5 Reasons You’ll Be Talking About Steampunk in 2013

The authors of the new book 'Vintage Tomorrows' break it down for TIME

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richardstarr
richardstarr

Take device from a later era and then use 19th century tech to implement them.

Clothing matches the style of that era and can be as it was.  Gears are fine if they actually perform a function or if they are actually "fashion" like a pin that is not pretending to be other than a pin.  Consider that we have people take old circuitry and make jewelry.

LucidLuminos
LucidLuminos

There is a new steampunk live action series in pre-production. Check it out. 

http://kck.st/10D694a

"Prepare for a high-flying steampunk adventure in this sci-fi fantasy about the Tinkers, a father daughter team of genius mechanics who live in the overpopulated city of San Francisco. Kimi and Sho Tinker work in the delicate art of tinkering. In an alternate history run by bulky and rather finicky machinery, the Tinkers are masters of their craft and are often called upon to repair, invent and even retrofit anything from large engines to personal wrist watches. When a wealthy noblewoman, Lady Cushing, hires the duo, they are thrust into a world of air ships, danger and excitement in which the balance of worldly power rests unaware in the tool calloused hands of the Tinker family."

E.m.David
E.m.David

 Jeter is also the first to coin the term "Steampunk,"[2] in a letter to Locus magazine in April 1987, to describe the retro-technology, alternate-history works that he published along with his friends, Blaylock and Powers. Jeter's Steampunk novels were Morlock Night and Infernal Devices.      ( Wikipedia ) 

     As a member  Cyberpunk Generation and Steampunk Artist, Player and Lover thought to add some added Reference Background  Infernal  Devices  { A Mad Victorian Fantasy } the K.W.Jeter ......The novel takes place primarily inVictorianLondon.

The story begins as a mysterious Brown Leather Man enters George's watch shop with a strange device in need of repair, claiming it was made by George's father, a brilliant watchmaker skilled in all forms of clockwork devices. George, who has inherited his father's shop, but not his father's talent, agrees to look at the device, although he knows his chances of repairing it are slim at best. George is quickly dragged into an ongoing conflict involving the Royal Anti-Society, the Godly Army and the Ladies Union for the Suppression of Carnal Vice. His investigation leads him to a strange neighborhood in London, Wetwick, which is inhabited by denizens who are a hybrid of humans and fish.

Another of George's customers is an impatient man who wears blue-glass spectacles and uses a slang which is strange to George as a Victorian Englishman but which modern readers will recognize as twentieth-century American vernacular. (The stranger is not a time traveler but a Victorian Englishman who possesses a device which enables him to view what is, for him, the future; he has learned late twentieth-century slang through lip-reading.)

As the story develops, George realizes that his father was more skilled than even he knew; his father had begun experimenting with building clockwork humans, finishing with an automaton who is an exact double of George himself, but which possesses superior sexual abilities and a skill with the violin comparable to Paganini. Inevitably, a woman abducts George in the mistaken belief that she has captured his clockwork twin.     (  Wikipedia )

      Well sometime others word say better what you desire to convey  That being said and presented Both The WhiteWolf  and Dungeons and Dragons Role Play game systems opened the "STEAMPUNK" Theme to minds outgrowing the realms of D and D offering a world within the realms of possibility and probability to those  outgrowing the realms of Magic and Sorcery and embracing the rise of Science. ( Realize that part of this transition for the players was the encroachment of Middle school science killing the ability to be enraptured by D and D's magical thinking;  The begining of the Death of Childhood.)    This bridge gave rise to envisioning  worlds that could only be limited by your Imagination and Vision but held firmly in the realms of the possible.

     Years later there are 100's of "STEAMPUNK" Artists producing a wide variety of offerings from Handmade Jewelry to full-blown "STEAMPUNK" Vehicles. You can find Artists unleashing their  creative skills on Custom computers in the "STEAMPUNK" genre(( JUST GOOGLE  >>*  steampunk usb * <<  and do an image search to be TRANSPORTED instantly and Visually into the Thriving  world of "STEAMPUNK" creativity,beauty and Culture ....Please Do,  the Craftsmanship and handwork that has gone into making a simple USB will BLOW your mind and amaze ))    to clothing made just for your taste, from extreme "STEAMPUNK" to that style adapted tastefully so you can wear it to the office and not be out of place.  

