Ruxandra Tarca

Steampunk and Victorian Books

Merry Christmas! Plus My Backlog of Steampunk and Victorian Books

Now that my steampunk debut novel Laevium is finally published, it’s still in Amazon’s top 50 bestseller list in the science-fiction – steampunk new releases category (at the time of this blog post), and in the hands of its first readers, it’s time for me to step back, relax a little, and set priorities for the next months. The holidays season is the perfect time for that.

What I’ve learnt: a book launch is still stressful, no matter how well you know all the technical details about publishing. Especially if you hadn’t enough time for a proper marketing campaign. I know what I did well and what I did wrong, and maybe I’ll compile everything in another post, focused on book launches when you are a total newbie, without a huge platform to back you up, and without a solid media presence. But I digress.

With all the launch pressure gone, I realize that what I missed the most during that time was reading. I was so engrossed in studying marketing materials, terms and conditions, and guidelines for different publishing platforms that I had no time to read anything else for weeks. I have a list of unfinished books (some of which I haven’t even started yet), and I can’t wait to go back to them.

While working on Engineerium, the second novel in my Cerulean Airship series, of course. Which is turning out nicely – at least so far.

Since I’ve noticed that all said books have one common pattern – they are either steampunk novels or Victorian age research books – I decided to compile a list here. The order is absolutely random.

This is how my reading backlog looks like at the moment (steampunk and Victorian books that are already on my Kindle, waiting for their turn):

Shelley Adina’s Mysterious Devices series

Meaning the four books following her Magnificent Devices (which is my favorite steampunk series – along with Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay). I postponed reading them until I had enough time, precisely because I didn’t want to put them on hold because of time constraints. This series will be the first I read after finishing the books I’ve already started.

Clarence Rook’s The Hooligan Nights

May I take a moment to say how much I adore this book? If you want to dive into London’s 19th century Lambeth, then this is the book. Also, a feast for linguists and slang lovers. It’s an excellent book, both as entertainment, and for research purposes. I happily resumed it a few days ago.

Both are non-fiction, and the latest addition to my collection of Victorian research books. I can’t wait to start exploring them.

Gail Carriger’s Prudence, the first book in her Custard Protocol series

Though supernatural creatures steampunk never was my thing, I must say I absolutely love the writing style and the use of language in this book. It’s witty, stylish and has a great sense of humor. Will definitely finish it after I’m done with The Hooligan Nights.

Philip Reeve’s Fever Crumb trilogy

I love Mortal Engines, but I have yet to read Fever Crumb, A Web of Air, and Scrivener’s Moon. They are high on my list as well.

Anne Renwick’s The Golden Spider

I only noticed after I purchased it that it’s a steampunk romance. I don’t usually read romance, much less steampunk romance, but I will give it a try at some point.

Have you read these books? Would you recommend them or not? I will return with short reviews after I finish reading each book on the list. In the meantime, I would love to hear your opinions in the comments below. 😊

Post cover photo credit: cottonbro on Pexels

I'm an indie author, translation industry professional, and former magazine editor, with a passion for steampunk, cyberpunk, and historical fiction. My debut novel Laevium, a steampunk story set in Neo-Victorian London, is available from most major online bookstores.

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