Steampunk Bible Roughs!


So the rough layouts for the Steampunk Bible arrived today, and I sat down with my coauthor S.J. Chambers to review them. At this stage, the point is to have the text and images in a standardized, approved format, even if not all of the images are at high-res (some are still coming in). To adjust the text as necessary at this stage, before we’re locked in, and also to provide feedback on both the images used and the way they’ve been deployed in the layout. Many things will change, many things will stay the same.

It’s certainly an eye-opening experience, somewhat different from working on a novel or story collection or anthology–although so many of the books I’ve done have had some illustrative component that it’s not as foreign as it might have been.

The book will be out in May of next year, which is practically right around the corner, and features contributions from, among others, Jess Nevins, Libby Bulloff, Bruce Sterling, Desirina Boskovich, Jake von Slatt, Rick Klaw, etc. Those interviewed for the book include Sean Orlando, Scott Westerfeld, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Evelyn Kriete, Ekaterina Sedia, Dexter Palmer, and more. Too many are involved for me to provide a complete list right now.

A very, very special thanks to Jake von Slatt, to acquiring editor Maxine Kaplan and David Cashion at Abrams, and to our editor on the book now, Caitlin Kenney, who has been nothing short of awesome in every way, including developmental edits on the text.

Here’re a few more photographs of rough pages, noting, again, that nothing here is final and some images are placeholders. Enjoy!


There are some lovely two-page spreads in the Origins chapter and elsewhere.


The original British cover art for The Difference Engine, created by the wonderful Ian Miller, makes a nice jumping-off point for the fiction chapter.


John Coulthart created some great symbols for our sub-subgenre two-page spread…


A comics gallery section showcases Girl Genius, Sydney Padua, Bryan Talbot, and, among others, Greg Broadmore–emphasizing how comics can be integrated with physical manifestations of the illustrations therein. (This page will be radically different in final.)


Can’t remember why there are quotes around “making,” but those will probably come off. This lead-in image may change since it’s an anchor piece for the Oxford exhibit section that’s found much later in the chapter.


Photos by Libby Bulloff (self-portrait) and Lex Machina. We’ve decided that Libby’s photo should be smaller and go with her sidebar article on types of Steampunk fashion, allowing us to emphasize another shot instead. Libby’s photo isn’t particularly Steampunk, but it is striking!


Photo of Ay-leen the Peacemaker in a section that in part discusses the growing multicultural directions being taken by Steampunk.


A very compelling signpost from Maker Faire!


The first couple pages of the movies/TV section…


Brazilian Steampunk fans will be thrilled by the Future chapter, which not only showcases a Brazilian steampunk anthology cover but also features an exclusive excerpt in translation of one of the stories published therein (thanks, Fabio Fernandes!).


James Ng’s awesome Chinese Steampunk art is also featured in the Future chapter.

Have we shown you too much, dear reader? Not at all. We have, in fact, held back many of the most exclusive images and delights from our book. But, consider your appetite whetted.

30 comments on “Steampunk Bible Roughs!

  1. Man, oh, man!

    I’m repeat your words: “Thanks, Fábio Fernandes!”. Thanks, Mr. VanderMeer!

  2. I am considerably whetted.

  3. jeff vandermeer says:

    Romeu: Thanks so much for letting us use an excerpt! It’s very much a highlight of the book.

    Greg–thanks. It’s been a long and complex process so am glad to be near the end.

  4. Larry says:

    Looks very lovely! Plus it’s always a bonus to see translated steampunk included as well :D

  5. I may just have whetted all over myself…

    God but I want this book.

  6. Oh, man! It looks awesome! Can’t wait to have it. (Guess I’ll have to buy a coffee table. :P)

  7. Cecilia Tan says:

    ooh, will there be mention of “steamypunk” the erotic twist on steampunk? Circlet Press is far from the only publisher to explore that direction as well (although some are coming late to the party, as Cleis Press and Ravenous Romance have anthologies forthcoming, while we’ve been doing it for a couple of years already…)

  8. jeff vandermeer says:

    Cecelia: Circlet does nice work, but it’s outside of the focus of this particular book. But we will have a website where we post links and text as supplemental info.


  9. Steamypunk? What wonderous things I learn on Ecstatic Days…

  10. Cecelia: If you could e-mail that information to [email protected], I can make sure it’s mentioned on the website Jeff alluded too.

  11. Can I just throw in a “^-^!!!!!!!” in reaction to all of this?

    Very, very excited to see this all come into fruition.

  12. TNT-Tek says:

    Looks fabulous. I have had poor experiences with the steampunk I’ve sampled so far but the premise intrigues me. I’ll look forward to seeing this book. In what format will the book be released?

  13. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    It will be a hardcover, 7 x 10, with the cover printed on the boards directly, I believe. It’ll be in all the bookstores, so you can sample it and see if it’s to your liking.

  14. ImagepR0n. . . .tasty. Yet another thing I shall have to splurge on. I suppose I should leave my debit card at Kazoo books, as i spent all my money there.

  15. Jess Nevins says:

    Wait–I thought the book was about Creampunk, the genre of fiction about rebellious, DIY cooks. Now I have to completely rewrite what I wrote!

  16. Jeff VanderMeer says:


    Ha! Thanks, btw, for all of your help. Invaluable. You, too, Ay-leen.

  17. Jeff, this is amazing. Thank you so much for the teaser. I’m really proud of us and really excited now! woohoo!

    Mmm, creampunk…

  18. Jha says:

    *popcorns all over the place*

    That’s all my brain is good for right now!

  19. ethan says:

    Looks *dreamy*

  20. Fogwoman Gray says:

    I did not see mention of the large online Steamlands communities. I recall corresponding with someone quite a while ago on the subject, perhaps this was you?

  21. I’m sure it’ll be covered by the accompanying website. Referencing online communities is a danger in a physical book given that some will be their very nature be ephemeral. But that’s the point of having a related website.


  22. James Ng says:

    Wow, this looks really interesting.. The image of the workshop is crazy!

    Thanks for your hard work Jeff.

  23. Karin says:

    I’m so excited to have this book in my grubby little paws. It’s beautifully done!

  24. Etienne Barillier says:

    Wonderful !
    Let’s hope that French steampunk is not forgotten ;-)

  25. jeff vandermeer says:

    no worries there

  26. Hi all, i´m from so my english is not that awesome. Please dont blame me. I read online journals to make my english better and i have to say that your blog was perfect readable for me, because the english is really great and all the posts are perfect readable. I will keep on reading it, to improve my english even more. Thanks a lot :)

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