The Art of Steampunk, by Art Donovan

Buy from,, or IndieBound

Author’s website
Publication date – August 1, 2011

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) The Art of Steampunk seeks to celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation. A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking.

Inside, you will find the fantastical and stunning artwork of Steampunk artists from around the world. The 17 artists featured on these pages, among the frontrunners of the Steampunk genre, have had their work displayed at an exhibition at The Museum of History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK and have attracted the media attention of BoingBoing, one of the world’s largest blogs. Their artwork consists of everything from clocks and watches to light fixtures and jewelry, but every piece demonstrates hours of painstaking work and devotion from its creator. You will find that the artists themselves are just as unique and colorful as their masterpieces. Fully embracing Steampunk ideology, many have adopted a Victorian alter ego—a mad scientist persona to match the complicated intricacies of their artwork.

The Art of Steampunk brings the vision of the Steampunk artist alive on the page, providing a unique insight into the captivating and dynamic world of a vastly underground genre.

Thoughts: I want to rate this book higher, I really do. There are so many things to like about this artbook, even once you move beyond the awesome idea that somebody did an artbook full of steampunk-inspired creations. The pictures are sharp and clear and quite beautiful, very inspirational. There’s good information about what steampunk is, its origins, why it’s gaining in popularity. The spotlights on various designers and their inspirations is really cool to see.

However (and there’s always a however), the copy of the book that I have is unfinished. I can understand why that is, since ARCs are not always the same as the finished product that hits the shelves, but I must say, it’s very hard to properly judge a book of visual art when half the art isn’t there. It’s filled with “picture goes here” notes and wonky formatting, and while I can try to ignore that and judge the book solely by what it does contain, I feel unsettled at giving the book a good review based on the fact that I had to ignore everything that was left out at the present time.

This book may be absolutely fantastic and revolutionize steampunk. It certainly will inform and entertain. But the ARC I received can’t properly convey that to me, and so I’m afraid my current review on this will remain a ackluster 3 out of 5 teacups until such time as I can see a finished and properly formatted copy.

And I have to admit, I’m pretty sad to say that.

(Received for review from the publisher via NetGalley)

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