Archive | 7:00 am

Infernal Engines: Steampunk

17 Dec

Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy, science-fiction and horror in which the grandeur of Victoriana blends with modern technology. Futuristic innovations and anachronistic technology in vintage settings like nineteenth century London or the Wild West are the hallmarks of steampunk. Other typical trappings of steampunk include faster-than-sound airships, brass robots, wooden computers, ornate submarines, baroque time machines and a wide variety of extraordinary devices that are too numerous to mention. Although many works now considered seminal to the genre were published in the 1960s and 1970s, the term steampunk originated in the late 1980s as a tongue in cheek variant of cyberpunk. The genre’s origins can be traced back even earlier, to the scientific romances that first inspired science-fiction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such as the works of H G Wells, Jules Verne and Mary Shelley. Modern standard bearers of steampunk include some highly respected authors whose work has passed into the mainstream, including Philip Pullman, China Mieville and Tim Powers. Even more intriguingly, while most of the original steampunk novels had a historical setting, later works have often placed steampunk elements in a fantasy world with little relation to any specific historical era.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: