This post was inspired by Kate’s post on Dark Fantasy. Much like her, I have a favourite Fantasy sub-genre: mine is Gaslamp Fantasy. The name was coined in 2006 by webcomic artist Kaja Foglio to differentiate her work from steampunk fiction. Gaslamp Fantasy is what I write, and what I love to read.
What is “Gaslamp Fantasy”?
Gaslamp Fantasy (also known as Gaslight Fantasy or Victorian Fantasy) designates stories set during the 19th Century, from the Regency to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign. It is a sub-genre of both Fantasy and Historical fiction, and it comprises elements from both genres.
How is it different from Steampunk?
The main difference between Gaslamp and Steampunk is that Steampunk is technology-focused and Gaslamp is magic-focused. Also Steampunk will often favour adventure when Gaslamp will focus on a mystery.
What books are examples of Gaslamp Fantasy?
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2004)
The Magic Most Foul series and The Strangely Beautiful series by Leanna Renee Hieber (2009-now)
The Sally Lockhart Quartet by Philip Pullman (1988-2004)
Temeraire (aka His Majesty’s Dragon in the US) by Naomi Novik (2006)
The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray (2003-2007)
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (2012)
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (2013)
So tell me, have you heard about Gaslamp Fantasy before? Is it a sub-genre you enjoy reading? Let us know in the comment section below!