a subgenre of science fiction which has a historical setting (esp. based on industrialized, nineteenth-century society) and characteristically features steam-powered, mechanized machinery rather than electronic technology
What does he think about being a member of the ‘steam punk’ movement?
There’s railroad trains, a lot of steam-driven stuff, but that’s about it. More ‘steam punk’, I suppose.
Some highlights:…‘Souls in the Great Machine’ by Sean McMullen, an elegant variant on a traditional sf theme, here transformed into a baroque post-industrial vision resembling ‘steampunk’ but even more bizarre.
Paul Di Filippo says that his newest works are taking a turn from cyberpunk to steampunk, following in the footsteps of many other s.f. writers.
We wanted our cyberspace to have a ‘steampunk’ feel and a sense that the whole thing was held together with bailing wire and hot glue.
Unlike James Blaylock, whose steampunk sagas are characterized by a romantic vision of Victorian London as it should have been, a playground for eccentrics, fantastic devices and sinister occult conspiracies, Di Filippo’s acidly funny tales are funhouse mirrors which warp and satirize precisely recreated conventions and prejudices of the era with deadpan wit.
Even though he writes passionately against the genre of alternate histories being included among sf subgenres, two of his most expansive ruminations are on steampunk books, Tim Powers’s Anubis Gates and Gibson-Sterling’s Difference Engine, which became occasions for passionate lectures on Dickens’s contribution to urban fantasy.
‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is steampunk?’ ‘Think about it. The Nautilus? All those exposed pipes and spinning turbines, that cool iris window?’
James Blaylock in Locus
Added to OED in June 2003
Last modified 2021-03-12 02:35:02
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.