Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Steampunk, Babeh.

In the Victorian era where technology operates by steam, where it is made of brass and cogs, of metal and oil, automations serve their masters and flying machines heed to adventurous souls. It is a time where people wear top hats, goggles, coattails, pocketwatches, and corsets,. Ladies and gentlemen envision a path not taken when it comes to technology, and being inventiors it is their priority to create such ingenious contraptions. This is the world of
Steampunk Banner
banner found here
A few weeks ago when I posted a book review of Cassandra Clare's "Clockwork Angel" I stated that I have been interested in the genre of steampunk for a few months. Finally, I decided I want to know more, so I delved deep into the sources offered on the Internet and now that I have a collection of information, I thought I would share that info incase you, like me, want to know more about the subject.

Steapunk Airship
airship photo found here
Being set in the Victorian era and focusing on technology, steampunk is subgenres of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative history. The name "Steampunk" was first established in the late 1980's to early 1990's, encompassing cyberpunk, though they don't have much in common due to the different time periods, level of technology, and steampunk plots tend to be less dystopian. While cyberpunk focuses on higher technology in the near future and most plots consist of hackers, artificial intelligence, and megacorporations, steampunk is known for "lighter-than-air" airships, automations, and analog and digital computers.

Captain Nemo's "Nautilus"
In literature, works by H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Mark Twain, and Mary Shelley have influenced steampunk by scientific romance or have featured futuristic technologies. One of thee most well known examples of steampunk is Captain Nemo's submarine called Nautilus in the 1954 Walt Disney's film version of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

Steampunk has become a famous subject in science fiction, so much that it has originated in art, today's culture, and, ultimately, fashion. The fashion is one of my favorite aspects. It can be whimsical with cogs and peices of metal, or it can be merely elegant and historical.

Steampunk ManSteampunk Girl

(Photos found here and here)

Before "Clockwork Angel" there was something else that brought my attention to steampunk. It was a music video by a favorite band of mine, Panic! at the Disco, for their song "The Ballad of Mona Lisa." If you like steampunk, there is a good chance you'll like the video, which is set at a wake, and the rules appearing through the video are mandatory at an Irish wake-- just FYI.

For fun, here is a website that will give you a Victorian and Steampunk name. I said I wanted to be a scientist, so the name they gave me was:  Professor Charity Hillard Hoult. It's really neat.
Also, here are the websites I found my information on if you would like to dive deeper into the world of Steampunk; they offer information thoroughly:

Also, here are some newer, young adult steampunk books you might like to check out:

What is your favorite aspect of steampunk? Is it the fashion and the Victorian era like mine? Or is it something else, such as the technology? Do you have any good steampunk books you would like to suggest?

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