Steampunk, clockpunk, dieselpunk, gaslight romance. Around since the 1980’s, the genre has gone from strength to strength. It is also a personal favourite of mine. There are many definitions of exactly what steampunk is, but my favourite has to be … “Steampunk is the science of what could have been.”
I have always been a fan of 19th Century Gothic literature. I am also a hopeless romantic and so Steampunk for me is Jane Austen meets Jules Verne, Bram Stoker meets Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Colins with a touch of H Ryder Haggard thrown in for good measure… all chugging along with great big billows of steam. It’s more a feeling and an atmosphere rather than genre-specific lines.
Much has been written about the genre and I won’t attempt to reinvent the wheel here. Simply typing the word “steampunk” into any search engine will reveal a bewildering array of sites. Never has it been easier to purchase a bustle dress and a set of brass goggles.
My steampunk is mostly written on the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground. Interestingly enough, the stretch of track that runs through Baker Street is one of the earliest bits of track ever laid. It is the birthplace of Steam. I like that. And every day, as I pass through that station, I nod a little tribute to Messrs Holmes and Watson.
Here are a few of my favourite links:
Steampunk Empire – The Facebook of Steam
Steam Scholar – PhD in Steampunk-awesomeness
Gail Carriger – All Hail The Victorious Parasol
Cherie Priest – Steampunk American Style
Steampunk Emporium – For some lovely dressy bits
Steampunk Tales – Steampunk Short Story Magazine