What is it?
According to Wikipedia, steampunk is defined as: “Steampunk is a sub-genre 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 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. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of “the path not taken” of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage’s Analytical engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.”
For me, steampunk is a trip into a world that has never been, but might have. A strangely enticing mix of technology old and new, combined with the mannerism of ancient Britain.
Where is steampunk?
Steampunk is everywhere, you just have to know where to look to see it. There are books, movies and conventions, there is steampunk music, attire and there are gadgets.
Examples of steampunk books are: The affinity bridge, by George Mann, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Early examples of steampunk writing can be seen in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, or in Jules Verne’s 10,000 leagues under the sea.
More and more steampunk conventions are hosted. In october 2009 there was Steamcon, a steampunk convention in Seattle. In 2008 California had a steampunk convention also. Here is a 10 minute video of the event in California:
Lately, a lot of steampunk bands pop up. The ones that I know of, and like a lot, are Abney Park, Deadly Nightshade Botanical Society, the Clockwork Quartet, Vernian Process and the Unextraordinary Gentlemen. Then there are Unwoman, and Professor Elemental.
Here is a video of “Sleep Isabella” by Abney Park.
Maybe it is not for everyone, but there are many places out and about these days where you can get your fill of steampunk clothing. Some of them are: the Steampunk Emporium, Steampunklab and Clockwork Couture
Here we enter a vast realm. Many people are working on creating the most fabulous items that could have existed in a steampunk age. Some of them are useful in this day, though.
There are, for instance, pocket watches. A watch is a watch, difference is that this kind is on a chain most of the time:
And then there is this one, that I own myself.
But the gadgets go further. There are many people who turn their computer equipment into steampunk versions:
There’s this flashdrive, for instance.
Or a completely overhauled computer.
And how about a steampunk electric guitar?
Yes, belly dancing steampunk is real!
If you want to learn more about steampunk, there is always Google, or one of the following links: