Steampunk for Simpletons
Created by ggrihn on 4/1/2014 6:38:52 PM

Reviewed by Gregory G.H. Rihn, Steampunk Chronicle Literary Editor

4037463_origNewly released, the book Steampunk for Simpletons purports to be an introductory guide to the Steampunk phenomenon, in the general spirit of the “For Dummies,” or “Idiot’s Guide” manuals. It does a good job.

Written in a generally light and breezy tone, the book begins with an expansive description of what Steampunk is and includes, and then goes on to give introduction to topics that might be of interest to the person who is discovering Steampunk.

At 383 pages, and with a table of contents taking up ten of those pages, the authors and contributors have made a genuine effort to be comprehensive. There are the expectable chapters on clothing and gear, but also included are sections on family life (doing Steampunk with your children), home décor, and “cooking with goggles.”

The section on Steampunk music is surprisingly wide in scope, without being a mere homage to the popular “Steampunk” bands, and retaining some “do it yourself” aspects.

There are wide-ranging sections on various types of Steampunk events, Steampunk across the world, and multiculturalism and diversity.

There is also an introductory section on DIY projects, including Steampunk cooking.

The book is intended to be a general overview on a broad subject. Therefore, it is gratifying when it is able to go into some detail, but understandable that not all topics are covered with equal attention.

Like other guidebooks, Steampunk for Simpletons has a clever system of classifying items with icons by type, and is otherwise interspersed with amusing bits of artwork. This is not one of the color-heavy coffee-table “Steampunk” collections—a good thing as otherwise it would be prohibitively expensive.

I think Steampunk for Simpletons does a good job of speaking for the Steampunk communities to the world at large, and can be very useful if you are looking for a collected source of information on how to start in Steampunk.

Steampunk for Simpletons

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