Review: Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians

Now here comes a book I found a particular interesting challenge to review:

Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians by Paul Roland.

 

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I have co-authored a very similar book for the German market, Steampunk – kurz & geek, so I have a direct comparison and I enjoyed Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians immensely.
Paul Roland covers the whole spectrum of steampunk from its humble beginnings in literature of the 1980’s, to modern steampunk literature to music and film and so on. A number of interviews add flavour and offer the perspectives of various notables of the scene.
Also, Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians is more than just a general overview of the history of the scene and what it has to offer today, even for veterans, there is some information in there they will not be aware of.
Paul Roland’s book is for newcomers, interested outsiders, veterans and missionaries of the scene alike. A very handy, short and concise work on Steampunk, full of facts and interesting tidbits. Special bonus: The colour photo section in the middle.

Alas, Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians has, by all its attention to detail, one major flaw: It is woefully anglo-centric, apart from three entries, every single author, tinkerer, event, band, performer, film and game mentioned, is either from North America or the UK. If one was to use Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians as the sole guide to the scene, one might think, the scene does not exist anywhere else but the northern anglophone countries. The other European countries and their events and personalities are ignored, the same for Japan and South America.
In the age of the Internet, a 10 minute search reveals the whole scope of the scene, so this is a major slip-up in my view.

Still Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians gets 8 out of 10 Zeppelins.