Before I explain what Steampunk means to me as an author, it will be helpful to get a broad understanding of the term from what you would find if you did a google search on the topic. I've also included some pictures of the genre to start sparking your imagination.
First Steampunk defined by Goodreads:
"Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes. It is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where STEAM POWER is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date."
Second Steampunk defined by Urban Dictionary:
"Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner." It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes."
Finally Steampunk defined by Wikipedia:
"Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialised Western civilisation during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Steampunk perhaps most recognisably features anachronistictechnologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era's perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip Pullman,Scott Westerfeld, Stephen Hunt and China Miéville. Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships,analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine."
Right, so now that you have all the technical terms for Steampunk committed to memory let me tell you what the term means to myself as an author. Steampunk to me is an opportunity to tell or retell any story in a brand new setting. It's the idea of what could have been in the past if only a few things had happened differently. It is the era where past, present and future all meet. It's the time where all things are possible both realized and yet to be realized. By that I mean it would be absolutely feasible to have your hero or heroine riding into battle on a horse, carrying a futuristic blaster, wearing a leather jacket.
Steampunk is a time when anything can happen. As a writer this excites me to no end. Even now as I'm writing this blog I have a huge cheshire grin as I am reminded of the absolute freedom this genre brings. As the pictures show above Steampunk is a way to re-imagine everything we thought we knew in exciting and brilliant ways.
If you find yourself looking for a specific example on the topic or would like to read a book set in the Steampunk universe you can read the synopsis of my latest novel Steam and Shadows by clicking on the link below.
|Steam and Shadows|
Find Jonathan here: