Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover

Steampunk FAQ


Author: Mike Perschon
Publisher: Applause
ISBN: 978 1 61713 664 1
Publication Date: 09 November 2018

The FAQ series of books have, in the main, taken a look at a specific band or show, providing interesting and authoritative reference material. Mike Perschon’s new contribution goes one step forward in trying to define a whole genre.

Steampunk: All that’s Left to Know about the World of Goggles, Airships and Time Travel (2019. 332 pages) takes a look at what defines and influences the concept of Steampunk and tries to identify its origins, including the two different historical waves.

Like all genres Steampunk is made up of many sub-genres. The definition suffers the same sort of delicately diaphanous connections which pull together many elements which may not seem to sit well together. This is often the problem with Steampunk, that while there are many recognisable tropes, it is often enough to just declare that something is Steampunk in order for it to be included in the definition.

This loose collective often creates discussion and disagreement and the book is an attempt to examine various aspects of the subject to see if there is any central tenet or characteristic which can be used to define Steampunk.

To this end Perschon has created sixteen chapters which look at Steampunk historically as well as in the various books and visual media from which it grew. It also details the evolving history of the movement.

The book comes over as well written and well thought out, though, I am sure that there will be those who disagree with some of the authors conclusions.

Most will associate Steampunk with a particular fashion aesthetic and while Perschon will agree that the faux Victorian future history look, with its top hats, goggles and gears motif are strong visual tropes, Steampunk can be, and is, so much more.

This is a well written and information dense look at the subject and should sit on any Steampunk fan’s bookshelf.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.