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Book Review: Steampunk Poe

Here’s my geek admission of the day: When I graduated from high school I took all that cash I received and promptly went out and bought the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe.  Sure, some people do practical things with the money, like pay for college or textbooks.  Others take a trip.  But for me there was only one option: Poe all the way, baby!  So when I found out that someone had made a Steampunk Poe collection, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. (Thanks so much to Running Press for this!)

Wait, what? Steampunk you ask.  Steampunk is born out of the industrial revolution and is a genre of fiction that imagines the Victorian era or Wild West with steam powered technology like balloons, air shipts, etc.  It has a unique style and feel and is quite a popular subculture movement.  For good examples of the steampunk genre check out the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld or The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.  Or, check out Steampunk Poe . . .

Here, some of the best of Poe’s original works, including The Masque of the Red Death and The Tell-Tale Heart, are illustrated with steampunk illustrations.  These amazing illustrations are done by Zdenko Basic and Maunel Sumberac – and they truly are amazing (I know, I said that already).  This isn’t like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies where the zombies are inserted into the story (to amusing effect I thought), but these are the original works of Poe as he wrote them so this text works for teens needing them for a class assignment.  The steampunk illustrations, however, help bridge the gap and bring the stories to a casual reader.  The marriage of Poe and steampunk is genius; if ever there was a writer that fit right in with the steampunk genre it would be Poe.
Take, for example, the Fall of the House of Usher. Poe’s tale of a haunted home is beautifully illustrated.  As our unnamed narrator heads on horseback to the house of Roderick Usher, the gloom sits on the house with a weight that resonates with the story.

The Balloon Hoax is a story ripe for some steampunk illustration given the genres love of steam powered dirigibles, and the illustrations do not disappoint.  And of course, no Poe collection would be complete without the presence of The Raven and The Conqueror Worm.
The illustrations alone make this a great addition to your collection, and you can never go wrong with Poe. At only $18.95 this is a great addition to your collections to appeal to steampunk fans, get the classics into the hands of teens, and even reach out to your graphic novel fans who like illustrations with their texts.


Look for future stampunk titles including Mary Shelley, which should make for another great addition to the steampunk family.  Steampunk Poe gets 4 stars.


  1. Ah! This is so cool I MUST check it out! I am adoring the Steampunk illustrations, and I've always loved Poe (yes, I own his collected works as well). I wouldn't say I'm a huge steampunk fan, but I do enjoy it (LOVED the Leviathan series), and I feel this is a really creative way to present classics that will make them more gripping for teens today!

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