Rudimentary Steampunk 101

From the gothic fantasy of Mary Shelley to the extraordinary voyages of Jules Verne, to the mechanical mastery of Leonardo da Vinci –  It’s plain to see Steampunk has some serious ancestry.

But still, quite a lot of people don’t understand what the genre of Steampunk is in the literary world. I’m here to explain the truth and by that, I don’t mean to sell you a dog.

DON’T SELL ME A DOG
This phrase meant “Don’t lie to me!” Apparently, people who sold dogs in the day were prone to passing mutts off as purebreds. Ha, not somthing we’d do today is it!

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STEAMPUNK
/ˈstiːmpʌŋk/
noun

WHAT IS IT?

Steampunk literature is set in or around the Victorian age showcasing science fiction or fantasy technology.

Alternative history stories have always been popular in this genre. The ‘What if?’ Its purpose is to take established events and bend and twist them to suit. In effect altering history. Think of mixing the old with the new and modifying modern technology in sophisticated ways.

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Sometimes this method is conveyed in a subtle way, other times its flamboyance is quite prevalent.

Airships, ray guns, mythological creatures, empires in space, heroines. And not to forget fashion!

HEROINE

Traditionally, science fiction revealed a masculine bias, appealing predominantly to the male readers, however, Steampunk with its emphasis on aesthetics lends a more positive representation of women. Attracting both male and female readers.  Steampunk heroine’s are some of the most industrious, ruthless and forward-thinking women, whose camaraderie with men equals them.

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They’re independence exhibits similar attitudes to their male counterparts – even within sexual relationships. Steampunk woman have choices and they can be anything they want to be.

GADGETS, AUTOMATONS
AND VEHICLES

George Méliès, a French film maker practiced magic and build automatons (mechanical robots).  He brought his magical view of the world to film. In 1902, A trip to the Moon, loosely based on Jules Verne and H.G Wells novel’s, depicted six adventurers on a trip to the moon who were attacked by ‘Moon Men’. They escaped in their rocket. This short film was so popular a sequel was produced in 1904, The Impossible Voyage. 

A super solar submarine, a train launched into space attached to balloons and an inconceivable automobile – epic Steampunk transportation.

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At this stage, Steampunk has largely come from the American and British culture, with tricklings from France and Japan.

NEXT WEEK
Steampunk in Japan. Rising to host imaginative worlds of retro-futurism. Their unique perspectives and creative intelligence encompass a broad range of degrees of Steampunk. The Steampunk Evolution.

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