Ah…gears, goggles, corsets, airships, and top hats! October is dedicated to the stories and culture of steampunk.
What is steampunk, you ask? Short version: it’s Victorian science fiction–stories about space travel, aliens, and all that jazz, but in a steam-powered setting. It started out as an underground literary movement back in the 70s, and then evolved into an underground subculture complete with weird outfits and music, and then moved into the mainstream over the last few years, as these things tend to do.
You can tell someone’s dressing steampunk if their outfit looks like a stereotypical Victorian costume, but slightly more practical. Also, they’ll probably be wearing old-fashioned aviator goggles, and they might carry a weapon that looks like a fancy brass pistol. Amateurs will probably have gears tacked onto random places in their costume.
You can tell a work of fiction is steampunk if it, a) takes place in the 1800s (either in the real world or an alternate history) but contains sci-fi elements like time travel or teleportation; or b) takes place in the future or on a different planet, but everyone wears corsets and top hats, machines tend to run on clockwork and steam, and/or society is structured along Victorian lines. Also, if Nikola Tesla shows up at all in fictional setting, it’s probably steampunk.
This month, I’ll be posting all sorts of weirdness and cool stuff related to this lovely genre. I may also take the opportunity to talk about myself a bit, since I’m in the process of writing a steampunk novel at the moment. Stay tuned!