Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch tells the story of Babydoll, who, after the death of her mother, ends up in Lennox House for the mentally insane due to the machinations of her evil stepfather.

It becomes quite clear from the start that if she wants to survive with her cranial capacities intact, she’ll have to escape. Enlisting the friends of fellow inmates Rocket, Blondie, Amber and the reluctant Sweet Pea, she starts on a mission to gather items that will aid them in their escape.

To help her in all of this, Sweet Pea withdraws into her own fantasy world, which seems to be some kind of parallel to the grimy reality she really tries to survive in.

Continue reading “Sucker Punch”
Detroit Michigan

The Lost Generation

Following in the horsemen’s wake of World War I, the story of America in the 1920s was one of a country weaving itself together from the tatters of plague and poverty. It was a time when the citizens danced to Nero’s fiddle while the republic battled its self-made robber barons and gentlemen thieves. It was a time when the populace cried out and told the heavens that no matter what was thrown their way, they were still alive. It was the Roaring Twenties. Continue reading “The Lost Generation”

Boardwalk Empire scene

Jazz Age Fashion Styles

The Roaring Twenties, the period smack in between the aftermath of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression, was a time of change, of rebellion and breaking with tradition. It is also the end of the age of steam and the start of the diesel era, the line where steampunk crosses over to dieselpunk. Aside from that, it was the time when Jazz music came to life and fashion, especially women’s fashion, took bold new steps.

While back in the day the movement was limited in its spread, today the influence of this time can’t be ignored and is globally recognized. Continue reading “Jazz Age Fashion Styles”

New York City

Art Deco

The Roaring Twenties were a period of great paradoxes. After the First World War, the world was experiencing a period of vitality and exuberance, new technologies and styles. At the same time, it was a period of political and social contrasts which ended with the Great Depression.

Art Deco is the aesthetic which best incarnated the aspirations of those years and their yearning for modernity. Continue reading “Art Deco”

Stefan Prohaczka artwork

The Philosophy of Dieselpunk

Often when one reads of the Jazz Age, the term is limited to the 1920s. But there’s a relatively young philosophy known as dieselpunk that is trying to keep the glory of the Jazz Age alive.

The term “dieselpunk” was first used by Lewis Pollak in 2001 to describe his role-playing game Children of the Sun. Dieselpunk has since grown far beyond his initial usage to describe a philosophy that forms the basis of a subculture and art movement with distinctive music, art, fiction and cinema.

Dieselpunk philosophy is a postmodern phenomenon that comprises three aspects: decodence, contemporary and punk. To understand this young philosophy one must understand each of these aspects. Continue reading “The Philosophy of Dieselpunk”

Graf Zeppelin airship

Germany’s Golden Twenties

The Roaring Twenties, or Goldenen Zwanziger Jahre, as they were known in Germany, were very likely Germany’s happiest time in the first half of the twentieth century. They can also be considered Berlin’s Golden Age.

The time between the end of the hyperinflation and hardships of the post-Great War period and the stock market crash of 1929 were a comparatively stable period for the troubled Weimar Republic. The largely French-driven dictates of the Versailles Treaty were modified and relieved by the implementation of the Dawes Plan and later the Young Plan (although the latter would not come into effect until 1930). In 1926, the Weimar Republic joined the League of Nations, another sign of normalization.

Fueled by American dollars, the German economy stabilized and expanded, leading to increased wealth. This credit-financed economy would later prove highly vulnerable to the effects of the Great Recession of the early 1930s, but, for the moment, the Weimar Republic enjoyed prosperity, stability and good times. Continue reading “Germany’s Golden Twenties”

Wild Wild West

Wild Wild West

A fine example of a movie you either love or hate, Wild Wild West (based on the series from years previously, albeit in parody style) will strike your fancy or be written off as complete tripe.

The year is 1869 and the Civil War has just ended. That doesn’t mean that all of the Confederates have given up, though. Led by Dr Loveless, who is literally half the man he once was because of the war, and his futuristic steampunk technology, they plan to take out President Ulysses Grant and claim rulership over the reunited states of America.

Continue reading “Wild Wild West”
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”

Steampunk girl

Battle of the Sexes: How Steampunk Should Be Informed by Feminism

During the reign of Victoria, the women’s suffrage movement began and, shortly after her death, culminated in women receiving the same legal right to vote as men. It was a landmark period in history for thinking about gender equity. Informed by such works as A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, written by Mary Wollstonecraft almost a half century prior to the Victorian era, it spawned such well-known feminist thinkers as John Stuart Mill, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward and Florence Fenwick Miller. In spite of the oppressive atmosphere created by a focus on eradicating “vice” via the Comstock Laws and other means, as well as the caricature of women as weak and feeble-minded by many scientists of the day, women were making strides toward being recognized as equal to men and having autonomy.

This is the historical background which inspires much of steampunk fiction and we should take its lessons to heart when building our steampunk community. Continue reading “Battle of the Sexes: How Steampunk Should Be Informed by Feminism”