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Steampunk:

literature that combines victorian aesthetics with modern technology
by

Samantha Helfrich

on 4 October 2012

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Transcript of Steampunk:

Steampunk: Modern technology meets Victorian aesthetics What is Steampunk? a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction. The term steampunk was coined in the 1980s as a tongue and cheek response to the cyberpunk literary movement. The term pays homage to an era when steam power was still widely used. The genre relies heavily on common fantasy themes, and often asks the reader to ask the question, 'what if...' In other words... the genre introduces modern technologies in historical settings. Victorian England is one of the most popular periods explored, though you might also find yourself in a place not wholly of this world. This question of 'what if...' allows the author to create a setting not unlike ones we are already familiar with, while exploring the possibility of an alternate history- or the path not taken. These stories tend to idealize technologies that may have never been fully realized in our modern world i.e. dirigibles, jet packs, flying cars, analog computers, etc. http://kennethoppel.com/airborn/newspaper01.shtml Early seminal works of science fiction and horror were greatly influential on the development of Steampunk, and helped to shape the genre into what we know and recognize today. The combination of technology and history has become a heady combination for current popular fiction. In many cases, characters based on historical figures or scientific innovators are re-imagining the impact their influence and discoveries had on this world. What would the world have been like if Leonardo's flying machine had been realized? Nikola Tesla walked the fine line between madness and genius - What would the world look like now if his experiments with energy and electrical current had fallen into the wrong hands? How have these classics influenced the themes found in Steampunk? Some series and titles to check out! as the popularity of the genre increases - we see common themes and characteristics presented across different media platforms. In the movies! Steampunk gets graphic!
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