How Dystopias Influenced Dieselpunk

The dystopia is a familiar trope in the “Piecraftian”, darker side of dieselpunk.

Erika Gottlieb argues in Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial (2001) that dystopian fiction looks at the totalitarian dictatorships of the dieselpunk era as its prototype: “a society that puts its whole population continuously on trial, a society that finds its essence in concentration camps, that is, in disenfranchising and enslaving entire classes of its own citizens, a society that, by glorifying and justifying violence by law, preys upon itself.”

Continue reading “How Dystopias Influenced Dieselpunk”

Adversity and the Human Spirit

Referred to as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, or Veteran’s Day, November 11 has a special meaning for dieselpunks. The “diesel era” (1920s-40s) arose out a meaningless war (World War I), saw one of the epic wars of history (World War II) and died a slow death in another meaningless war (Korean War). One could say that dieselpunk is born in blood, lives in blood and dies in blood.

Continue reading “Adversity and the Human Spirit”

Larry Amyett Mixes Dieselpunk Flavors

Our friend Larry Amyett has a great article in the latest edition of SteamPunk Magazine about the different flavors of dieselpunk. He argues that the term “flavors” gets it exactly right: “Just as a recipe includes a variety of flavors from many ingredients,” he writes, “most dieselpunks mix the different flavors to suit their personal tastes.”

Continue reading “Larry Amyett Mixes Dieselpunk Flavors”

An Introduction to Steampunk

With steampunk being hailed as the next big thing in several media (again), it seems like a good moment for a post like this, to give some information to people interested in the movement but not yet part of it.

Steampunk is a subculture that has skirted on the edges of mainstream for years, sometimes in the media as the current hype, sometimes as a fringe movement, always present in literature, cinema, fashion, lifestyle, board-, video- and role-playing games.

Defining steampunk is probably the hardest part of the movement due to its immense diversity. You may find that in a group of just a handful of steampunks, opinions on what exactly steampunk is differ, sometimes radically. This is to be expected from a subculture with very little in the way of rules. Even those are more like guidelines anyway.

Nevertheless, steampunks tend to get along smashingly. So instead of giving my opinion, I will tell you the things, the basics if you will, that most of us agree on.

Continue reading “An Introduction to Steampunk”

It’s Not the Years, Honey, It’s the Mileage: Dieselpunk Milestones

Dieselpunk didn’t start with a bang. It started with the crack of a whip.

When Indiana Jones blazed his way onto the big screen in 1981, he popularized a postmodern style of art that has continued to evolve over the past three decades. Looking back at Indy and the other proto-dieselpunk milestones, we can finally understand where the dieselpunk style came from, how it faltered in the late 1990s and see how it has finally grown into its own thanks to a worldwide subculture of artists and fans. To really look back though, we need to know what we’re looking for.

Continue reading “It’s Not the Years, Honey, It’s the Mileage: Dieselpunk Milestones”

Do They Like Us?

There has been enough lament now about steampunk going mainstream. I am still not sure whether or not steampunk has actually gone mainstream or will ever really get there, but one thing is clear: steampunk is no longer underground.

I guess all the people who are now lamenting pop videos with steampunk content also had a hand in bringing it out from cellars and parties in unknown clubs.

Continue reading “Do They Like Us?”