The Steampunk User’s Manual
Will stoke your boiler
Release Date: OUT NOW!
258 pages | Hardback Authors: Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovich Publisher: Abrams Image The Steampunk User’s Manual is kin to Jeff VanderMeer’s earlier The Steampunk Bible ( written with SJ Chambers). But whereas that volume looked at the roots of steampunk and the people who’ve helped shape it, this one is aimed at encouraging the reader’s own creativity. It’s the logical follow- up: now you know what steampunk is, it’s time to become part of it.
The four most substantial parts of the book are “Steampunk Art and Making”, “Steampunk Design: Fashion, Architecture And Interiors”, “Steampunk Storytelling ”, and “Steampunk Music And Performance”. Each of these chapters gives you an overview of the current state of things, comments from people working within those fields, examples of outstanding work and advice on trying it for yourself. The people quoted are all recognised authorities within the subculture; VanderMeer has gone to the best.
While there are a few projects, The Steampunk User’s Manual will not tell you exactly what to do. The point is for you to explore your own creativity, not blindly copy someone else’s work. The emphasis on functionality and avoiding the worst clichés of the genre is very welcome.
If you’re not already creating steampunk stories, music or clothes, it will spur you on to try, while if you are, it provides a real sense of community. A splendid book.
The Royal Observatory at Greenwich is hosting an exhibition of steampunk creations. It runs until 4 January.