And to make it official, the term “steampunk” was even recently added to the newest edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary:
steampunk n. a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.
There was a real evolution in the steampunk releases of 2010 – it wasn’t all alternate history Victorian London, gaslights and goggles – daring authors have embraced the spirit of this literary movement and have really begun to push the boundaries with wildly innovative settings and inspired storylines.
So for all of those naysayers who think steampunk was just a short-lived literary fad, here is a list of exceptional 2010 releases that prove otherwise. Put that in your handmade, steam-powered hookah and smoke it!
1. Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
2. Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
3. Changeless by Gail Carriger
4. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
5. Pinion by Jay Lake
6. The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman
7. The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers
8. Clementine by Cherie Priest
9. The Clockwork Man by William Jablonsky
10. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
11. The Last Page by Anthony Huso
12. Flaming Zeppelins (omnibus reissue of Zeppelins West  and Flaming London) by Joe R. Lansdale
13. The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick
“Steampunk is not a narrative structure, but an array of aesthetic elements. It is a visual style that can be imposed upon a genre, as well as multimedia: art, music, fashion, décor… if steampunk is only a genre, then we can continue rehashing the themes of imaginary voyages and scientific romances. If it is an aesthetic, then the sky in which the airships fly isn’t even a limit.” – Mike Perschon from The Future of Steampunk: A Roundtable Interview
Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for almost the last two decades and has written more than 6,000 reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, and BarnesandNoble.com. In his free time, he reads.
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