What Is Steampunk?

Many of you didn’t know much about steampunk before reading Leviathan. So I should salute you for your bravery (and faith in me as a writer), because you forged ahead and read it anyway. Yay, you.

But even now, some of you possibly don’t realize how big steampunk is. It has books and bands and games, along with a huge visual culture of jewelry shops, clothing stores, mad inventors, sculptors, and artists. Enough to fill a museum.

Um, literally. Below is a video from the Oxford Museum of the History of Science, which is currently hosting a steampunk exhibition that looks positively awesome.

For all you in the UK, it’s on until February 21. If I could make it, I would totally be there.

Enjoy here, or head over to YouTube to see it in slightly larger form.

Hey, and there are more videos from the show here.

46 thoughts on “What Is Steampunk?

  1. Steampunk is bubbly-major!!!
    What I write is a mix of fantasy and steampunk and science fiction – isn’t that insane?

    Steampunk is so mad amazing. For examples besides Leviathan, I recommend Hayao Miyazaki’s films – especially Howl’s Moving Castle!

  2. Steampunk novels:

    His Dark Materials Trilogy {I am not a fan of the books, save for what steampunk there is {and the daemons}.
    The City of Ember

    H. G. Wells is well-known in the smpnk world.

    Oh and the Disney film: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

  3. I had such an, er….. interesting? time trying to get my parents to understand exactly what steampunk is! But they did buy me the book, and enjoyed it very much, despite still not understanding it xD

  4. How awesome is that? An actual steampunk museum exhibition! Why oh why don’t I live in the UK? :[

    The label of “steampunk” is actually what got me interested in reading Leviathan. [The drawings, the map, and the cover jacket is what sold it for me. XD]

  5. How cool. Wish I could see the exhibit in person. I’ve recently discovered the steampunk genre, and love it! Thanks for sharing this with everyone!

  6. Scott does an excellent job of explaining steampunk in his afterword for Leviathan (as well as in the novel itself).

    Just to throw something different in here, check out Cake Wrecks. It’s a blog for cake decorators and for the most part features cakes that are, erm, badly designed/decorated. That’s putting it diplomatically. However, the blog owner features interesting, beautiful, well-designed cakes in a feature she calls Sunday Sweets. The October 11 post features some very cool steampunk-inspired cakes.


    I can see it now: a rush on your local bakery for steampunk-themed birthday cakes.

  7. Bugger. Finally something for us UKians, and I almost definitely can’t go. Stupid parents, not living anywhere near Oxford. How dare they.

  8. Ery-vay rue-tay (My first attempt in pig latin. WOOHOO!) Alas, I’m at school now so I will definiately check out more steampunk awesominity! Anyone been to World of Coke in Atlanta, Georgia? Not necessarily steampunk but most certainly SHINY. Going to check out the stuff I missed. See ya! 😀

  9. heyy anyone out there???????????????who has read uglies i absolutely luv those books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!talk to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. SpagBol loves Steampunk but is mad because her parents didn't listen to her when she said she wants to move to the uk! says:

    ping to claire-wa
    i second that! everyone who is on here has to be obsessed with at least one of scott-la’s books! I have only read the uglies series and leviathan and 2 out of the three midnighters books. we can deffinately obsess about one of his books together!


  11. SpagBol loves Steampunk but is mad because her parents didn't listen to her when she said she wants to move to the uk! says:

    see they should have listened!

  12. Ping at the OTHER tally youngblood:
    ou-yey re-aey o-sey ool-cey!!!!
    Lmao I love pig latin :]
    my friend showed me with ey instead of ay but meh. It’s really the same thing

  13. I want to do my sweet sixteen steampunk themed but I know when I’m like old and forty (no offence Scott-la) I think I ask myself what the hell I was thinking.
    And like Zombie said I’ll hve a hard time explaining to a hundred people (that’s how much family I have) what steampunk is….

  14. Ping to the OTHER tally youngblood:
    welcomers :]
    and yes. I do agree that the mask looks kinda like darth vader : P

  15. SpagBol loves Steampunk but is mad because her parents didn't listen to her when she said she wants to move to the uk! says:


    just kidding but i was wondering how and when you came up with your name! i didn’t want to offend you or anything sorry if i did!

    Ping to everyone i need help with my pretty-speak insults

  16. Ping to SpagBol loves Steampunk but is mad because her parents didn’t listen to her when she said she wants to move to the uk!:

    you gotta remember pretties weren’t meant to fight or insult poeple so thier vocabulary doesn’t have many swear words slash insults:[
    but leviathan is wayyyyyy different!!!!

    Whoa what happened to the font…?

  17. Hey I went to the library yesterday to get Leviathan! I haven’t had a chance to start reading it yet but I’m really excited to start. I’m a big Uglies fan so I also picked up Bogus to Bubbly. I only had a chance to look at the front couple pages and saw the dedication. I think that’s really cool u dedicated it to the fans and said their names. I’m really mad I didn’t know about this blog back then, I would have loved to have my name in it. This may sound like a weird question but I noticed a lot of pol had la and wa at the end of their names that commented. How do u know which one to put after your name? I’ve always wondered that. Should I be Mryia-wa or Mryia-la? Could someone who knows plz tell me!!

  18. Mryia –

    Scott once confirmed that if there is an L in your name, you have -wa added to the end. If you do not have an L in your name, you add -la at the end. So I’m Haley-wa, and you would be Mryia-la. Hope that helps! 🙂

  19. SpagBol loves Steampunk but is mad because her parents didn't listen to her when she said she wants to move to the uk! says:

    ping to beli-wa

    maybe i shoulda said speacial talk cuz they DEFFINATELY insult pretties

  20. hey does any1 kno when the sequel to LEVIATHAN will come out? who here thinks Deryn is developing a crush on Alek? will Dr. Barlow figuer out Deryn is a girl? if she does what will happen to her? how will Alek take it? and WHAT IS IN THOSE BLOODY EGGS?!?!?!!!

  21. The book rocked my socks…

    I’m a steampunk designer, I do all sorts of clothing, hats, accessories, stuff like that. Right now I’m doing Steampunk Alice in Wonderland for a photoshoot…

    Looks like my next project is going to be Leviathan! I’m really excited, because I love this book (it’s my new favorite… it’s so fierce!) I’ve also started talking like Deryn…. just cause…

    And as for GO CHARLIE THE UNICORN: I KNOW!!! i want the sequel to come out sooooo bad!!! It’s killing me!!!

  22. I WANT THOSE CLOCKS! D: Especially the one with the chunk taken out of it.

    I live in a flippin small town with every small town charm (and I’m an aspiring writer… haha… I gotta graduate first tho. CLASS O 2010 FOR THE WIN) and with this wonderful, bible belt charm comes absolutely nothing but Walmart Clothing and Abercrombie… No steampunk.

    So anyway. I met a man (VIA a local underground steampunk/goth store) named Steampunk Stanley who made BEAUTIFUL steampunk things with various gears. Anyway, when I needed gears and gizmos… I went to Steampunk Stanley. (Yes. He Liked to be called that.)

    So I didn’t see Steampunk Stanley around for a while, and i finally asked the underground store owner where he went. She said that he went on a mission trip to Africa, but he was cut short of his term. Why? He was chased down by wolves.

    Epic man, Epic death… Totally true.


  23. Att hoppas på bra väder när man åker på semester till tex New York är alltid bra, för om det är dåligt väder är oftast semestern eller turen inte lika rolig.

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