Steampunk at Waterstones

A local Waterstones added a steampunk shelf a little while back. It started out as a few books on a special stand, and has slowly mushroomed into a much bigger stand and a table. Last week when we brought a steampunk book*, one of the staff said they’d be launching the steampunk section this week.

No one in the family had any goggles, but we head out anyway. We had to edge past the evil elves** in Santa’s grotto, but made it to the bookstore unharmed. The event was attended by the Hastings Steampunk Society in steampunk costumes, and there were displays of steampunk gadgetry. The itinerary said they’d be tea duelling*** later, though I wasn’t around for that part.

The only thing I do wish is the bookstore had spread it out a bit. They could have cleared one of the display tables for a few hours, to spread the steampunkiness around (which would have make it easier to browse the steampunk books).

Just to prove steampunk really did invade the bookshop, here are some pictures:

Evil Elf

One of the Krampus’s minions. Note the pickaxe.

Gadgets: A brass mask, steampunk books and other gadgets

Steampunk stuff with some of the books on display.

An unknown mechanical metal device

Mechanical closeup. I don’t know what it does either.

Steampunk Fashions: A polystyrene head with a mini hat, goggles made from clock faces and other clock jewellery

Goggle fashions. I’m not quite sure how you see wearing those, but they’re nifty.

Two people from Hastings Steampunk Society

Steampunks from the Hastings Steampunk Society.

One thing I’ve been asked is what books they’re stocking. I took photos this time, and have created a masterlist! (I may have missed some, and some books that were there in the last few weeks had been sold, but it’s a snapshot in time. Or something like that.) Though it’s not a bad list for finding steampunky books, I’d note some series didn’t have all the books present (probably because they’d sold some). Some may be more Victorian fantasy than steampunk, but don’t shoot the messenger… they were on the shelf****.


  • Captain Nemo – Kevin J. Anderson
  • The Martian Ambassador – Alan K. Baker
  • Phoenix Rising – Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
  • Blameless – Gail Carriger
  • Heartless – Gail Carriger
  • The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters – G. W. Dahlquist
  • The Difference Engine – William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
  • Anno Frankenstein (Pax Britannia) – Jonathan Green
  • Native Star – M. K. Hobson
  • The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man – Mark Hodder
  • The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack – Mark Hodder
  • Johannes Cabal the Necromancer – Jonathan L. Howard
  • Johannes Cabal the Detective – Jonathan L. Howard
  • The Court of the Air – Stephen Hunt
  • The Kingdom Beyond the Waves – Stephen Hunt
  • The Rise of the Iron Moon – Stephen Hunt
  • Secrets of the Fire Sea – Stephen Hunt
  • Morlock Night – K. W. Jeter
  • The Osiris Ritual – George Mann
  • The Immorality Engine – George Mann
  • Ghosts of War – George Mann
  • The City and The City – China Mieville
  • Anno Dracula – Kim Newman
  • Whitechapel Gods – S. M. Peters
  • The Anubis Gates – Tim Powers
  • Boneshaker – Cherie Priest
  • Dreadnought – Cherie Priest
  • Ganymede – Cherie Priest
  • Necrophenia – Robert Rankin
  • The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age – Robert Rankin
  • Retromancer – Robert Rankin
  • By Light Alone – Adam Roberts
  • Swiftly – Adam Roberts
  • Heart of Iron – Ekaterina Sedia
  • The Alchemy of Stone – Ekaterina Sedia
  • The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
  • The Bookman – Lavie Tidhar
  • The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
  • Retribution Falls – Chris Wooding
  • The Black Lung Captain – Chris Wooding
  • The Iron Jackal – Chris Wooding

Other Fiction

  • Steampunk! – Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant
  • Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel – Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1) – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 2) – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
  • Grandville – Bryan Talbot


  • The Emperor’s Will – Compiled by John Blanche (Warhammer 40,000 art book)
  • Steampunk Style Jewelry – Jean Campbell
  • Steampunk: The Art of Victorian Futurism – Jay Strongman
  • Steampunk Sourcebook (Dover Pictorial Archives) – M. C. Waldrep

* I say ‘we’, but one of my other family members brought it. I plan to steal it. So it’s both our book in a way.

** They were probably minions of the Krampus! (Oddly on Twitter, the people in #steampunkchat didn’t appear to know about the Krampus. Whereas in Second Life’s steampunk communities, he’s a regular feature of the winter season. The subcultures have subcultures!)

*** I’ve never tea duelled, but my understanding is contestants dunk biscuits in tea and try to eat them without them falling apart.

**** I also find it best to stay well back from genre classification arguments, as they can be scary, scary places. I know at least one of the books I’d call steampunk, the author created a brand new genre for their book. It didn’t catch on.