    There are entire Events centered around "STEAMPUNK" all over the USA and Europe  it's more a way out looking at and adapting what the world has to offer and making it in your own image of how you see the World should or Could be........Cultured, Creative, Innovative and Polite!!!

    For some "STEAMPUNK" is a way of Life..............



{  Please do Google STEAMPUNK  USB   under a Image search  I give you My Word  it will be worth your time and WILL AMAZE !!!!}   

PatrickScullinImages
PatrickScullinImages

I absolutely love Steampunk. I am an illustrator and love being able to incorporate the genre into my work. I am doing a free t-shirt giveaway of my rendition of a Steampunk Sonic Screwdriver I call "Lord of Time" that runs through Friday March 29th. Come check it out if you love Steampunk!

http://www.facebook.com/scullinillustration

JeffO
JeffO

Seems to be Tom Waits has been Steampunking since the mid-80's. Maybe not in the purest sense necessarily, but in essence.

Buzzramjet
Buzzramjet

I love Steampunk and would love to see it become more popular. They already have cons for it and the Masquerade Ball of Jareth has seen some pretty cool steampunk costumes.

StephenDedalus
StephenDedalus

Elements of Tom Baker's run as the Doctor were also steampunk. And there's a lot now.


But, then again, the Doctor is always ahead of his time. And behind it, too.

KyleSmith1
KyleSmith1

For those that do not know.  The Canadian band Rush put out a concept album out in 2012, that the entire album is about Steampunk.  The fact that this article does not mention that tells me that very little research was done for this article.  Great album though, it is called Clockwork Angels and I highly recommend it.

ChrisLane
ChrisLane

I like the steampunk movement and I've heard others in the community say that it is a response to the cyberpunk movement of the 90's.  I think this comparison is apt, where 19th century futurism like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells took an approach toward mechanical solutions to problems. It was much more visceral in the locomotives, the steam engines, the first automobiles. We live in an age where all of our devices, TV's, computers, smartphones work invisibly...we don't see the movement of data streams or the mechanics of it anymore. Steampunk is an invitation to that fantasy world, where there's enough of mechical engineering to make anything you want to, no microchips or processors involved.

DavidRowan
DavidRowan

While "WIld, Wild West" is a good example of the public stereotype of Steampunk, I think a better example of the spirit is David Lynch's "Dune".  In the books Frank Herbert described a civilization  where micro-chips and computers were strictly taboo, so automation took a different rout. Lynch's interpretation illustrated this beautifully with clanking communications, deadly gear-driven training devices, knives are more reliable than guns and puddles are left on the floor by leaking alien life support (yes, I know the navigators are not alien).   While the visual style was more 18th century than 19th the idea was similar to Steampunk in that it described a society that related to technology in a completely different way.

this article also seems to neglect an area where steampunk has a lot of influence, video games.

KarenCollins
KarenCollins

I do Steampunk, and I'll tell you a couple of other things about it. First of all, the Victorians lived in a time when their world was changing very quickly, the Industrial age. A lot people talk about how they were into mysticism because it gave them a sense of both security in reaching for wisdom of ages past and to feel as though they could understand and control some part of the world. I see parallels of this in the age we live in now. Our technology and capabilities have exploded, and some people feel a bit lost and bewildered. I think this may be related to our present-day surge in spiritualism - people start to feel the old rules don't apply anymore and are looking for answers.


The thing I have come to love about Steampunk as a style is that because it's an aesthetic, you can do anything with it you like. There are books, but it wasn't born from the books. There are movies, but it wasn't born from the movies. Therefore, there is no Canon like there is Canon for, say, Lord of Rings or similar fantasy. You can have bright colors and magic and stories and anything you want in this alternate reality. It leaves a lot of room for self expression. AND, because it's not been mass manufactured and there are no standard characters, most of the things that people wear or create or arrange, they do themselves (or put together or have custom made etc). Therefore it's more personal, and allows more personal expression and exploration of our imaginations. There's a freedom to it, a personal craft of self expression. A lot of people like that. It's exciting and challenging, and you have something to be proud of when you're done.

