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8 Dieselpunk SFF for Fans of Mad Max and Furiosa

If you want a book that reads like Furiosa, try these titles.

The trailer of Furiosa shows Anya Taylor Joy behind the wheel of a car

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is the long-awaited prequel to George Miller’s action masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road. The 2015 reimagining of the iconic dystopian tale exploded in popularity and critical acclaim, earning several Oscars and widely being celebrated not only as one of the best films of its year but one of the all-time greatest movies (no joke, it’s even listed on Sight & Sound’s best films ever survey!) Furiosa stars Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role as her younger days in the midst of a chaotic desert where a despotic ruler and his biker goons ravage the wastelands for control of water resources.

The franchise, which started in 1979 with The Road Warrior, helped to pioneer the gene of dieselpunk. Imagine a parallel world where our technologies are dominated by petrol-based powers and combine retrofuturistic imagery with familiar qualities from our past, present, and future. It's the gas-guzzling sibling of steampunk, but more interested in the 20th century than the Victorian era. Science fiction and fantasy fiction has begun to explore the possibilities of dieselpunk, following in the tracks of Mad Max and company. 

Here are eight dieselpunk books for fans of Mad Max and Furiosa to check out.

Our Favorite Dieselpunk Books

the mammoth book of dieselpunk

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk

By Sean Wallace

If you want to dip your toes into the genre then this collection of short stories is the perfect place to start. Celebrated sci-fi and fantasy authors contributing to the compilation include Nick Mamatas, Genevieve Valentine, Carrie Vaughn, and A.C. Wise. There are 21 stories here to give you a wide range of the scope of this still-burgeoning realm of dieselpunk. 

steampunk books Leviathan


By Scott Westerfeld

On the cusp of the First World War, the tension between the Austrio-Hungarians-Germans and the British Empire is at an all-time high, and they are preparing their artilleries. The Austro-Hungarians have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines overloaded with ammunition. Britain, meanwhile, has genetically engineered animal airships that float across the skies. 

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, has been betrayed by his own people and is now on the run. All he has is a crumbling Clanker and a few loyal crew members. Deryn Sharp is a British commoner disguising herself as a boy to serve in the Air Service. Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way and their adventure across the war-torn continent will change both of their lives forever.



By China Mieville

The world is covered in an endless series of interconnecting rail tracks, known as the railsea. Humans travel on the rails, forever at the mercy of ravenous giant animals and mole-rats who burst from the underground. 

Sham Yes ap Soorap is a young assistant doctor on a moletrain who enters an abandoned train and discovers a corpse and camera. On the latter are images that seem to reveal the impossible: an end to the railsea. Following the tracks to this supposed final stop leads him to battle pirates, monsters, and mole-rats for answers and also his life.

steampunk books Storming


By K.M. Weiland

It's the 1920s and the hot new craze is aviation. Robert “Hitch” Hitchcock is a daring pilot more comfortable in the skies than on the ground. But he's totally unprepared for what happens when a young woman in an old-fashioned ball gown falls from the clouds smack in front of his biplane. The woman, Jael, claims she lives among the clouds, which Hitch thinks is crazy until his plane almost crashes into a mysterious airship with the power to control the weather. 

Here, the laws are very different from Hitch's world. He and Jael must deal with enemies above and on the ground, and together they save Hitch's Nebraska hometown from storm-wielding sky pirates.

Boom Time by Michelle E. Lowe shows a mask with the skyline of a city in the eyeholes

Boom Time

By Michelle E. Lowe

New York, 1926. Prohibition rules the night and bootleggers run rampant through the city hoping to control the flow of alcohol. Pierce Landcross has been abducted by a mysterious figure known as "the trickster" and left in this strange land so unlike his own. He's meant to keep his head down but then he falls into the bootlegging racket. Now, he's forced to navigate airships, gang fights, and a hunter from his own world who has been sent to kill him.

Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines, Book 1)

Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines, Book 1)

By Philip Reeve

In the future, cities roam the land like monsters, hobbling up smaller towns for resources and fighting one another into total decimation. The great Traction City of London chases small towns across the landscape, forced to gobble up weaker communities lest it run out of power and drop to the ground. After one attack, Tom Natsworthy, Apprentice Historian to the London Museum, is flung from the city and onto the barren world known as Out-Country. His only companion is Hester Shaw, an outcast with a scarred face who claims that London is about to do something world changing. They must get back onto the city and change the future.

a fistful of nothing

A Fistful of Nothing

By Dan Glaser

In America of 1952, things have never been worse. The country has been torn to shreds, and every major city across fifty states has been blown to pieces. In war-torn Los Angeles, the surviving residents must find a new way of life among the ruins of the subway. Jim "Jimbo" Maynard, a former private eye, stumbles upon a subterranean metropolis divided by corruption and decadence and ruled over by warring mob bosses.

This is The Hollywoodholes, a world of bootleggers, bookies, and danger. There's nowhere safe for Jim to hide.

Empire State

Empire State

By Adam Christopher

Two battling superheroes, Skyguard and Science Pirate, accidentally open a rift to a new dimension. On the other side of this portal is New York, but not the one they know. It seems to be the 1930s again, but here, dictatorial rule demands that all inhabitants ration their scant earnings to fund the war effort against an unknown force simply identified as “The Enemy.” 

When the rift starts to close, both worlds are threatened and they must fight for the right to be, but with such opposing views, is it even possible for them to co-exist?

Featured image: Warner Bros. Pictures / YouTube