Wanted: Dieselpunk Recommendations

In followup to last weeks’s announcement of The Punkettes blog launch party, I’d like to make an open call for Things You’d Like To See Reviewed over at The Punkettes.

I’ll be focusing on Dieselpunk, myself, so that’s mainly what I’m looking for. Problem is, while Steampunk has hit it big lately, Dieselpunk is still fairly obscure, and often stuff that has Dieselpunk elements may not be labelled or advertised as such. Help tracking down stuff that other lovers of Dieselpunk would enjoy is muchly welcome.

I am open to authors suggesting their own books, but a couple of things to say on recommendations from authors for their own books:

– Dieselpunk stuff only. Please do not spam me with anything that isn’t at least tangentially related. If it looks like you didn’t even read this post, and ask me to buy a copy of your paranormal romance to review it, expect your comment or email to be deleted without a reply.

– Self published books may not get to the top of the to-be-read list very fast, for the reasons detailed in my previous post on self-published books. (As with traditionally published authors, please be prepared for an honest opinion if your book has not been through a relatively professional editing process. If it’s immediately obvious to me that it hasn’t, I may decide not to review it at all.)

– Offering review copies will definitely help put your book at the top of my to-be-read list.

That said, bring on the recommendations. Either reply to this post, or click the Contact Me link at the top of the page to send me an email.


14 responses to “Wanted: Dieselpunk Recommendations

  1. Have you ever read any China Mieville? He describes his work as ‘weird fiction’ which it certainly is. I wonder whether his ficitonal city of Bas-lag which features in work like ‘Perdido Street Station’ and to a lesser extent ‘The Scar’ are Dieselpunk?
    A cracking read anyway!


      • I don’t want to over-sell the Dieselpunk in China’s work. I really enjoyed Perdido St Station but some people think it’s just bizarre (which it is and that’s part of why I enjoyed it) so I’d wholeheartedly recommend it as a good read, and cautiously recommend it for Dieselpunkishness. I think if you read the first 50 pages or so you’ll be able to work out whether it’s enjoyable and/or useful as a Dieselpunk recommend.

  2. Lindsay, I’ve been following your blog for a bit now, and have read your reasons for not being too hip on Indie/self-published folk. That said, I’m an Indie who has been working in the dieselpunk flavor for a couple of years.

    My stuff is by no means pure dieselpunk (if such think exists I image in to be along the lines of Sky Captain) but the novels and shorts take place mostly in the 1920’s in an alternate Texas/Mexico that becomes knowns as Texicas. They blend Western, thriller, dieselpunk and horror together while remaining firmly in the pulp genre.

    My last novel, Twitch and Die! is already a part of the Punkettes grand launch (I’ve been a fan of Rebecca Sky via Wattpad for a while). Anyway, I thought I would introduce myself here. All the best on the website. I think it will be a great edition to the punk-sphere.

    For now I’ll direct you to my splash page for the series: http://davidmarkbrownwrites.com/lost-dmb-files/

    I’ll also take some time and try to come up with some of my other favorite DP stuff…

    • That actually kind of looks like something that would be up my alley – though also potentially not. The little bits of prose in the teasers, honestly, it sucks me in, I’m just not sure how I feel about the whole celebrating the redneck thing. Still, it’s more of a something that could be done badly or done well, so I’m willing to give it a shot – thanks. 🙂

  3. I would recommend The Fall of Ile-Rien series by Martha Wells, but it seems you already have this on your Goodreads to-read list, lol! I’ve never seen Martha refer to it as dieselpunk, though it is set in a world with 1930s-type technology. (Her fascination with luxurious ocean liners akin to the Queen Mary is a prime example of this.) I love how she blends tech with magic and pits the two against each other. She makes this such a huge part of the two main cultures in her world and it’s really quite fascinating, imo. (The reason I picked up Book 1 in the first place was because of the unconventional combination of an airship and some chick with wizard-looking clothes on the cover, haha.)

    Along with David’s Fistful of Reefer, I’ve been meaning to get around to Empire State by Adam Christopher, which is supposed to be a very action hero-y variety of dieselpunk. (I actually started Empire but was kind of put off by some of the attitudes and language used in it, tbh. I’ll try to revisit it, though, if I can…)

    Shriek by Jeff VanderMeer is another good one, though, with lots of typewriters, shroom-people, fungal tech and whatnot…lol. Very strange with a noirish feel to it. 🙂

    • Oh, btw, in relation to the whole technology vs. magic thing… I started reading Blightcross and noticed Lang uses this dichotomy as well. (I’m also using it in my dieselpunk WIP…)

      I’m really starting to wonder if this is going to become a legitimate “dieselpunk trope!” :O

      • I dunno – I don’t read urban fantasy, but that and magic realism is really to only other place you’ll see magic and technology in conflict. Star Wars is essentially fantasy with technology too, but the two never come into conflict the way they do in urban fantasy, where, from what I hear, technology tends to break down and stop working around magic and/or spells stop working around a lot of tech. Aside from that, you have medieval fantasy, where, well, I guess there’s tech, but not the sort of tech that’s advanced enough to really be set apart from the natural world. It’s easy to imagine, for some reason, that a cellphone signal could interfere with a spell, but for a battle horn to do something like that, it would have to be infused with magic, even though they’re both man made advances in technology. Steampunk an Dieselpunk eras seem to be the first point where technology was advanced enough to be a force on it’s own.

  4. Interesting questions, even a year later. China Mieville’s ‘RAILSEA’ is more Dieselpunk than Steampunk, I think. And I share Martha Wells’ liner fascination, as my avatar suggests.

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