<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-K3L4M3" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

More from Books

Victorian science fiction soon ceased to be fanciful

Iwan Rhys Morus describes how novelists’ futuristic visions began to be realised by engineers – though the course of invention is more random than he imagines

18 January 2023

10:00 PM

18 January 2023

10:00 PM

How the Victorians Took Us to the Moon: The Story of the Nineteenth-Century Innovators Who Forged the Future Iwan Rhys Morus

Icon, pp.324, 25

One of the more daft but enduring spin-offs of the science fiction genre is steampunk – fiction fashioned with a retrofuturistic love of 19th-century industrial technology. Think of an ironclad of the air, shaped like a fantasy submarine, with six or more propeller engines powered by cogs and levers, funnels pumping out coal smoke from the steam turbines, windows replaced by watch dials, and hundreds of rivets holding the whole thing together.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Subscribe for just $2 a week

Try a month of The Spectator Australia absolutely free and without commitment. Not only that but – if you choose to continue – you’ll pay just $2 a week for your first year.

  • Unlimited access to spectator.com.au and app
  • The weekly edition on the Spectator Australia app
  • Spectator podcasts and newsletters
  • Full access to spectator.co.uk

Unlock this article


You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator Australia readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in