I’ve recently become fascinated with the concept of steampunk. For those of you who don’t know what it is, a good place to start is to hit wikipedia for just a general idea and branch out from there. It’s hard for me to summarize the concept, but I’ll do my best here:
Steampunk is an amalgamation of imaginative fantasy, Victorian sensibilities, class struggles, and steam-powered gadgetry. Usually, there is this underlining question of, what if?
But it’s much more than that. There is a certain kind of bizarreness–otherness–harbored within the familiar. You might find brass computers. Airships. Gears and guns and goggles. It’s a place where the past meets the future and then diverts into its own time and space.
It’s also sensual. The Victorian era was filled with formalities and rigid social constructs, but it was also a time of intense change. When the two meet, it causes an explosion of conflict. All of these elements combine in steampunk.
I’m new to steampunk so I know that I haven’t learned half of what is out there in terms of the vastness of the genre. I know that while many stories/art take place in the Victorian era, the use of steampunk can be applied outside of that era and into other kinds of stories. I think maybe that is what intrigues me the most about steampunk: it’s versatility.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Final Fantasy video game series use elements of steampunk in many of their games? And you also have Howl’s Moving Castle.
I know I’ll be attempting to create a couple of stories of my own to see how it goes. (I seem to have a predisposition to “clockpunk” myself.) I’m curious as to other people’s exposure and experiences with steampunk. Can you recommend any stories? Artwork? Have you experimented with it yourself?
And how can we adapt steampunk into various other genres? I think it’s a concept with enough imagiation that we shouldn’t be afraid of weaving it into stories. But if we do so, does that mean it’s no longer steampunk?
Please share your thoughts 🙂
In the meantime, some useful links:
Calista Taylor – my main go-to-gal for steampunk related things. Includes her blog and twitter.
Richard Harland – great for an overview of steampunk and various books that are steampunk themed or have steampunk elements.
Steampunk Essentials – List of books, movies, comics, and tv shows that tend to fit steampunk sensibilities.
Steampunk Forum – many different topics and discussions here about steampunk.