Panji Andrian artwork

Revisiting Nostalgic and Melancholic Steampunk: Correcting the “Varieties of Steampunk Experience”

It’s been a long time since I left the steampunk scene and an even longer time since I should have. Yet as someone who writes a blog on historical film and literature should know, the past is inescapable. Hardly a month goes by when I’m not alerted by aggregators of academic journals — which I use for my offline life as a history and science educator — that my name has popped up in a paper about steampunk. Invariably these papers are referencing a piece I did over a decade ago in SteamPunk Magazine titled “Varieties of Steampunk Experience”.

Unfortunately, every single academic paper I have seen reference my piece has misinterpreted it, and misinterpreted it in almost exactly the same way. 

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Moorlander

Moorlander

Industrial rivalry, plots for murder, intrigue, politics and a world where wondrous devices are engineered: Moorlander has it all.

At first glance.

The first in a series by Robert T. Bradley, this book takes you into a world where plots unfold all around the main characters.

The author has absolutely done his best to create a fully developed world with fleshed-out characters. It’s great that we’re not lacking backstory. But there is too much of a good thing.

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The Island at the Top of the World

The Island at the Top of the World

Back in the 1970s, the Walt Disney Company produced a series of adventure movies, some of which fit right into the steampunk genre. One is The Island at the Top of the World (1974).

The movie was co-written by John Whedon, grandfather of Joss Whedon of Buffy, Firefly and Avengers fame.

The story starts in 1907 London, where a British aristocrat is mounting an expedition to the Arctic to find his lost son. He travels there accompanied by an archeologist and the aeronaut and inventor as well as captain of the airship that is taking them there: the Hyperion.

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Seacombe Island

Seacombe Island

Seacombe Island is the first novel by Karen Garvin. The story follows the protagonist Tom Ashton in his misadventures on the mysterious eponymous island.

We meet Tom as a struggling baker who is neglecting his fiancée, Ellie. He loses both in a fire from which he only barely manages to escape himself. As people suspect him of having caused the fire, Tom turns to his friend, Sam Grey, for help, who puts him up with uncle Edward.

This uncle seems to be in shady business and it doesn’t take long for Tom to get involved. As he becomes a suspect in Ellie’s death, Edward and Sam persuade him to work for them on Seacombe Island.

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The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 2

The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 2

A dastardly and murderous plot, the Church is up to something, murder in Victorian London, (mad) science, automata and resurrection. That’s pretty much the theme of season 2 of The Frankenstein Chronicles. An excellent example of the darker side of Victorian storytelling.

It has finally landed on Netflix with its second and (as far as I know) final season.

Season 2 takes off where season 1 ended, with the resurrected man John Marlotte (Sean Benn) trying to solve the mystery that led to his untimely demise, aided and thwarted by a mix of recurring and new characters.

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