Skip to main content

SERIOUS Steampunk

I had to do my presentation for the Young Adult Fiction class I'm in. It was on steampunk. That rad trend that is already on it's last legs. I wrote up a bit just to get everyone's gears going before going into boring examples and why it's an excellent genre for YA.



You've been warned.

Steampunk is evocative. Of cogs brass and valves. Wood and leather. Of massive unwieldy but beautiful machines made not by the hyper-efficient engine of a assembly-line society, but by artisans. People who worked close to the metal, as it were, where every part of a machine could eventually be broken down and explained to a schoolchild. The Machine made quaint, the Machine made monstrous, the Machine as an aesthetic imperative, whether that be a stunning contraption of whirring gears and highly polished oak, or a belching, heaving mass of pistons and heavy fly wheels churning to some indefinite but sinister purpose.

A world covered with coal soot and brimming with the sights, sounds, and smells of a city still grappling with the transition to the industrial age. A city bursting with life: dirty and squalid, mean and charred, but also one of wonder. Where all about are things and ideas that still have the romance of new, the novel, of the undiscovered country.

There's something deep in the human brain that clicks when it sees something steampunk. The objects are heavy. They are not of the temporary now, so fleeting a world where even the all powerful entity of money is nothing more than electrons careening through fibres and living on kraken-like computers held by a priest-like banking system. No. These objects are substantial. Of something created from man, carefully, with purpose. Something meant to withstand the vagaries of a flitting world.


Anonymous said…
Your style is evolving. Fewer misfires, more polished work, less ambitious sentences. A pleasure to read; post more.
Greg X Graves said…
Sentence fragment (Consider Revising).

Cool - I'm ashamed that steampunk has already been co-opted and burned through by hipsters. Maybe somewhere within its own wreckage the gears will begin turning and a tiny plume of anthracite smoke will signal a quiet revival, with less faddishness.
Niteowl said…
anon: thank you kindly. I often wonder if it's not evolving into an aborted lab experiment, test tube glass still clinging to it, its thousand mouths gaping at the world unleashing unfathomable horrors and unspeakable darkness.

burny: i'm sure it'll live on, as a very niche sub-genre, which I'm fine with.

Popular posts from this blog

Insults From A Senile Victorian Gentleman

You SIR, have the hygeine of an overly ripe avocado and the speaking habits of a vaguely deranged chess set. I find your manner to be unctuous and possibly libelous, and whatever standard you set for orthodontal care, it's not one I care for. Your choice in news programs is semi-literate at best and I do believe your favourite news anchor writes erotic literature for university mascots. While I'm not one to point out so obvious a failing, there has been rumour that the brunches you host every other Sunday are made with too much lard and cilantro. If you get my meaning. There is something to be said about your choice of motor-car fuel, but it is not urbane and if I were to repeat it, mothers would cover their children's ears and perhaps not a few longshoremen within earshot would blush. How you maintain that rather obscene crease in your trousers and your socks is beyond me, perhaps its also during this time that you cultivate a skin regime that I'm sure requires the dea

Learn A New Thing...

Man, you really do learn a new thing everyday. There have been a few shocking realizations I've had over the past month or so: -bizaare is spelled bizarre (how bizaare) -scythe is pronounced "sithe", not the phonetic way. Which is the way I've been pronouncing it in my head for my whole life. My entire youth spent reading Advanced Thresher Sci-Fi and Buckwheat Fantasy novels, for naught! -George Eliot was a woman, real name Mary Ann Evans. -Terry Gilliam is American. -Robocop is a Criterion Film. I shit you not . -Uhm, oh damn, just after I post this, I find that, this movie is a Criterion film as well . Maybe I don't know what being a Criterion film really entails.. Alright all (three) readers of my blog, post and lemme know some earth shattering facts you've learned recently.

Europe : London Maritime Museum - March 15th

I've never, well I suppose most people don't either, thought of myself as a flat. Despite the fact I rarely go anywhere. Despite the fact that, given my shut in lifestyle I have about as much street smarts as, well, a middle aged programmer who rarely goes out.  But I am a flat, entirely. First step is admitting I have a problem.  On our way to the bus station, and at NO time did I sense any of this, or even have a sense of anyone being very close to me, both the zippers in my bag were opened, and my rather nice down jacket was nicked. Shameful, I know. But, I suppose, bravo on the thiefs, I didn't feel a thing. And well, I suppose we are going to Italy, so, less to pack? It was a certain jet of anger, I suppose, and befuddlement. But I also was so very thankful I had not lost my wallet and/or phone, both which would require hours and hours of hassle and phone calls to set me to rights.  It might be my stoic optimism is a source of my lack of street smarts. But I'm also