One genre that has been growing in popularity but isn’t well known is Steampunk. With settings in Victorian times, or an alternate world where steam is still the primary source of power, these stories have a strong science fiction element. Fabulous gadgets run on steam, gears turn mechanical contraptions, and the ornate, decorative style of the Victorian period prevails.
The term steampunk was first used in 1987, but examples of it have been around for years. Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, contain steampunk elements. A movie that fits this genre is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
For more information about this growing genre, take a look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_steampunk_works General Overview of Steampunk
http://scififantasyfiction.suite101.com/article.cfm/an_introduction_to_steampunk Steampunk in literature, fashion, and movies
http://www.steampunktribune.com/2008/08/rl-steampunk-growing-exposure-to-genre.html A blog devoted to steampunk, with lots of photos
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/blog/ Blog and Forum devoted to steampunk
EDIT MARCH 24, 2011: Just found another helpful/interesting article about steampunk: Steampunk! What’s So Fascinating About It?
Can you recommend any books that fit the Steampunk genre? Have you written Steampunk? If so, what was the greatest challenge you faced with this type of writing?