30 Steampunk Books
30 books to be found within a steampunk setting. Manuals, tomes, and blueprints galore!
1) A Taxonomy of Cogs
Details various steamtech devices in common use; good as a primer for the non-initiate.
2) Fundamentals of Steam, Vol. 1-3
The definitively introductory textbook series for steamtech. Covers all the basics, including pressure laws, gear ratios, and more. A full read-through will turn a starting apprentice into a usable helper in the machine shop.
3) Don't Fold Under Pressure
A formal study of common breakdowns in devices, including their causes, prevention and repair. Normally found in repair shops in well-used condition.
4) Building A Better Gear
A reference detailing the myriad of gears available beyond the simple spur gear, as well as applications for each. (Reference List)
5) Circular Power
A crackpot text on various free-energy devices, with blueprints. Absolutely useless, though a disturbing number of copies can be found in libraries and machine shops everywhere.
6) Making Sense of Mechanics
An intermediate-level work discussing the process of designing a new machine; most notable for the intricate study and analysis of a blueprint for a suit of clockwork armor. Most artificers have read this book enough to have it partially memorized.
7) The Search for Automotivation
An extremely-cutting edge work that attempts to produce self-motivated machines; includes musings on various designs. Hard for even experts to decypher. (Ideas Reference: Relics of the Artificers)
8) Springs, Gears, and Wrenches
A breakdown of the most common (and some uncommon) tools used within the trade:
- Steam Gloves
- Emergency Steam Injector
- VIEEU Boots -- Generally these are uncommonly used by mechengineers, but they do find some use in mobility when dealing with large contraptions
9) Heroes of Aetherball
"Pop Culture" pamphlet discussing the latest and greatest of Aetherball players, including their claim to fame.
10) Tears of Steam
"Dances with Wolves" in steampunk.
A rapidly-growing series of fiction books where instead of harnessing the power of steam, people instead began to use the power of lightning and static. Extremely popular, but considered laughable by scholars.
12) An Untitled Manuscript
Highly unlikely to actually be published anywhere, this collection of papers discusses (and provides blueprints for) devices for mechanoerotic stimulation.
13) Toys for Tots
A small book with detailed plans for building a series of clockwork toys for children, including ornithopters and walking toy men.
14) A Treatise on the Degeneracy of the Mechaniques
A vitrolic, anti-mechanics text by a Church of the Pure priest; claims that mechanical devices produce sloth and a lack of work ethic among the faithful. It also makes special note of the drop in tithes overall as more money from merchants and nobles shifts away from pleasing the Church and towards the development of new technologies. Endorsed by dozens of clergy, including 5 Archbishops, this text is likely to be the start of a nasty War on Technology by said institution.
15) Working Like A Squirrel
An in-depth research paper from a leading University discussing the status of various energy storage methods; unfortunately, it's couched in extremely technical language and application notes are absent, meaning only the most advanced mechengineers will be able to benefit from it.
16) Woman-hating Gears and Sexist Spurs
A feminist work denouncing the inherently mysognistic nature of gears. Supports the position with an abrasive analysis of the aesthetics of the spur gear. Offers belts and shafts as an acceptable alternative; ignored by anyone with half a brain.
17) On Wings of Steel
A mid-sized work discussing the 'downward motive attraction' that holds people and objects to the ground, and discusses how to counteract it, with multiple sketches. Includes a handful of actual blueprints for flying machines.
18) Building the Future
An older text that was quite forward-looking when published, back when steamtech was in its infancy. Discusses how to go about integrating mechanical devices into society as a whole, creating a better life for everyone.
19) Piecewise Borrowing
A list of tips and tricks for scavenging parts from common devices. Generally used as a reference when building the listed devices, since it includes a rather thorough breakdown of what parts are where within the most commonly used hardware.
20) Moving Forward
A piece discussing various engines useful for mechanical motivation. Includes various sketches and calculations.
21) The Cogs of War
A discussion of the military applications of mechanical devices. Covers some basic ideas for incorporation into a military unit, as well as some tactics made possible by the new equipment.
22) Triggers, Gears, and Spikes
A book discussing the various ways to build a mechanical trap for unwary trespassers. Most are overly complex single-use devices that perform merely adequately, but a handful are rather devious.
23) Masters and Slaves
A propaganda combination discussing why slaves are better workers than machines, and the certain damage to society that will result from emancipation if machinery takes over tasks formerly performed by slaves.
An art book depicting the use of older clockwork designs in functional devices, focusing more on aesthetic qualities than performance. Able to keep tinkerers star-struck for hours, while mechengineers are similarly occupied in a frothing madness over inefficiency.
25) Mishaps and Mayhem
A collection of humorous anecdotes involving massive boiler failure. Constantly references "The Explosion to Top Them All", but never gives a true explanation of what happened.
26) Thrifty Engineering
A book that focuses not only on high-efficiency steam engines, but also how to make them with inexpensive (read: easily stolen) parts. A popular companion to Piecewise Borrowing.
27) Steamy Situations
A risque steampunk romance novel, notable for it's terrible use of euphemisms. "My boiler is overheating! It's about to explode!" "I'm going critical! I'm going critical!"
28) The Clockwork Man
A trip down the path of Dr. Gearish as he designed and installed the first clockwork heart into a living being. Includes a short anecdote about shaking the heart to keep time before installing it to complete the surgery.
29) Keeping Time
The journals of Alfred Bach, a famous writer who lived from the age of 6 to 93 with an artificial heart, and a wind-up valve sticking out of his chest. Published Posthumously.
30) The Soulless
A collaborative effort on the social stigma of artificial clock hearts (with minor mention of other prosthetics). Starts off as understanding of their plight, then slowly shifts to an anti-mechanical stance, railing against doctors and patients alike for "subverting the natural order and reducing the glory of man to an abomination of metal". The heavy influence of the (highly anti-machine) Church of the Pure is extremely noticeable by the final chapter.
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? Responses (15)
Update: Out with ye!
Thanks to Dragonlordmax, Mourngrymm and Roack for their assistance finishing off the list.
Oh you added my name to it... awwww you shouldn't have.
Many more were hatched but those that were added fit very well.
Fun! I could use this!
This is great, number 27 got me. Have you read
I recommend Clockwork Fagin. It reminds me of number 30.
Number 30 was one of my favorites...
Some of these are really funny! (7, 15, 16, 27...) Good work!
Number 27 was one that I had to fight to avoid fleshing out more; it's one of my favorites, but the site is PG, so I can't really flesh it out any more than I did.
This is great!
I like this sort of list -- the kind that you never realize you need until far too late to plan for it. I wouldn't even have thought to look for a '30 tomes' backup list when running a Steampunk game. Glad that you've got it covered, in case I ever do. (Loved 'SparkPunk' stuff).
Hm, steam' really not features Tesla-esque things? Should be clear from the name, but, maybe, cuts some brilliance from that setting.
Which entries are you referring to, specifically? If you're just meaning #11, the entire point of it is as a humorous juxtaposition of the people of an alternate technology path looking at our tech path and finding it just as ridiculous as we find theirs. Everything else is pretty solidly within the Steampunk genre.