With the increasing contact with the East and its ensuing colonization, people in the West became fascinated by this strange new world. For centuries, adventurers, novelists and romantics had been interested in the lands beyond the horizon. Europe had all been explored and people became more and more familiar with the world they lived in. The Orient was still a realm of mystery, inhabited by alien people, exotic and sometimes cruel, with customs that Enlightened Europeans thought of as barbaric; a place where time had stood still.
An age-long Orientalist tradition of those who studied the East has in our times been criticized for its presumed bias and even racism. In the realm of steampunk, however, we can safely recreate the Orient as it was described and depicted by nineteenth-century authors and artists who might never have seen it. All the myths and miracles of the East that enchanted the Victorians can come true. Continue reading “Introduction to Victorientalism”
The aristocratic aesthetic is quite probably one of the most representative of the fashion aspect of this movement. Continue reading “The Aristocrat Style”
It’s unclear who coined the phrase “biopunk,” but presumably the term was invented after steampunk had been established as a genre. At least, it was not until steampunk had entered the mainstream that biopunk emerged.
Like steampunk, this proposed literary genre finds its origins in cyberpunk. It replaces the information technology of cybernetics with the synthetic biology of genetic engineering, but maintains most of the other elements of the genre.
Which begs the question: Should biopunk be considered a genre of its own? And if not, are steam- and dieselpunk really genres in their own right? Continue reading “What Is Biopunk?”
While discussing the “dark side of dieselpunk,” the author of the dieselpunk blog, The Flying Fortress, coined the phrases “Ottensian” and “Piecraftian” dieselpunk to refer to fiction set, respectively, in a pre- or post-nuclear environment.
Where The Flying Fortress starts the “Piecraftian” with the Atomic Age, Piecraft and myself argue World War II is the better dividing line between the two flavors of dieselpunk. Continue reading “The Two Flavors of Dieselpunk”
Thomas Pringle is an artist from Denmark with a talent for eerie and ominous depictions. The drawing on display here renders the gloomy scene of an unusual contraption under construction in some desolate mechanics factory. Continue reading “The Art of Thomas Pringle”
Up and away! Outfitted in brass and equipped with steam-powered levitation technology, this aerial pioneer launches into the sky toward perils and travels amid the clouds! Continue reading “The Art of Likaspapaya”
Dinotopia is a lost island where humans and dinosaurs live together in peaceful interdependence. Artist and author James Gurney introduced Dinotopia in a series of illustrated books beginning in 1992. Continue reading “James Gurney’s Dinotopia”
It sounds like something out of Jules Verne or The Jetsons, but in 1870 a “pneumatic subway” ran under Broadway in Manhattan. Continue reading “New York Pneumatic Tube”