Steampunk. You hear the term more and more. But, what is exactly Steampunk, other
than an excuse for people to wear bustles and brass goggles?
I commonly describe Steampunk as “Jules Verne on Crack” – which I’m sure would
make my high school English teacher sigh in despair. Steampunk is imagining a world
where steam and natural gas, not coal and electricity, are still the primary power
sources, yet technology continues to advance. It’s a world abounding with airships,
gas lamps, gears, cogs, and brass goggles and populated with mad scientists,
philosophers, adventurers, brass robots, and air pirates.
Steampunk stories can be set in the past, in the future, or on another planet. They
don’t even have to be Victorian. The Wild West is a very popular place for
Steampunk and I've even been hearing about Steampunk set in the Regency Era.
Steampunk transcends genres, creating genre-blending and bending at its finest.
Steampunk stories can be dark or light and funny, scary or romantic, for kids or
adults, they can even feature the supernatural or paranormal elements.
It’s in the setting, the gadgets, and the characters–who could speak like Victorian
ladies or fast-talking American teenagers. Steampunk characters often desire to make
the world a better place in some way shape or form–even if it’s by blowing up
parliament. Their adventures are often about figuring out where they fit even if it’s
means bucking the system.
With Steampunk, anything is possible. Steampunk offers an opportunity to be creative
and make amazing worlds ranging from gritty to opulent.
But Steampunk doesn’t stop at writing. Steampunk can be found in comics and
movies (League of Extraordinary Gentleman, anyone?) music (Emilie Autumn is my
favorites), clothes (if you haven’t seen the boots at Clockwork Couture, you should),
and jewelry (I am partial to tiaras made of clockhands). There are entire Steampunk
online communities dedicated to making rayguns, writing Steampunk, and Steampunk
So, now that you know all about Steampunk are you ready to write?
Here's a video of me trying to explain it.