This week Voyageur Press released Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions, because of course a coffee table book about steampunk would have a palaverous, olde-timey 13-word title. I'll be giving a very brief review of the book, followed up by using it as an excuse to post several pictures of steampunk cosplay. You know how we do.
Steampunk is written by Brian J. Robb, who has also written nonfiction books about numerous geeky fields of interest (Doctor Who, Philip K. Dick, Star Wars, Star Trek). The foreward was contributed by James P. Blaylock, a name you'll already recognize if you like steampunk, as Blaylock is one of the originators of the steampunk sci-fi genre. Jonathan Clements (who often writes about Victorians and Edwardians) also contributed to the book.
This hardcover book is 192 pages long with over 300 color images. On the downside, a large percentage of those illustrations were the covers of books or the posters for movies, rather than a specific visual example of a steampunk design. The coverage of cosplay, for example, consisted of one short chapter near the end. If you're searching for something to use as a "steampunk lookbook" of sorts for design inspiration, this definitely isn't it. This is the coffee table book for when you want an illustrated encyclopedia covering the history of steampunk, namechecking important inventors and artists, and pointing out books and movies that may be of interest to steampunk fans.
But getting back around to what we promised at the start of this post, cosplay!