What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is a science fiction genre that has a historical or futuristic setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. The setting often takes place in the far future after some catastrophic disaster has disabled present technology like electricity and computer applications. It usually involves high drama and physical challenges.

Some TV shows have Steampunk elements. According to ScreenRant.com, in 1965, The Wild Wild West was popular and “The Infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells is a four-hour miniseries that first aired on Hallmark Channel in August of 2001.” More recently, Warehouse 13   invited viewers into the world of Steampunk.

Steampunk is also a style of jewelry, reflecting the anachronisms of Victorian fashion and mechanical elements.

Steampunk is just the latest incarnation of what Jules Verne began with his fantastical adventures found in Around the World in 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

This genre invites the reader to imagine life without the modern technological advantages.

The Sue Crouch Library has numerous Steampunk novels: Airborn and Skybreaker, by Kenneth Oppel, The Lost Kingdom, by Matthew Kirby, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, The Fog Diver and The Lost Compass, by Joe Ross, Fever Crumb and Web of Air, by Philip Reeve, and Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld.


Leviathan takes on the herculean task of developing a novel based on the premise that World War I was fought by children with steampunk machinery. It presents an alternate history adventure.

While the Steampunk trilogies by authors Philip Reeve and Scott Westerfeld are fascinating, the final episodes have adult themes that are not appropriate for Intermediate School students.


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