Thursday, March 4, 2010

Steampunk revival

I was looking through some images from the Library of Congress and this one of a 1910 racecar driver had a tag on it that said "steampunk".  It seems I can't turn around without someone talking about steampunk, because today I also was reading the Library Journal website and it came up again in an article on the top steampunk books.

For those that are unfamiliar with steampunk, the word was coined in 1987 when K. W. Jeter, a science fiction author, was trying out a variant of cyberpunk (science fiction in a dystopian future). Steampunk books are set in settings involving steam power (think locomotives, or steam powered guns and computers) and involving Victorian elements (think tea and crumpets, or cool clothes) and can be science fiction or fantasy or a mix. One of my favorite books that should be considered steampunk (but isn't) is the Diamond Age or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson. Others that are actually in the genre are listed below.

Steampunk was influenced by:
G K Chesterton
Charles Dickens
Arthur Conan Doyle
Robert Louis Stevenson
Bram Stoker
Jules Verne
H.G. Wells
Mark Twain
Mary Shelley

Steampunk Firsts:
Titus Alone (part of the Gormenghast series) by Mervyn Peake
The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore

Steampunk in its Prime (right now!):

1 comment:

Angela said...

Soulless by Gail Carriger is an awesome new steampunk punk. It combines Victorian England with vampires and werewolves and lots of scientific stuff that really wouldn't have existed at that time. And best of all you can check it out from the Arlington library!