Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk has a rather exact definition - here is Wikipedia's version - but basically the term refers to the sort of fantasy in which technology has continued along the steam-powered approach of the early industrial age, rather than moving on to electricity, gas, and so on. There is often a gritty, dark, industrial feel to this sort of fantasy. I do stretch this definition to include fantasy with any sort of alternate technology (and by that I do not mean magic).

Some examples:
Any of China Mieville's books (Perdido Street Station, etc)
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (Eos, 2004) and its sequels
Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series (seriously!)
Philip Reeve's "Hungry Cities Chronicles" series (this is SF, but has a serious Steampunk vibe)
D.M. Cornish's "Monster Blood Tattoo" series

Anime fans should check out Otomo's Steamboy. Disney's Treasure Planet is also a fun example.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. I think I get it, and now I want to read more. Hungry Cities, here I come.