Amph Looking for Some Victorian-era Sci-fi/Fantasy

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Qui-Gon_Reborn, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

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    You guys have recommended soem great stuff to me in the past, books that I thought I'd never dream of reading but ended up loving to death (*cough*Harry Potter*cough*), but now I'm looking for something somewhat specific. I'm looking for Victorian-era science fiction or fantasy. Good Victorian-era science-fiction or fantasy. "Good" here having the meaning of "no vampires, love stories, or biting social commentary." :p Steampunk is fine in modest quantities, I suppose, and even historical fiction without the sci-fi/fantasy angle is good, too.

    It might be a tough request, but I trust your collective brilliance. :p Thanks, guys.
  2. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

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    Feb 12, 2002
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    Victorian...hmmm the only thing I can think of would maybe The Lies of Locke Lamora. It kinda had that feel to me but many may disagree with me.
  3. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

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    Yeah, that title's come up in more than a few conversations 'round these parts. I'll definitely pick up a copy whenever I can find one in a bookstore.
  4. emilsson Force Ghost

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    Oct 5, 1998
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    This is not scifi or fantasy but I am currently reading Anne Perry's Buckingham Palace Gardens, which is a murder mystery. It is very Victorian in its setting and mood. Would that be of interest?
  5. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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    Well, it's steampunk to the core, but if you're asking for Victorian-era sci-fi I have to mention The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. A most excellent novel.
  6. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

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    Sure, emilsson, that sounds cool enough to me!

    Not a huge fan of Gibson, Dave, but I might be inclined to give it a try.

    Thanks for the recommendations, guys. Most appreciated. :D
  7. soitscometothis Force Ghost

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    Jul 11, 2003
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    Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates is a magical time-travel novel set largely in 1810, which is only a little before the Victorian era. I think it's very good, but your mileage may vary...

    Obviously Sherlock Holmes is set in the Victorian era; aside from the original stories by Conan Doyle, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer is a fun Holmes story about the great detective struggling with cocaine addiction (he's helped by Sigmund Freud). Not sci-fi, of course, but Conan Doyle's Holmes is a good read.

    Alan Moore's graphic novel From Hell is set in Victorian London, but I've not read that. It's supposed to be good, though.
  8. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    Not sure if it's quite what you're looking for, but you might give Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy alternate history/detective series a shot. It comes fairly close to meeting your fantasy requirements, I think. It's technically set a couple decades after than the Victorian era, but technology and society remain mostly unchanged from then (technological advances having been stalled by the existence of magic - considered a sort of science of its own).
  9. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    I suppose you've already considered the original Victorian-era sci-fi/fantasy: Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.
  10. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

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    Indeed, Havac, I've gone through just about all their work and love it to death.

    Not a huge fan of Tim Powers, but I've heard great things about From Hell, and I thought the film was all right.

    You guys are a huge help, so thanks again.
  11. soitscometothis Force Ghost

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    Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is a graphic novel by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola set in Victorian Gotham, where Jack the Ripper has started to prey on its inhabitants. I'd love to read this one, but it seems to be out of print in the U.K.
  12. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

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    There are some in the Amazon Marketplace on both Amazon UK and US. I've ordered books here in the UK from Amazon US itself without problems. However, if you try the US Marketplace you might want to email the seller to see if they will ship internationally.
  13. soitscometothis Force Ghost

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    Jul 11, 2003
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    Thanks. I had checked out Amazon UK, but even the second hand books were quite expensive.
  14. emilsson Force Ghost

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    I don't know why, but I completely forgot to mention one of my all time favourite writers, Sarah Waters, who has written several novels set in the Victorian Age. All her books are well researched and she excellently explores human nature and society. I would in particular recommend The Little Stranger because, although it is set slightly after the end of the Victorian Age, it is practically magical realism and the creepiest ghost story I have read (the story revolves around a family trying to come to terms with the social changes during the early 20th Century).
  15. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

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    Cool stuff, guys. I'm making a list!
  16. alexus Jedi Youngling

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  17. moosemousse CR - FF:UK South

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    No mentions of HG Wells or Jules Verne? I'm shocked!
  18. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

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    QGR, even if you don't usually like Gibson and Sterling, I'd recommend The Difference Engine. It's not really anything like their usual SF (cyberpunk) stuff.

    Also probably worth looking at Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, starting with Book I Quicksilver.

    It's more Enlightenment-era Europe but it might be close enough.
  19. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

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    Definitely read and loved most everything Neal Stephenson's written. I'll try The Difference Engine, then.
  20. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

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    Yeah. I was just thinking of Difference Engine.
  21. Raven Administrator Emeritus

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    There's the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger. Three books so far, as far as I'm aware. They feature werewolves, waistcoats, vampires, corsets, ghosts, ugly hats, soulless, and afternoon tea.
  22. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Not really Sci-Fi, but the Holmes novels/short stories are all pretty entertaining.
  23. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

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    Dec 11, 2008
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    I read some of the Holmes short stories, but I really should try to find a couple more. Those are awesome.

    Sounds utterly fantastic, but it's listed as paranormal romance on Wikipedia. Is the romance thing a big part of the story?
  24. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Barnes and Noble should have a complete Holmes in two volumes for pretty cheap. The stories are utterly excellent. Read them up.
  25. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
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    This is Historical Fiction set in the Victorian era: the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraiser. There's a classic novel "Tom Brown's School Days", in which one character is featured as on of Tom Brown's tormentors. The first book starts "Flashy got beastly drunk and got thrown out of Rugby School today." "I resent Mr Brown's accusation. I knew better than to mix my liquors at the tender age of 16." From there this character starts a military career, ending up in every significant historical event from the Charge of the Light Brigade to Little Big Horn. Books told in first perspective as a series of retrospectives. The language is very much appropriate to the time, including referring to anyone who isn't white as, um, a word that would get me lynched. His attitude toward women is rather Edwardian. "Is this a coward we see before us? A rogue, scoundrel, and possiblly not even a gentleman? Yes, Flashman is back!" The second book, Royal Flash, was made into a movie in the 70s staring Malcolm McDowel. This main character is a congenital coward in the body of a hero, and comes out smelling like roses inspite of doing everything he can to avoid heroics. And he is also a big name-dropper, since he also meets every famous person he can, from the Maharani, Queen Vicki, Queen Ravalona of Madagascar, and Sherlock Holmes, to Abe Lincoln, Tom Brown, Custer, and Crazy Horse.
    So, no, not for everyone, but great entertainment.