Pyr and Steampunk

A few days ago I realized that most of the books I’ve been scoping in the store, recently, are all published under the Pyr imprint of Prometheus Books. I’m not certain how I managed to miss this before–I suppose my attention was directed more at the cover blurb than it was at the publishing company.

Only last week I was on the Pyr website browsing their upcoming titles, many of which seem to be offering fresh versions of an otherwise familiar genre. I became somewhat dismayed to realize that I hadn’t yet read any of the books in their catalogue despite how often I find myself looking at them. But now that I do know, I have plans to pick up one or two on my next bookstore run.

These are the books on my list, and I’ll probably purchase them in this order:

Cyberabad Days (Ian McDonald)
The Blade Itself (Joe Abercrombie)
Midwinter (Matthew Sturges)
Age of Misrule #1: World’s End (Mark Chadbourn)
Gradisil (Adam Roberts)

And, from Pyr’s list of forthcoming books:

Swords of Albion #1: The Silver Skull (Mark Chadbourn)

My recent research into Pyr’s catalogue was prompted by two recent announcements at SFscope that caught my attention:

Clay and Susan Griffith sell vampire novel to Pyr: Now, I’m not a huge fan of vampire
novels–especially after all of the over-hype of the last year or two–but, after
reading the description of Greyfriar, I can honestly say that I’ll definitely set aside my general predjudices in order to read “an alternate history steampunk vampire novel”–oh yes. I’m definitely excited about this, and I’ll be visiting Pyr’s site with alarming frequency until they publish a release date (which will, no doubt, be further in the future, but that won’t stop me).

Also, Mike Resnick sells steampunk novel to Pyr: I’m more than a little curious about this book as well (according to SFScope, it’s entitled The Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale). I have a particular affinity for cross-genre fiction, and I think steampunk plus western is one I’ll especially enjoy (for that matter, I haven’t heard the words “tall tale” used to describe a story since the fourth grade). I’ll be putting this one down on my calendar, too, as soon as a release date is announced.

Additionally, I’m happy to see an influx of steampunk work recently. When I was attempting to find steampunk fiction earlier this year, I felt that the genre had very few examples of full-length novels. But the number of books I’ve seen advertised as “steampunk” of late have been rapidly increasing (although, we’ll see if I agree with the genre label–it would be disappointing for a book to imply that it’s steampunk when, in fact, it’s nothing of the kind). I’m excited that Pyr has chosen to explore this genre with these two books, and I’m looking forward to any others they might decide to publish in the future.



5 responses to “Pyr and Steampunk

  1. Thanks for the love. I hope the books you list meet with your expectations! Meanwhile, you might be excited to hear that we have more steampunk (and related) coming down the pike. In 2010, we have George Mann’s GHOSTS OF MANHATTAN, which is a tale of a Shadow/Batman-like masked avenger in a NYC of coal-powered taxicabs. It’s very deliberately set in a 1920s that has evolved forward from a steampunk 1890s.

    We are also coming out, in March/April/May of 2010, with Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt series, which sees steampunk elements worked into a fantasy environment, and later in the year Tim Aker’s THE HORNS OF RUIN, which probably sits between steampunk and what China Mieville is starting to call Noird. It combines elements of steampunk, noir, urban fantasy, and mystery. Think knights with jetpacks fighting monsters on the subway.

    I don’t have forthcoming any straight Victoriana (though you might check out Michael Moorcock’s THE METATEMPORAL DETECTIVE, out for a while, for some of that). I think that steampunk and urban fantasy both are migrating out of their usual arenas into other areas, hence our exploration of it in the Wild West, in the 1920s, in epic and urban fantasy…

  2. Thank you so much for the heads up on these books. I’ll be marking them down on my calendar right away. Likewise, The Metatemporal Detective is now on my to-read list. I’m not sure how I managed to overlook that one while I was browsing, but it sounds very much like something I’d enjoy.

    I’m really impressed by how open Pyr is to experimenting with the sub-genres. As much as I love SF/F, I was beginning to feel like every summary I read was just one carbon copy after another. But Pyr is trying such a wide range of settings and ideas–it’s really exciting for me as a reader, and I’m sure the authors are enjoying the opportunity to try something different as well.

  3. Pingback: The Reader Eclectic » [From the Web] Pyr Announces Fall/Winter Titles·

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