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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A Rupture Between Continents?

European steampunk counts fewer numbers than their North American (and mainly US) counterparts. I’m pretty sure that if you would add up all the numbers in the entirety of Europe, you would get about the same as those for the United States alone (the US probably has more numbers than the entirety of Europe, come to think of it).

Originally there was a unison worldwide. Steampunks everywhere where in it for the same reason. If you spoke to steampunks from other continents, the same topics arose and likeminded individuals were easily found, no matter what country they hailed from.

Thankfully this is still the case, but sadly less and less so when one starts comparing some — frankly disturbing — recent developments in the movement in both aforementioned continents.

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