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 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 countless web articles written by Joe Steampunk.

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.

Gamble, Sarah. "“You cannot impersonate what you are”: Questions of Authenticity in the Neo-Victorian Novel." LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.1/2 (2009): 126-140.

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.

Heilmann, Ann. "Doing It With Mirrors: Neo-Victorian Metatextual Magic in Affinity, The Prestige and The Illusionist." Neo-Victorian Studies 2:2 (Winter 2009/10): 18-42.

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.

Llewellyn, Mark. "Neo-Victorianism: On the Ethics and Aesthetics of Appropriation." LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.1/2 (2009): 27-44.

Munford, Rebecca, and Paul Young. "Introduction: Engaging the Victorians." LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.1/2 (2009): 1-11. 

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)

Pike, David L. "Afterimages of the Victorian City." Journal of Victorian Culture 15.2 (2010): 254-267.

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

Rose, Margaret. "Extraordinary Pasts: Steampunk as a Mode of Historical Representation." Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 20.3 (2009): 319-333.  

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.

Voigts-Virchow, Eckart. "In-yer-Victorian-face: A Subcultural Hermeneutics of Neo-Victorianism." LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 20.1/2 (2009): 108-125.


  1. Hello Mike,

    You are right when you claim that it is pretty difficult to find scholar material about the Steampunk world. In that regard, I was very lucky when I found your very insightful thesis defining this aesthetic!

    Now I must thank you again, since I'm doing my MA Thesis on the Steampunk-ness in the Mortal Engines Quartet, and realised that in this section you have an useful article on the novels I might use.

    Once my thesis is done, I'll try to give you a couple of entries you might include in your secondary sources list.


    1. Submissions for the list would be much appreciated, Salvador. I really need to update it! And you're welcome! Best of luck on your MA.

  2. Those who've read and enjoyed the fabulous Mark Hodder might be interested in

    Linnie Blake, • “Mark Hodder’s Burton and Swinburne Trilogy: Steam-Age Adventures in Neo-Liberal Liminality.” Technologies of the Gothic In Literature and Culture: Technogothic. Ed. Justin Edwards. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015. pp. 166-178

    Also an interview I did with Mark for the University of Stirling's Gothic Imagination site:

  3. Linnie, thanks very much for linking that article!


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