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Best Steampunk Fantasy Books

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The crowd-ranked version of the Best Steampunk Fantasy List.This list contains the best fantasy reads that contain clockwork, steampower, or other elements of steampunk fantasy to them.
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alloy of law

by Brandon Sanderson

5 avg rating

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn series is a heist story of political intrigue and magical, martial-arts action.

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history?or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)
Oathbringer (forthcoming)

The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Collection
Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels
Elantris
Warbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners
Steelheart
Firefight
Calamity

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Perdido Street Station

by China Mieville

5 avg rating
Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger—and more consuming—by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon—and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes . . .

A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
British Fantasy Society
Arthur C. Clarke
BSFA
BSFA
Nebula
Hugo

3 Similar Reader Recommendations

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His Dark Materials

by Philip Pullman

The only hardcover omnibus of the best-selling and award-winning fantasy trilogy, in a Contemporary Classics edition.
 
Philip Pullman's trilogy is a masterpiece that transcends genre and appeals to readers of all ages. His heroine, Lyra, is an orphan living in a parallel universe in which science, theology, and magic are entwined. The epic story that takes us through the three novels is not only a spellbinding adventure featuring armored polar bears, magical devices, witches, and daemons, it is also an audacious and profound reimagining of Milton's Paradise Lost that has already inspired a number of serious books of literary criticism. Like J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis before him, Pullman has invented a richly detailed and marvelously imagined world, complex and thought-provoking enough to enthrall adults as well as younger readers. An utterly entrancing blend of metaphysical speculation and bravura storytelling, His Dark Materials is a monumental and enduring achievement.
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Retribution Falls

by Chris Wooding

5 avg rating
Arthur C. Clarke
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Boneshaker

by Cherie Priest

In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.

 

But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

 

Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.

 

His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.

Locus Science Fiction
Nebula
Hugo
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17
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Soulless

by Gail Carriger

5 avg rating
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.
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Coyote: The Outlander

by Chantal Noordeloos

1 avg rating
''Being a female bounty hunter, Coyote made men nervous. Being an official, she made them wary. But being the best gunman, or in her case, gunwoman around, Coyote made them downright anxious. The popular consensus was that women shouldn’t be allowed to be bounty hunters, but no one dared say this out loud when Coyote was around.''

~Coyote: The Outlander

No one knows where or when the rips will appear, but they do, and from them, Outlanders walk the earth. Coyote travels the territories with Caesar, her mysterious partner in the bounty hunter business, and together they confront these alien threats to humanity. Along the way, Coyote discovers a secret that threatens to shatter everything she believes about herself, her father, and her sworn enemy, James Westwood. Whether Outlander or inner demons, some things can't be solved with a six shooter.

Chantal has crafted an amazing story of intrigue and adventure set in the wild west. I instantly fell in love with her protagonist, Coyote. In fact all the characters came alive in this adventure. I can't wait for the next installment to her series. This is REALLY good!

~Charles Day, Bram Stoker Award® nominated author of LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF and THE HUNT FOR THE GHOULISH BARTENDER

About the FREE Second Screen: Reading itself is a favorite pastime, but with ‘Coyote: The Outlander’ we wanted to add a little extra by offering you a free second screen experience. Within the book you’ll find four icons of a safe. Each of these will come with the secret code for that part of the book. Simply go to the website ‘www.coyotethebooks.com’ and unlock the corresponding safe.

You will find FREE content, such as extra storylines, background music, selected for that part of the story. We advise you not to read ahead of the story, because the extra content may contain spoilers.

~The Tip My Hat team, Publishers of Coyote: The Outlander

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The Anubis Gates

by Tim Powers

5 avg rating
Ace Books is proud to present this classic novel of time travel in a beautiful new trade edition. It took the fantasy world by storm a decade ago, and now fans can savor this Philip K. Dick Award-winner for the first time all over again. Only the dazzling imagination of Tim Powers could have assembled such an insane cast of characters: an ancient Egyptian sorcerer, a modern millionaire, a body-switching werewolf, a hideously deformed clown, a young woman disguised as a boy, a brainwashed Lord Byron, and finally, our hero, Professor Brendan Doyle.
Philip K. Dick
BSFA
BSFA

3 Similar Reader Recommendations

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The Windup Girl

by Paolo Bacigalupi

*Winner of the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel*

*Winner of the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel*
In this Time Magazine top 10 book of the year, Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko. Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe. What Happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism's genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of The Calorie Man; (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and Yellow Card Man (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these poignant questions. This title has been nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards. This title was also on the best book lists of the year for Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.
Nebula
Hugo
John W. Campbell
BSFA
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9
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Leviathan

by Thomas Hobbes

Leviathan is a work of political philosophy. Written by Thomas Hobbes during a time of civil war, it argues that sovereign rule is the most stable form of government. An early proponent of social contract theory, Hobbes observations regarding the dangers of unrestrained individual freedom have influenced generations of thinkers.
Locus Young Adult
16
9
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The Diamond Age

by Neal Stephenson

4 avg rating
In Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson took science fiction to dazzling new levels. Now, in The Diamond Age, he delivers another stunning tale. Set in twenty-first century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens when a state-of-the-art interactive device falls in the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life—and the entire future of humanity—is about to be decoded and reprogrammed…
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
Nebula
John W. Campbell
Arthur C. Clarke
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The Rithmatist

by Brandon Sanderson

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson: his debut novel for the young adult audience

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity's only defense against the Wild Chalklings?merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing?kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery?one that will change Rithmatics?and their world?forever.

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense?the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013 A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013

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The Iron Dragon's Daughter

by Michael Swanwick

A slave in a dragon factory that manufactures flying fighting machines, Jane changes her destiny when a voice from a dragon promising freedom and revenge prompts her to escape and challenge the foundations of the world
BSFA
World Fantasy
Arthur C. Clarke
19
4
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Cold Magic

by Kate Elliott

The Wild Hunt is stirring - and the dragons are finally waking from their long sleep...

Cat Barahal was the only survivor of the flood that took her parents. Raised by her extended family, she and her cousin, Bee, are unaware of the dangers that threaten them both. Though they are in beginning of the Industrial Age, magic - and the power of the Cold Mages - still hold sway.

Now, betrayed by her family and forced to marry a powerful Cold Mage, Cat will be drawn into a labyrinth of politics. There she will learn the full ruthlessness of the rule of the Cold Mages. What do the Cold Mages want from her? And who will help Cat in her struggle against them?
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