look at Steampunk in Everyday Practice."  Neo-Victorian Studies 1:1 (2008): 138-163.

Partington, Gill. "Friedrich Kittler's "Aufschreibsystem.." Science Fiction Studies 33.1 (2006): 53-67.

Perschon, Mike. "Finding Nemo: Verne's Antihero as Original Steampunk." Verniana. 2 (2010)

Quigley, Marian. "a Future Victorian Adventure: the Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello." Screen Education 54 (2009): 125-129.

Sakamoto, Michaela. "The Transcendent Steam Engine: Industry, Nostalgia, and the Romance of Steampunk." The Image of Technology. 124-131. Pueblo, CO: Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Colorado State University-Pueblo, 2009.


  1. Thanks for this. I've been looking for some good scholarly reading to exercise my brain.

    FYI, the latest issue of Locus has an interview with James P. Blaylock:

    Blaylock, James P. "James P. Blaylock: Impractical Machines." Locus 691 (64.4, April 2010): 6, 57-58.

    The citation kind of makes it looks like he's interviewing himself :) But Locus never includes the interviewer, just the answers.

  2. Ooooh a lovely list of works here. Now to run to my library and catch 'em all...


  3. Many are available in open-source PDF (I've linked those), and the rest were in the U of A journal database - I was working mainly with Academic Search Complete. So if you have access to something like that, several of these are available in full-text PDF.

  4. Very useful list! I too am a literary scholar who works on steampunk, and I'm sure this list be of much help in my research. I'm currently working on an article on Joss Whedon's Firefly and steampunk and a conference paper on William Morris and steampunk design.

    I also wanted to mention that I moderate a google group (email listserv) for steampunk scholars:

    Anyone wishing to be subscribed should email me at


    P.S. Love the logo and good luck going ABD!

  5. Good work.

    I've just completed a literature search for China Mieville, and you can find all of them here (the non-Bas-Lag material is on the relevant article) and there is an interview with him on SFS that might be useful. Not having access to any of them (at the moment) I don't know how many of them would fit in list of scholarly Steampunk but some of them look like they could be relevant. Now if only the authors could have their arms twisted to make them available online... Perhaps you could make that a bit of a mission ;) (I would do but I have quite a list already for a future round of "academic bothering," although experience suggests they are usually pretty pleased that people have taken an interest in their work).


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