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Steampunk

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Gasworks park seattle. Ottoman project.

No more! but "ottoman steampunk" still brings up six thousand hits, including this one: – graywyvern

Why steampunk will last. I would like to take a moment to define “steampunk.”

why steampunk will last

This will be an exercise in futility (not to mention sadomasochism) because there is no formal, all-encompassing, final word on the subject, and people are bound to disagree. But for the purposes of what is to follow, I must begin with a definition of this term which I’m going to be flinging around willy-nilly. So here goes. Steampunk: An aesthetic movement based around the science fiction of a future that never happened.

Recall, if you will, visions of the future that were written a hundred years ago or more. WooEEE. It is lots of fun. Let the emails beginning, “Actually …” and “Technically …” and “But you’re forgetting …” begin! And click the jump below in order to keep reading. The big switchback. Actually I don;t see it as a straight choice between looking back or looking forward.

the big switchback

For me its about tempering the lust for novelty and not assuming that knowledge becomes obsolete in a few years. Not that I'm advocating a reactionary and conservative attitude, quite the reverse, but I do think that real innovation is based on a depth of knowledge of what people have already done, rather than the conceit that novelty is automatically progress. In practical terms I think that we have to be careful of losing skills which have taken centuries to develop just because they aren't fashionable anymore or because they take effort to acquire. For any society to be sustainable it must be capable of generating wealth, which is not by any means the same thins as making money.

You can;t have a society where the only industries are banking, insurance and litigation. Steampunk defended. In my opinion, Stross has at least one valid point, one that doesn't go away by just declaring steampunk to be "cool", like Westerfeld did, or stressing the utopian qualities of the 19th century, like Valtat: It is easily forgotten today that the genre's origins, at least when seen in direct relation to cyberpunk, are dystopian, not utopian, in nature.

steampunk defended

Steampunk shows a 19th century spun out of control, full of dangerous, unbound technological possibilities and sociological changes that indeed had lots in common with the postmodern worlds of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling and the like. Just like the cyberpunks, authors like Oscar Wilde and Joris-Karl Huysmans turned the old values upside down, declaring technology superior to nature, the illusion preferable to the real. However, the heroes of cyberpunk didn't stop there. They didn't just bask in their own aesthetics. Sometimes, steampunk still remembers this. But sometimes, there's just too much coolness.

Vaporpunko. First, introductions via Wikipedia & Vikipedio.

vaporpunko

While I have encountered manifestations of what is now called Steampunk, the term--the named genre--is new to me. Back in the 1960s I watched the TV series The Wild Wild West, an obvious precursor or example of the genre. (And, a few days ago, I made it halfway through the ineptly executed film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.) Someone had to name the confluence of science fiction, the historical novel, and alternate history scenarios into a single concept. It's a new focal point for elements that are not so new. I wrote about the increasing profile of self-referential cultural artifacts in a 1993 essay: Cultural Sophistication and Self-Reference on American Television: Seeds of Hope?

Owing to the acceleration of social and cultural change, it becomes obvious how drastically basic social assumptions are different now than from decades past, which has long been a device pursued by TV series, most recently the runaway hit Mad Men. Queering steampunk. UPDATED: Donate now at to get this off the ground!

queering steampunk

One of the really wonderful things about Steampunk is that it, more than any other sub-culture, seems to want to teach us things. I have always been very interested in the technology of the 19th Century, it's been a passion since a very young age. this passion is certainly part of what got me interested in Steampunk in the first place. Steam Garden: Tokyo, Japan steampunk party at Christon Cafe Shinjuku. Japanese cosplay fashion event.

The concept of Steampunk is only beginning to gain recognition in Japan, even though there have been many works that incorporate the aesthetic, such as Katsuhiro Otomo’s anime film Steamboy.

Steam Garden: Tokyo, Japan steampunk party at Christon Cafe Shinjuku. Japanese cosplay fashion event.

My Tokyo-based friends Kenny Creation and Luke Chaos have been passionate about Steampunk for some time, and last year, they founded the event Steam Garden. (Photo above by Aki Saito) On March 10th, I went to their fourth event, themed “Celtic Fantasy.” Luke and Kenny rented out the entire Christon Café Shinjuku (a theme restaurant filled with European relics), and filled it with tribal fire dancers, cosplay performances, Medieval food, and live music on period instruments. The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles - Index. Everyone will be steampunk. Aliette de Bodard » Blog Archive » Aztec steampunk.

I ultimately found her books not to my taste, but i still think "aztec steampunk" has a frisson. – graywyvern

The Steampunk Empire - The Crossroads of the Aether. A Multicultural Perspective on Steampunk.