"Appendix N" for Steampunk & Weird West?


For D&D we have some classic books that clearly inspired things....
  • Howard, R. E.: "Conan" series
  • Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al
  • Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; "Ring trilogy"
... and a host of others in Appendix N and the lists in Moldvay Basic, PF, and 5e.

If you were making a Steampunk and Weird West game, what books and movies would you cite as your inspiration or put on a recommended reading list? Do some games of that genre have a nice list in them?

My own experience in this area is really limited ...
  • Lord Darcy books
  • Brisco County Jr. TV show
  • Frst League of Extraordinary Gentleman graphic novel
... and I'm hoping to broaden my horizons.

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Lord Shark

K. W. Jeter's Infernal Devices was steampunk before the term was coined.

Cherie Priest's Boneshaker and its sequels.

Felix Gilman's The Half-Made World is a particularly unique weird Western.

Chris Wooding's Ketty Jay books (Revelation Falls et al).

Michael Moorcock's Oswald Bastable books (The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan, The Steel Tsar).


Mod Squad
Staff member
Let us see, other examples...
For Steampunk...
The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne
Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank (Girl Genius #1) by Phil Foglio
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfield
Soulless, by Gail Carriger
The Court of the Air, by Stephen Hunt
Jack Faust, by Michael Swanwick
Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville

For more Western feel...
The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana by R.S. Belcher
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente
The Buntline Special, by Mike Resnick
Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of Weird West, Edited by John Joseph Adams
Jonah Hex - the comics, not the horrible movie
Deadlands: Gostwalker by Johnathan Maberry


Small God of the Dozens
I have series/books to add. A lot of SP is England based, but it's all grist for the mill (this is all stuff I've actually read and more straight SP than Weird West)...

The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
The Clockwork Century series by Cherie Priest
Perdito Street Station by China Mieville
Burton & Swineburn series by Mark Hodder
The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard

I'm sure there's more, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head that I read and enjoyed.

edit: ninja'd by @Umbran !


  • Clockwork Cairo: Steampunk Tales of Egypt
  • Books 4-7 of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn saga have been pitched to me as steampunk-ish. They're still on my TBR pile so I can't confirm.
  • The Golgotha series by RS Blecher have been pitched to me as weird west, but again they're on my TBR pile.
  • The Aeronaught's Windlass by Jim Bitcher. Again TBR. (Yes, I have more books on my TBR than I have actually read.)
  • Bec McMaster's London Steampunk series. Paranormal/Steampunk/Romance.
  • The Sixth Gun graphic novel series.
And here's a couple lists that may be helpful.


Gunsmoke & Dragonfire is a good anthology of Weird West tales, but my first introduction to the genre was "Mister Hadj's Sunset Ride", by Saladin Ahmed.
Steampunk and Steampunk 2: Steampunk Reloaded anthologies edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer.
Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of Weird West, Edited by John Joseph Adams

I've been on an Anthology kick lately, and so particularly appreciate these!

Committed Hero

Mark Sumner wrote two Weird West books, Devil's Tower & Devil's Engine. They are magical rather than steampunk, however.

If you want to go back a bit further, there is Card's Alvin Maker series.
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I concur with Leviathan and Soulless (which is at least a six book series by now. I've only gotten to the first as of yet.) Also The Half Made World by Felix Gilman. That's a bit more fantasy + steampunk, but fits the vibe.

Useful thread, thank you. I’ve read most of these, but I’ll have to look up.

As far as I can tell though, steampunk is a bit unusual in that it’s centred around an aesthetic rather than born from a seminal narrative. There’s no steampunk Lord of the Rings that kicked the he whole thing off.

I do have an informal rule though - books with a classic faux-Victorian steampunk setting are much, much more likely to be any good if they have a female protagonist. Dunno why, it just seems that’s the way it works.


The Baskerville Affair by Emma Jane Holloway
The Alchemy Wars by Ian Tregillis
Angels of Music by Kim Newman
The Guns Above by Robyn Bennie
The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick

I've heard good things about the Clocktaur War by T Kingfisher and Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin, but haven't read them yet.

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