Tuesday, January 06, 2015

For The Love of Steampunk

When I was offered a chance to work on The Darkside Codex, I only had to hear two words to jump for joy: steampunk series.

I didn't know a lot about steampunk at the time, but I knew three things: I absolutely love the steampunk aesthetic, steampunk fans tend to be fantastic people, and I'm eager to further explore both steampunk fiction and the subculture that have grown up around it.

What exactly is steampunk?

I could just say "steampunk is a genre of speculative fiction which has inspired a massive DIY movement", but that doesn't really tell you what steampunk is, so here's the Dictionary.com definition:

1. A subgenre of science fiction and fantasy featuring advanced machines and other technology based on steam power of the 19th century and taking place in a recognizable historical period or a fantasy world.

2. A subculture inspired by this literary and film subgenre.

Since science fiction author K.W. Jeter coined the term steampunk in the 1970's, steampunk has grown from a small subgenre of fiction into an entire culture. The Victorian era is already one of the most fascinating time periods in history—especially aesthetically—and throwing technology into the mix only makes it more interesting.

Today there are dozens of steampunk artists, hundreds of articles about DIY steampunk crafts, and many more steampunk novels and short stories. You can even find steampunk conventions in various cities.

Have you only recently started exploring the world of steampunk?

If so, I have great news: I'm just getting started on this journey too, and I plan to share each and every step with you. In fact, every Tuesday for the rest of the year I'll be sharing awesome steampunk discoveries, focusing primarily on beautiful artwork and awesome crafts—since fabulous fiction is already all over this website.

To keep up to date with all the awesome steampunk gear I find, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter by typing your email address in the box right underneath the cover of The Caelimane Operation.

And if you already know some awesome steampunk artisans, let me know in the comments below! I'm always happy to take suggestions.