DuckBeach
DuckBeach

Steampunk -- interesting, but not exactly "fresh" at this point. 

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

In the first place, the 1999 movie came from the 1960's TV show and a late 70's's movie (The Wild, Wild West Revisited), which had nifty inventions in a late 19th century world.  Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Time Machine (among others) were other excellent examples from which came inspiration for the Steampunk genre - primarily because they're both based in England (From where most of the styles used in Steampunk come - Victorian England).  The short-lived Sci-Fi Channel series Firefly was also very Steampunk in its approach, though it isn't "traditional" Steampunk.

Another thing about Steampunk is that there are those who think that if it isn't England, it isn't Steampunk.  Even people who are into Steampunk differ as to what, exactly, it is.  Given that the 1999 movie was based in the American west, and is part of the inspiration for it, it's obvious that a UK sensibility isn't necessarily necessary.  It's merely that era - from about 1880 to about 1910.  Those are the materials that can be used.  From a fashion sense, the inventions (the "gear") and clothing must be made only from the materials available in the late 19th century.

But I think it IS a fad - at least as those who have indulged in it think of it. It's a ROLE PLAY MODEL with very liberal rules.  A kind of latter day Renaissance Fair.  As a "fashion trend" it's certainly possible, I suppose, since it's retro and can be very stylish.  But mostly it's very outlandish and not terribly efficient.  As a "look", it COULD catch on.  Much like the Replicant world of Blade Runner, which combined future tech with past environment, it may be something people want.  But it's not "exploding" all over the place.  The fact is, the "rules" are so liberal as to what is Steampunk, wearing a gear tie pin on your $2500.00 Armani is considered Steampunk by some (not by those who are into it, though).

As a Role Play Model, it's still very much alive.  As a part of the real world, some spillover is happening, but not nearly with the outlandishness of the RPM sensibility.  Call it, Steampunk Light if it even qualifies as Steampunk.  For those who create their outfits and their gear (you MUST have "gear" to be Steampunk!), it's a harmless, fun indulgence of fantasy, craft and imagination.  Others may just like the look.  But whatever is going mainstream isn't Steampunk.  The gear being made today is out of cheap, painted resin and plastic rather than wood, leather and metal.  The clothing is nylon and polyester, not wool, cotton and silk.  The look is all it has, not the feel or the smell or the sound or the cache' that real Steampunkers put into it to create an "authentic" touch.  It may be commercialized and look somewhat like it, but it won't be Steampunk. 

Fieldin1Spencer
Fieldin1Spencer

@KyleSmith1 Thank you for pointing out the fact that Rush got involved with the Steampunk. The person who wrote this article did a horrible job researching the topic.

DavidTerry
DavidTerry

@DavidRowan Another great example of Steampunk is the City of Lost Children. This movie is often overlooked, but it is an excellent example of Steampunk.

tinkerbug
tinkerbug

@KarenCollins  Enjoy that while you can. Unfortunately, after the first commercial line of clothing comes out, or the first new movie, there will start to be "canon" (at least for newbies). Please keep the spirit of personal expression alive. Good luck.

aresvallis
aresvallis

@DeweySayenoffI'm sorry, but you DON'T have to have "gear" to be steampunk. You don't even have to have cogs. It's the style itself, the fashion sense. If you're dapper, you're steampunk. Anyone can glue a cog or a gear to a hat and call it steampunk, but that's like kissing someone's butt and calling it ice cream. It's the essence of the idea. If you can express that, you're steampunk. As for materials... well, it really depends on where you live, because the styles are already quite full and to wear wool in a hot dry place is just asking for trouble. BY the way, Nylon was invented in 1935 and polyester in 1941, and for some sub factions of the steampunk community who base their look off slightly more modern times (I call it depressionpunk for want of a better word), that's fair game.