Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hooray for Steampunk!

So you've probably heard me mention Steampunk before. I love it! its great fun and class and grit all rolled into one. But being an emerging concept I think I'd be remiss if I didn't try and put together my views on what Steampunk is.

Plus I cant very well have you all be my little Steampunk minions if you don't know what it is. ;-)

So if you go by the all knowing ever infallible Wiki, Steampunk is "a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s."

Accurate, but dry. Steampunk to me is taking the simple complexity of steam and clockwork power and mixing it with the capabilities of our technology and even beyond. It's a genre of fiction, yes. I very much enjoy writing in this genre, in fact I'm developing a serial story concept based on a Steampunk time traveler. But boy is Steampunk more than that.

What started as some eccentric writings in the 80's has exploded into the world to take on not only literature, but art, music, fashion, and technology. One of my favorite bits about this Steampunk movement is the attitude of do it yourself. There are people out there who have made so many things Steampunk its crazy! a lot of it is pretty rough shod I'll grant you, but some of it is exquisite craftsmanship and imagination of the highest caliber.

So if you want to look at this a bit more here's a few links I really enjoy that you might find entertaining. Heck if nothing else it could inspire you to write a piece on those crazy nut jobs in top hats. ;-)

1. The Steampunk Workshop This is the place I first found the name for this style I've loved for decades.

2. Girl Genius This is a great web comic that is ALL Steampunk. Brass and gears and mad science all delivered with great art and humor. I check it out every day it updates.

3. Abney Park Holy cow, I can't tell you how much I enjoy this band! My two Favorites by them are Sleep Isabella and Herr Drosselmeyer's Doll. I listen to these guys incessantly lately as I'm writing.

4. Datamancer Another great tinkerer with an amazing knack for taking things modern and giving them an antique elegance and mystique.

5. Steampunk Emporium As soon as I get a few bucks to spare I am seriously buying a whole getup from here.

6. A Gentleman's Duel This has got to be the funniest thing I've seen Steampunk.

7. Steampunk Literature This is a list of books that fit in Steampunk. I haven't read most of them but the classics I definitely have and a few of the newer titles. Needless to say I'm working on adding my own work to this list. ;-)

8. Dr. Steel No Steampunk list would be complete without a mad scientist in the mix. His music is OK but I love his videos on YouTube.

Obviously this isn't a complete list of all things Steampunk. Heck, it's still such a fluid concept that one person's idea of Steampuink can be completely different from another person's.

So what's your take on it? Do you know Steampunk and have something to add? Whats your impression of it if you've just found it? Any other intriguing sub-cultures you know of? Speak up in the comments. :-)

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