W h at i s
Steampunk?
• It started as a literary genre, or subgenre of science fiction and
fantasy that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th
century usually with some deconstruction of, reimagining of, or
rebellion against parts of the world. Stories can:
• Take place in the Victorian era but include advanced machines based on
19th century technology
• Include the supernatural
• Include the supernatural and forego the technology
• Include the advanced machines, but take place later than the Victorian
period, thereby assuming that the predomination by electricity and
petroleum never happens
• Take place in an another world altogether, but featuring Victorian-like
technology
There are also
Steampunk
• Games
• Graphic novels (e.g. League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen
• Movies (e.g. Sherlock Holmes)
• TV shows (e.g. Warehouse 13).
• Music
• Performance art.
Steampunk
has become a lot
more
People have “steampunk’d” everything from:
• Computers
• Desks
• Telephones
• Watches
• Guitars
• Cars
• Motorcycles
• Houses.
Steampunk
o b j e c t s c a n va ry
From:
• The grungy look of a forgotten antique
• to the shiny overwrought newness of a Victorian gentleman’s
club.
Think
• brass … Copper… Glass… Polished Wood… Engraving… Etching…
Details for the Sake of Details…
• So, steampunk is also a design aesthetic.
Steampunk
Aesthetic
This aesthetic carries over into personal
style with both clothing and jewelry
being made in a “steampunk” style.
Steampunk
philosopy
Steampunk has a philosophical angle as well, which is somewhat
of a combination between the maker ideals of creativity and selfreliance and the Victorian optimistic view of the future. This last
bit has led to accusations that steampunk includes a fair amount of
empire worship, which is a reasonable concern. Another criticism
has been that steampunk focuses on the
best of the past and quietly sweeps the bad
(i.e. slavery, child labor, widespread disease,
etc.).
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