Top Three Dominated by China Mieville’s Bas Lag Series

The Scar – China Mieville

The Scar is best steam punk novel. It expands brilliantly upon the world of Bas Lag born out of Perdido Street Station. The reader is brought to Armada, a floating city where giant bonefish attacks and vampire administrators are the norm. Can be read on its own or as a sequel to Perdido Street Station. It can be a difficult read but is well worth the effort.

Perdido Street Station – China Mieville

Perdido Street Station Introduces New Crobuzon, a weird and wonderful city held hostage by an oppressive faceless militia. Dan Der Grimbulin a freelance scientist is commissioned to return an injured Garuda(half bird half man) its’ ability to fly. Things fall apart and Grimbulin quickly finds himself in desperate quest to save the entire city of New Crobuzon. Perdido Street station is an important book in what is called the “new weird” and builds a rich and disturbing world. Fans of steampunk will want to read this wonderful and challenging book.

The Court of The Air – Stephen Hunt

The Court of the Air is Star Wars meets The Wizard of Oz in a steampunk world. Elements from China Mieville’s Bas Lag are present in Hunt’s writings. This is the first book in the Jackelian Series and a good read for those new to steampunk. A straight forward adventure story that is made interesting by the exploration of an original steampunk world.

MarkHodder’s First Appearance on the Top Steampunk Book List and China Mieville’s Third

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack – Mark Hodder

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack bridges the gap between traditional Victorian based steampunk and completely fictional world based steampunk. Its most interesting aspect is that it takes real historic persons and subtly makes the important players in a radically steampunkfied Victorian England.

Iron Council – China Mieville

Iron council is a Bas Lag story that is simpler than that of Perdido Street Station and The Star. It takes place farther in the future than the first two books. The story follows the progress of a perpetual train as it crosses an steampunk fantasy continent that contains the disturbingly strange Costacoptic Stain. Iron Council also tells the story of a revolutionist fighting the oppressive New Crobuzon Mayors Office.

Scar Night – Alan Campbell

Scar Night contains an original world with some memorable characters. The scarred Angel named Carnival has some inspiring moments throughout the trilogy, which includes Iron Angel and God of Clocks. The sequels, however, lack the imaginative setting that makes Scar Night so compelling.

Cherie Priest and Chris Wooding Finish Off The List of the Best Steampunk Books

The Kingdom Beyond The Waves – Stephen Hunt

The Kingdom beyond the waves is Indian Jones meets Batman in a steampunk world. The second book in the Jackelian series and is the sequel that remains truest to the spirit of The Court of The Air. Commodore Jared Black takes a central role in this story and is a mainstay throughout the rest of the Jackelian novels.

Boneshaker – Cherie Priest

Boneshaker has the most imagitive setting of any book on the list. The story takes place in a fictional civil war period Seattle. A wall surrounds the city and keeps a yellow gas that turn people into zombies when breathed from spreading beyond the city limits. This book is the definition of what steampunk should be. Unfortunately, the sequels to Boneshaker are boring and pointless.

Retribution Falls – Chris Wooding

Retribution Falls is an interesting character driven airship adventure. Firefly in a steampunk world; it has a strong early 90’s sci fi television feel. It follows the adventures of the Ketty Jay a psuedo steampunk airship/spaceship that travels around a fantasy world. It also incorporates elements of Full Metal Alchemist.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man – Mark Hodder

The Curious Case of The Clockwork Man is the sequel to The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack. This Burton and Swinburne adventure takes the reader through a Victorian World that is growing stranger by the day.