Steampunk Reads discussion

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Stewart (bobstewart) | 3 comments I've just started exploring steampunk.
From my understanding, it encompasses both looking back to an alternate past, and looking forward to an alternate future.

What I'm thinking of is something written by an author (me writing as this fictional author) in the actual ca. 1900 era incorporating her own conception of the future, say in 1930.

Is that type of thing a sub-genre of steampunk?


message 2: by Raven (new)

Raven Dane | 17 comments Steampunk is a wide open genre so your idea need not be a subgenre.....some steampunk novels like the books of Jonathan Green and Stephen Hunt are set in the future, where Victorian-style technology still exists. Mine are set in an alternative 1870's Victorian England. The only limit is your imagination! :-)


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Stewart (bobstewart) | 3 comments Raven,

Thank you, I will check those out.

I found Steampunk Prime: A Vintage Steampunk Reader very hopeful in determining what pwoplw were thinking at the time.

Bob


message 4: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Kitson (lindsay_kitson) | 10 comments Things written by author's in the victorian or edwardian times are not considered steampunk - they are the inspiration for steampunk. Steampunk is stuff written invoking that time period or technology level, or set in that period, by authors not of that period. For authors of that period, that was their reality, and the speculative fiction Verne and Wells wrote was things they believed could be possible, that we know now isn't - which is why a lot of Steampunk turns to magic to explain the things happening, because the modern audience can't get past the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy stories with content as unbelievable as Verne and Wells wrote.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Stewart (bobstewart) | 3 comments Lindsay,

I see what you mean. So a writer in 1900 imagining a future with advanced Victorian technologies would not technically be considered steampunk.

But what if I write the same book using the pseudonym of a character who is supposed to be living in 1900? ;-)


message 6: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Kitson (lindsay_kitson) | 10 comments If you write it, then assuming it matches up with all the rest that makes it steampunk (namely having a punk element, so that it's not just urban fantasy set in victorian times) then yeah.


message 7: by Scott (new)

Scott Kinkade | 45 comments Bob wrote: "Lindsay,

I see what you mean. So a writer in 1900 imagining a future with advanced Victorian technologies would not technically be considered steampunk.

But what if I write the same book using t..."


I say go for it. IMO the unspoken motto of steampunk is "What the hell." However, if you're imagining life in the 1930s then you might want to consider making it dieselpunk, as steam technology would be outdated by then. Just a suggestion.


message 8: by J.T. (new)

J.T. SHEA (jtshea) | 30 comments Good question. My own WIP is set centuries into the future on a colony planet. Yet the huge city states that battle each other in my story have deliberately maintained a level of technology and culture similar to 1930s Earth. Most of the tale is a great journey, first by steam train, then by steamship (the steamship in the foreground of my avatar in fact). So not an alternative nineteenth century or post apocalypse, but definitely steampunk, or more specifically dieselpunk, steampunk's twentieth century child.

So my answer to Bob is yes, your idea sounds like steampunk's sub-genre dieselpunk. I appreciate Scott's distinction but steam technology never went out of date. Steam turbines produce most of the world's electricity to this day, and drive every nuclear submarine in the world, all the USN's 11 supercarriers and most of Russia's icebreakers. In any case steampunk nearly always includes airships for example, even though none flew until after Queen Victoria's death in 1901. What the hell indeed!

J. T. Shea


message 9: by Scott (new)

Scott Kinkade | 45 comments J.T. wrote: "Good question. My own WIP is set centuries into the future on a colony planet. Yet the huge city states that battle each other in my story have deliberately maintained a level of technology and cul..."

Good point.


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