Steampunk In The Arts

Gwendolyne's Steampunk Gems take on What is Steampunk?

Literature, Films, Games, Music, Architecture and Art

The following lists contain a number of books, films, games and architectural structures that either have clear elements of or are based on Steampunk as a genre. Obviously there are plenty more to add in these categories, but here is a start…

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

Jules Verne - 1870

Read More

The Time Machine

H.G. Wells - 1895

Read More

The Anubis Gates

Tim Powers - 1987

Read More

Infernal Devices

K.W. Jeter - 1990

Read More

The Difference Engine

William Gibson & Bruce Sterling - 1990

Read More

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Jess Nevin - 1999

Read More

Perdido Street Station

China Miéville - 2000

Read More


Jay Lake - 2007

Read More

Extraordinary Engines

Nick Gevers - 2008

Read More


Ann & Jeff VanderMeer - 2010

Read More


Cherie Priest - 2009

Read More

Johannes Cabal the Detective

Jonathan L. Howard - 2010

Read More

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man

Mark Hodder - 2011

Read More

The Martian Ambassador

Alan K. Baker - 2011

Read More

The Executioner’s Heart

Read More


  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) a Technicolor adventure film, produced by Walt Disney through Walt Disney Production and adapted from Jules Verne’s 1870’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1958) a Czechoslovak adventure film directed by Karel Zeman and distributed in the U.S.A. in 1961, based on several works by Jules Verne and primarily his 1896 novel “Facing the Flag”
  • The City of Lost Children (1995) by Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Wild Wild West (1999) by Barry Sonnenfeld, written by S.S. Wilson & Brent Maddock as an adaptation on the 1960s TV series The Wild Wild West.
  • Atlantis:The Lost Empire (2001) an animated action-adventure film by Walt Disney Feature Animation, written by Tab Murphy, directed by Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise, produced by Don Hahn
  • Treasure Planet (2002) animated film by Walt Disney Feature Animation, a science fiction adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure novel Treasure Island
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) by 20th Century Fox, directed by Stephen Norrington and based on the comic books series “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill
  • Van Helsing (2004) by Stephen Sommers, a homage and attribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the ‘30s and ‘40s
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) by Brad Silberling, an adaptation of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket
  • Steamboy (2004) a Japanese steampunk animation action film produced by Sunrise and directed and co-written by Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) a Japanese animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and based on the novel “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005) a Japanese animated film by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa
  • The Prestige (2006) by Christopher Nolan based on Christopher Priest’s novel “The Prestige”
  • The Golden Compass (2007) by Chris Weitz and based on Philip Pullman’s first novel “Northern Lights” of the trilogy “His Dark Materials”
  • City of Ember (2008) directed by Gil Kenan and based on the 2003 novel “The City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau
  • 9 (2009) a computer-animated film by Shane Acker, written by Pamela Petter and produced by Jim Lemley, Tim Burton, Dana Ginsburg & Timur Bekmambetov
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009) by Guy Ritchie, based on the character “Sherlock Holmes” created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Hugo (2011) by Martin Scorsese based on Brian Selznick’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” (fun fact: one of my sister-in-laws was an extra

    Hugo the film

    in this film)

  • Going Postal (2010) by Terry Pratchett, Richard Kurti & Bev Doyle based on Terry Pratchett’s 33rd Discworld novel Going Postal
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov & Jim Lemley based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) by Tim Burton and written by Jane Goldman, based on the 2011 novel “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

Games for PC and consoles

  • The Chaos Engine (1993) a top-down run and gun video game developed by The Bitmap Brothers and published by Renegade Software
  • Myst (1993), Riven (1997) & Myst III: Exile (2001), graphic adventure puzzle video games produced by Cyan Worlds
  • Final Fantasy VI (1994) also known as Final Fantasy III is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Thief (1998-present) is a series of stealth video games, developed by Looking Glass Studios (1998-2000), Ion Storm (2004) and Eidos Montréal (2014-present) and published by Eidos Interactive (1998-2004) and Square Enix (2014-present)
  • Skies of Arcadia (2000) a role-playing video game developed by Overworks for the Dreamcast and published by Sega
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001) a role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Sierra Entertainment
  • Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends (2003) a real-time strategy video game for the PC made by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft
  • Fable II & III (2008 & 2010) an action role-playing open world video game developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360
  • Machinarium (2009) a puzzle point-and-click adventure game developed by Amanita Design and released for various platforms
  • Stacking (2011) an adventure puzzle video game developed by Double Fine Productions and published by THQ, released for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 video game consoles
  • Anno 2070 (201

    Steam Hammer

    1) a city-building and economic simulation game with real-time elements, developed by Related Designs and Blue Byte and published by Ubisoft

  • Alice: Madness Returns (2011) a psychological horror action-adventure platform video game developed by Spicy Horse and released by Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • Dishonored (2012) stealth action-adventure video game by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks
  • BioShock Infinite (2013) a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games
  • The Order: 1886 (2015) a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Ready at Dawn and SCE Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, released for the Playstation 4

Upcoming games for 2018 that have obvious elements of Steampunk are:

Air (Ascent Infinite Realm), by Bluehole and Kakaogames. More information on this game:

Steam Hammer, by Big Way Games. More info on this game:


Steampunk in music

Steampunk has appeared in the work of musicians who are known to mix Victorian and modern elements in their music and performance style, like Abney Park and Vernian Process. Thomas Dolby is also considered as one of the early pioneers of retro-futurist music. But Steampunk music is very broadly defined and it has also appeared in the works of musicians who do not specifica

Steampunk inspired music

lly identify as Steampunk, e.g. the music video “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” by Panic! At the Disco has a distinct Victorian Steampunk theme. Throughout the band’s 2011 album “Vices and Virtues” this theme continues. The album “Clockwork Angels” (2012) by progressive rock band Rush contains lyrics, themes, and imagery based around Steampunk.

Here is a link to a webpage where you can find a list of bands which are considered Steampunk bands:

Steampunk in architecture, art and design

Steampunk in architecture, art and design

There are several architectural buildings and artistic visualisations of Steampunk that can be found around the world. Next to the design of the submarine the Nautilus, named after the submarine from Jules Verne’s novel 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, which can be found in Six Flags Magic Mountain and the Disney Parks, there are even bigger projects that are to be found in more daily settings than a theme park.

Belgian artist François Schuiten redesigned the Paris Metro station at Arts et Métiers in Steampunk style in 1994, to honour the works of Jules Verne. The station is reminiscent of a submarine, sheathed in brass with giant cogs in the ceiling and portholes you can see beautiful scenes through.

Founding member, Sean Orlando, of the artist group Kinetic Steam Works created a Steampunk Tree House that is now permanently installed at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware.

Shannon O’Hare designed a three-story, self-propelled mobile art vehicle that resembles a Victorian house on wheels, called “The Neverwas Haul”. It was built in 2006 and can now be seen at Obtainium Works, an art car factory in Vallejo, California, U.S.A.

Steampunk HQ New Zealand

In November 2010 Damien McNamara opened “The Libratory Steampunk Art Gallery” in Oamaru, New Zealand. A year later a more permanently gallery, “Steampunk HQ”, was opened in the former Meeks Grain Elevator Building across the road from The Woolstore. Now it is a famous tourist attraction for Oamaru.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.