The Steampunk Bible and Steampunk Slideshow

Jeff VanderMeer • August 27th, 2009 @ 9:18 am • News


(Check out this Steampunk slideshow with text I put together, commissioned by Film In Focus to coincide with their updates on the animated film 9, featuring two great pieces by John Coulthart among other goodies. And then check out their other slideshows–some really great stuff.)

I believe I’ve mentioned this project briefly before, but it’s official-official, so…I’ve sold The Steampunk Bible to Abrams Image in New York City. It’s meant to be the quintessential pictorial and textual look at Steampunk, from all angles–movies/books/comics, fashion, art, makers, the green tech element, international Steampunk, and much more–making sure to capture the “punk” as well as the “steam”. It will be a beautiful book-as-object, too. I’ll be doing additional research and interviews for the book during my book tour this fall. Publication is scheduled for late next year.

In addition to thanking my agent, Howard Morhaim, I’d like to thank Leslie Henkel, a publicist at Abrams, as well as Matt Staggs, whose nudges started a chain of events. Also thanks to editors Maxine Kaplin and David Cashion at Abrams–the whole process so far bodes well for not only a great book but a great experience. Finally, thanks to Jake Von Slatt of the Steampunk Workshop for mentoring, friendship, and much else–truly an extraordinary guy.

19 Responses to “The Steampunk Bible and Steampunk Slideshow”

  1. Brian says:

    Very very incredibly cool! Congratulations!

  2. KimBoo York says:

    That is fantastic! Congratulations!

  3. James says:

    What a spectacular project! I can’t wait to see the results.

    I can’t help experiencing a twinge of discomfort about “Steampunk” being the catch-all term for all the different movements you describe in the slideshow. It seems to me that true steampunk requires an element of anxiety and even dread about technology that isn’t present in much of the nostalgic work that’s followed the original novels and stories that inspired the moniker. You touched on this a few times in your slideshow, of course.

    Maybe I’m just trying to close the barn door long after the mechanical horses have fled. The punk aesthetic started out with a strong strain of nihilism, but today it also features a forward-thinking DIY element, and I don’t have a problem using the same word for the whole shebang.

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    James: I think I do more than just touch on it. Also, I explain that there’s no real movement now. Instead, it’s an “aesthetic”–a kind of toolbox–and it’s actually more powerful that way. In any event, all of this will be dealt with in the book, so your discomfort level will be very low. I think that’s the advantage of having someone like me do it–I’m familiar with the subculture and the sub-genre, but not part of it. So I can provide good perspective. The bottom line is, though, there’s all this really cool stuff being done, and regardless of how you categorize it, the creation of this stuff is being driven by people’s belief in “Steampunk” as an idea.

  5. The other James says:

    Jeff – that’s awesome news. Abrams is an excellent imprint, and the book is going to be gorgeous.

  6. James says:

    Oh, you’re right, Jeff. It’s all cool stuff, and I’m keen to see a comprehensive look at the whole subculture. And you’re right, you more than touched the subject–I chose the wrong word there. I was just expressing that it’s interesting that the word “steampunk” still doesn’t feel quite right to me as a catch-all, whereas the word “punk” no longer generates the same discontent. Probably a function of the differing ages of the terms (and my relative distance from each subculture).

  7. S.J. Chambers says:

    Wonderful slideshow!

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    God is great worship him!

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  15. Sally Van Eycke says:

    My boyfriend was really excited to get this book because he is actually IN it!! He flipped through the book excitedly only to find he was mis-credited in a photo. The giant picture on page 135-136 labels him as Jesse Nobles, who is the photographer. It should read Captain Anthony LaGrange. The black man in that photo is Captain Anthony LaGrange. We run a local steampunk group here in Columbus, Ohio: The Airship Archon. Just thought people might want to know. It may get corrected on future versions.

  16. Sally Van Eycke says:

    Thanks for getting back with me! You guys are awesome and I hope this book sells insane numbers. I’ve already been promoting it to all my friends who (somehow) didn’t already know about it.

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