Thursday, 4 October 2012

Beginners guide to steampunk

These are notes I took at a speculative fiction writer's convention.
The session was titled:
Mashpunk - does Steampunk play well with other?
Lovers of alternate Victoriana are disvoering their niche in steampunk all over the world. As steampunk develops, it finds itself in increasingly varied company. How does steampunk mesh with horror, humor, fantasy, parrnormal romance, and of course, the end of the world as we know it?
Louise Curtis was one of the panellists. She writes, tweets and blogs. Her YA steampunk fantasy was shortlisted in the Text Publishing Prize this year. Every Tuesday Louise' writes about steampunk on her blog.
On her "beginners guide to steampunk lit" post she lists dozens of steampunk books as well as links to reviews. Louise has also mapped out her favorite steampunk novels which she kindly shared with the attendees of Conflux 8.  The full screen version of this map is best viewed on her blog.
My notes are:
  • steampunk is alternate Victorian theme involving steam engine machinery
  • think human touch to machinery
  • think craftmanship
  • attitude to steampunk - it's functional and beautiful and easy to understand, such as the steam engine
  •  dirty from coal smoke in the air, however, not as it is but as we want it to be
  • fun characters, pucky orphans, young girls dressed as boys
  • roving cities
  • some view that steampunk should be dark, others view it should be fun
other form of punk are:
  • cyber punk, which uses cyber mechanics
  • diesel punk is lit which is muddy and dirty and is based around diesel engines
  • atom punk which features nuclear power
Did the panellists agree that steampunk melded with other genres? As long as the setting featured steampunk elements, and as long as the fundamentals of steampunk were retained in the works, then yes steampunk could mash well together with paranormal romance, sci-fi, horror, and post apocolyptic genres.

I can't resist posting this quote:

“Steampunk is what happens when goths discover brown.” – Jess Nevins

Here are some more images to draw you into the world of steampunk.


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