Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lesbian Steampunk Stories

SteamPoly Shirt - Clockwork Heart
on Zazzle
Steampunk is awesome and popular, and adding lesbians to the genre of Victorian-style, steampowered societies and fantastic watches can only heat things up until the steamy pressure blows the dial to bits. As you might have gathered from that analogy, there's a fair bit of erotica in the very small selection of lesbian steampunk fiction out there. The very small selection.

While the list is short, at least it isn't worthless, as the first three titles (two anthologies and a futuristic western) are extremely good, and highly recommended.

As always, if you know of any other lesbian steampunk titles, we'd appreciate the recommendation.


SteamPowered, Steampunk Lesbian Stories & Steam-Powered 2 edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft
These two anthologies come up everywhere, and with good reason. Not only are they almost the only lesbian steampunk books out there, but they're good.  The first book is a finalist for the 24th Lambda Scifi/fantasy/horror award (winner still TBA).
SteamPowered, Steampunk Lesbian Stories contains fifteen stories ranging across the entire world, and out of it, from chaste to erotica. Uniformly well written stories, although obviously they range in content and quality, which display a great deal of diversity in characters and style. The success of this anthology led to the sequel, Steam-Powered 2 [kindle link], which, despite its lack of Amazon reviews, was also very well received.

Both are edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft. who has produced some very high quality lesbian anthologies over the last couple of years, including the previously reviewed Sleeping Beauty, Indeed & Other Lesbian Fairytales, as   well as Alleys & Doorways: Stories of Queer Urban Fantasy and Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic, to name some of the most recent.

Heiresses of Russ 2011: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction [Kindle edition] edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft & Steve Berman

This anthology features a mixed collection of genres, mostly fantasy, historical and difficult to categorise, but includes at least one steampunk tale in the thirty short stories: "The Effluent Engine" by N K Jemisin.
The other authors include Georgina Bruce, Jewelle Gomez, Michelle Labbé, Steve Berman, Rachel Swirsky, Ellen Kushner, Zen Cho, Csilla Kleinheincz, Catherine Lundoff, and Nora Olsen.

Novels & Short Stories

There are a couple of good novels worth picking up.

The Gunfighter and The Gear-Head by Cassandra Duffy [Read the review]
An erotic dystopia western, very good and highly recommended, with a steampunk feel. While it's not exactly steampunk, the characters are piecing together technology from the ruins of civilisation and end up with similar results.
Continuing the series: The Steam-Powered Sniper in the City of Broken Bridges and The Gunfighter's Gambit

The Ganymeade Protocol by Don Elwell
In a restrictive dystopia, Katie and her girlfriend Sandy rebuild her father's boat and escape to a floating city of rebels, pirates and free people.
  The Convent of the Pure by Sara M. Harvey [short story]
A gothic steampunk-ish dark fantasy and erotic romance, the demon hunter Portia tries to complete her training under the eye of her recently deceased lover, while getting caught up in a necromantic plot.Part one in the Penemue trilogy of steampunk novellas (followed by The Labyrinth of the Dead and The Tower of the Forgotten.)

Pantomime by Laura Lam 
A young adult novel with a lot of fantasy, it has a distinctly steampunk feel, as technology and myth mixes with Victorian-ish life. Featuring an intersex noble ''girl" who runs away and joins the circus to find a life of his/her own. Worth reading.

Unfortunately, the blatant erotica tends to include plenty of heterosexual sex along with the lesbian encounters.

All The Queen's Women by Michelle Kopra
Set on a airship, the 'Shimmy and Steam' series follows the love lives of five spy bellydancers in the time of Queen Victoria. This book follows a lesbian relationship, between second in command Lilly, and her reunion with an old lover.
The first book, For Queen And Country, doesn't contain much lesbian content as it features a heterosexual romance (although it does feature the lesbian character of the second book).
 Go Away Girls: The Mirror by Lenni
A short erotic story about a mysterious mirror belonging to a dead woman, that drags lovers Katherine and Clara into danger. 

Steampunk Erotica and Steampunk Erotica II by Ora Le Brocq
Despite the title, there is an actual storyline! But the lesbian content is minor in the first book, and not that much more significant in the second. Basically, the main character sleeps with everyone
1901: A Steam Odyssey by Lionel Bramble
A long and silly sex story that covers everything from corsets to aliens, F/f to heterosexual.

Free Online Lesbian Steampunk Stories
For more lesbian steampunk, there is also a small collection of free online erotica at Steamy Punk.

You may also be interested in:


  1. The Gunfighter and The Gear-Head was such a great read! I was fortunate enough to host an interview with Cassandra Duffy back before the holidays.

  2. I know one is coming out April 9th from Noble Romance, Evening at the M.U.T. is part of their Lesbians vs Zombies series (I have a novella out too from this line, but not steampunk. :-) )

  3. Karen Memory (steampunk set in late 19th century Seattle) has a lesbian protagonist and a number of other queer characters