The trouble with steam punk, especially for those of us from ex-British colonies and possessions is that it is an uncomfortable reminder of the bad old days of the British Empire. Slavery, indentured labour, oppression and economic exploitation. Of course, it was also a time of invention, industrialisation and scientific and medical breakthroughs. Bitter and sweet then. I’m aware that steam punk is fun and 90% fantasy, but it would be nice if fans of the genre opened up their eyes to the reality of the Victorian era. The bad bits and the good bits.
Here’s some literature that does not gloss over the nastier aspects of the era. And they’re still as exciting as a highwayman armed with a Tesla pistol, riding a rocket powered penny-farthing-
Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Brian Talbot’s The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (Book I of the series was the first graphic novel I ever bought!)