The sequel to Scarlet Traces (our review here) takes place in the Britain of the 1930s, with the invasion of Mars by the British Empire going badly.
We follow the Lady Charlotte, a photographer and reporter for The Interceptor, the last remaining liberal newspaper. With an insurgency in Scotland getting worse and branching into suicide attacks, Oswald Mosely as home secretary and the Commonwealth trying to withdraw its troops from Mars, Lotte manages to sneak onto the frontlines only to discover that she is stuck with the rearguard — and there is no rescue coming for them.
Continue reading “Scarlet Traces: The Great Game”
Now that the cold weather of the freezing season is upon us, steampunks and dieselpunks can rejoice, because now everyone is finally able to layer without overheating.
And, of course, also wear fabulous coats and winter accessories to top it all off. Continue reading “Winter Fashion”
In order to begin analyzing dieselpunk as a serious genre within the literary world of fiction, it is necessary to realize its development from steampunk as well as cyberpunk, both to which dieselpunk owes a lot, as well as from pulp comics and literature published throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Continue reading “The History of Dieselpunk I: Proto-Diesel”
H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds never had a sequel. Thankfully Ian Edington and the artist who calls himself D’Israeli have filled that gap in comic-book form with the formidable Scarlet Traces.
Their premise is simple: after the defeat of the Martians, Britain adapts their technologies to make themselves the world’s greatest superpower. The factories of the North are replaced with mechanical estates, the cavalry trade their horses for multi-limbed fighting machines, and homes are warmed by a spinoff of the Heat Ray. All is well in 1908 — or is it?
Continue reading “Scarlet Traces”
One of the risks that any genre faces is that by defining its boundaries too rigidly, it ends up telling the same story over and over again.
2K Games’ BioShock, while firmly dieselpunk, manages to avoid the obvious settings of the 1930s metropolis or World War II and stays original and unusual while making elements of both backgrounds integral to its own bizarre, self-contained world.
Continue reading “BioShock”
By the 1920s, the world was still a big place. While nearly every conceivable corner of the Earth had been explored and mapped by now, it was getting there in the fastest or most efficient way that was getting more attention. Continue reading “The First Motorized Crossing of the Sahara”
Though they were conceived and produced long before the term “dieselpunk” was coined, the Indiana Jones films remain some of the most seminal and enjoyable parts of the genre. They include many of the hallmarks of dieselpunk and pulp storytelling, including a protagonist who is at the top of his field but is not afraid to get his hands dirty, antagonists both political and mystical, and an atmosphere of adventure.
Continue reading “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
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”