Mae Govannen, everyone!
Well, the month of October is now underway, which means it’s time to start posting on my first monthly fandom. This month, it’s a little subgenre called “steampunk.”
So what is it?
For those unfamiliar with the word, steampunk is a type of science fiction, birthed around the late 80s, that imagines what the world would be like if things like spaceships and robots had been invented during the 18th and 19th centuries. It usually, therefore, takes place in an alternate history, though sometimes it’s a futuristic or fantasy world with Victorian elements. Steampunk stories draw a lot of inspiration from the works of Jules Verne, as well as theories by industrial-age scientists like Nikola Tesla. Lately this genre has been getting quite popular: there are lots of well-known steampunk books (The Invention of Hugo Cabret), movies (Treasure Planet, The Prestige) and video games (the Bioshock trilogy). Some elements of the genre also show up on TV – for example, several Doctor Who episodes (“The Girl in the Fireplace,” “The Next Doctor,” “The Crimson Horror,” etc.) would classify as steampunk.
It is also a fashion statement.
Any outfit that combines a top hat or corset with gears and goggles is probably steampunk. These strange creatures often be found at Renaissance Fairs and ComicCons.
What’s Cool About It?
I think steampunk is cool because it combines the best of two worlds: the technology and imagination of sci-fi, and the fashion and culture of Victorian England. It blends the future with the past, and gives hip, modern people a great excuse to wear top hats – and who doesn’t look awesome in a top hat? It also lends itself to weird and whimsical stories, and I love weird stuff. I’m not obsessed with it to the point where I’ll read a book or watch a movie just because it’s steampunk (story’s always got to come first), but it does provide a great backdrop for any fantastical plot.
Coming up this month: the best steampunk movies, amazing costumes, pretty pictures, and lots of other fun stuff. Namarie!