Oct 25, 2014

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What is Steampunk?

What is Steampunk? That is one of the questions I get most often when someone asks me about my books. Well that and where do you get your ideas? A drunken fairy delivers them to me at 2:15 in the morning and she is not pleasant. The other question is a tad more difficult to answer. This is the current wikipedia description.

  1. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.

For my purposes Steampunk is an asthetic or feel of the setting in which my books are place. I’ve heard the Doorknob Society and Grimm Chronicles described as Steampunk light, mostly due to the fact it is not set in the late 1800’s England. I can understand the desire for Steampunk to be put in a place and time that people feel it best fits. But I have found numerous Steampunk stories not set in England or in a designated time period. Stories which I’ve very much enjoyed and I think fit the broad definition of Steampunk.

What is Steampunk?

The industrialized use of steam powered and turn of the century technology is something that can immediately give a setting a since of history and place. I know the use of the technology in the Doorknob Society from Edgar’s goggles to the steam powered jetpacks have a unique Steampunk inspired look. One of the first things that helped me construct the world of the Old Kind in the Doorknob Society Saga and the Grimm Chronicles was the visuals that I created for the different types of technology that the Old Kind use.

Steampunk or Dieselpunk of the Doorknob Society Saga.

The Diesel Factories

In my opinion Steampunk is defined best as a sub genre that uses retro-technology as though it were something that actually existed. A revision of our world as something more unique and complex. I recently finished working on a novella which more closely hues to the traditional definition of Steampunk. Mostly because I love the genre and who wouldn’t want to write about men in goggles on airships fighting one another? I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date on that as well.

As a side note one of my favorite steampunk webcomics that everyone should be reading is Boston Metaphysical Society. Hit the link and you won’t be disappointed.

Now don’t get me started on Dieselpunk and Atomicpunk, that is and entirely different subject. Let me know what you all think in the comments.

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