Dieselpunk girl

What If Steampunk Hurts?

What should steampunks do if their art or fiction or role-playing hurts others? Stop and abandon something that’s been part of the steampunk culture for years? Or ignore the feelings of others and have “fun”?

It’s a relevant question because the Victorian era had a lot of problems, several of which have found their way into steampunk even if we’re not always aware of it.

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Vintage elephant drawing

Where Are the Steampunk Republicans?

Something I noticed reading the Twitter feeds of a number of American steampunk enthusiasts: they’re all anti-Republican.

I hesitate to say they’re Democrats, because the party might be too centrist for them. The number of disparaging tweets about conservatives in general, and Republican legislators and presidential candidates in particular, was high, though.

So where are the steampunk Republicans? Are they hiding? Do they even exist? Continue reading “Where Are the Steampunk Republicans?”

Adolf Hitler

Did Adolf Hitler Survive the War?

Stories of Adolf Hitler surviving the war to die an old man in Spain or South America have been around since he committed suicide in his bunker deep below Berlin in April 1945.

Historians have largely dismissed these claims. Skull fragments, long held in Russian archives, were believed to prove that the German dictator perished together with his dream of a Thousand Year Reich, but an archeologist and bone specialist who examined them in 2009 concluded that they most likely belonged to a woman.

This has only fueled the conspiracy theories.

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Steampunk Means Different Things in Different Places

In a discussion about the punk in steampunk at The Steampunk Forum, Vagabond GentleMan from the United States raises an interesting point: steampunk can have different meanings depending on one’s location.

Vagabond GentleMan suggests that steampunk isn’t a genuine sub- or counterculture because, unlike earlier countercultures, it isn’t just scattered but divided geographically.

When a New York hippie in the 1960s traveled to San Francisco, he “pretty much found that the West Coast hippies had the same basic sociocultural mores and the same basic ethos” that he had, according to Vagabond. When punks from Los Angeles traveled to Baltimore, “they found that though there might be some superficial differences in self-presentation or philosophy, they knew the Eastern punks were gonna ‘be about’ the same sorts of things.” Same thing with Goths.

Not with steampunks.

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Nazis Take to the Moon in Iron Sky Prequel

Iron Sky

Dieselpunk fans will be familiar with the Iron Sky project. The independent film production will depict the Nazis plotting an invasion of Earth from their secret refuge on the Moon.

In anticipation of the film’s release, Iron Sky is releasing a prequel comic adventure.

The first issue, “Bad Moon Rising,” depicts the Third Reich’s survivors in Antarctica preparing to board UFOs bound for the Moon. They will build a base on the far side of the Moon to stage another attempt at conquering the planet.

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Are We Punks Through and Through?

Is steampunk more than gears and goggles? According to Pablo Vazquez, “We can’t ignore that even though the name began as a joke, we are punks through and through.”

Writing for Tor.com‘s steampunk week, Vazquez tries to postulate steampunk as an anticapitalist “revolutionary spectacle” that’s able to fill the “something” that’s supposedly missing from our worldview today.

Vazquez admits that “we can’t exactly pinpoint” what’s missing, “but we know it’s missing.” He just feels it, you know. The future looks “cold and endangered,” Vazquez adds, so we must look back at the steampunk era for inspiration. Continue reading “Are We Punks Through and Through?”

Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire

HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is the best thing that’s been on television since AMC launched Mad Men several years ago.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, imagine The Sopranos, set some ninety years in the past. It’s Atlantic City during Prohibition and Boardwalk Empire combines bootlegging and American upper-class bliss in a splendid mix. It is the Roaring Twenties and, although liquor is banned, The World’s Playground went through its golden age of gambling and entertainment.

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Tea cup

Get Your Punk Out of My Steam

Tor.com‘s Steampunk Month is over. For the last four weeks, the website has published an impressive collection of artwork, essays and fiction that has kept us thoroughly entertained.

About midway through, one article appeared I would like to comment on.

In “There is Totally Punk in Steampunk,” Jaymee Goh writes about how the ‘punk suffix relates to the genre and the developing subculture that we understand today under the banner of “steampunk.”

Continue reading “Get Your Punk Out of My Steam”