cyrano: (Writing)
Okay, here is my hastily written poorly conceived discussion of what Steampunk means to me.
It's inspired by the degree of irritation I experienced reading the Facebook 'Steampunk' page.
It's presented despite the fact that very few people give a solid wet fart about it.

Steampunk is a literary genre based on alternate histories of the Victorian period. Sometimes it involves the American West, but that tends to create entirely new sorts of stories, so I'm setting that aside. Technology is more advanced than in history, and there may be fantastical elements like space travel, humanoid races, or monsters. It's also one of the few literary genres that seems to be developing a wardrobe. (I'm considering a different name for the cos-play aspect; currently NeoVictorian is winning.)

Now to the important part: My opinion.
Steampunk is not about having a pair of goggles. It's not about having a Very Fine Hat.
Steampunk is about the consequences of technology developing faster than our ethics. It's about technology developing faster than our society can adapt. It's about technology wearing away at the gap between classes. It's about technology forcing that gap even wider, and the cracks in the strata that appear when that happens. It's about technology and how it makes you re-examine your humanity, perhaps even fight to maintain it in the face of a world of pistons and gears. It is, as is *all* science fiction, a method for taking today's world, grinding off the serial numbers, giving it half a twist and holding it up to the light. It's no accident that the form became popular at the time that it did.
Jesus. Now I'm all excited, and I want to write.

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