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March 26, 2014
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Welcome to the land that never was in an era that had never been looking forward to the future that never came.
Welcome, to steampunk.

1. What is steampunk?

Steampunk is a retro-active subgenre of science fiction that incorporates elements of historical fiction, adventure, horror, speculative fiction, fantasy and alternative history. It exists as a hybrid genre that focuses on a re-imagining of the Industrial revolution when men and women create analog machines to achieve the fullest of human potential. Usually set in Victorian England during the mid- to late-1800’s or the American “Wild West” era, this genre incorporate the spirit of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells in their setting and general mood as well as the new-found relationship between man and his machine.

Steampunk has since become an aesthetic movement, sparking off subcultures that focus on visual art, comics, music, clothing, accessories and “custom mods” where modern-day machinery and equipment are modified to appear gear-run and steam-powered. Numerous conventions and live-action role-playing groups have since sprung up all over the world to embrace this new old-world aesthetic.

Let’s face it, Steampunk is one of the newest… and oldest darling in town.

2. History of steampunk.

The word “steampunk” was a tongue-in-cheek reference to Cyberpunk to reflect the technology of the Victorian fantasy era.

The word was coined by the author K.W. Jeter in 1987 as a way to describe the fictional works of Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates, 1983); James Blaylock (Homunculus, 1986); and himself (Morlock Night, 1979, and Infernal Devices, 1987.) All of these authors based their work in the Victorian era and imitated the style and tone of H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”.  These authors are now known as the pioneers of modern steampunk. Jeter thought it would be the next big thing. He wasn’t mistaken.

However, they weren’t the first to experiment with the idea of alternative histories dealing with fantastical machines. Before the genre matured and had a name, several artists have experimented with the idea, creating landmark masterpieces such as Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (1927) and Mervyn Peake’s “Titus alone” (1959).  On the small screen, TV shows such as “Wild Wild West” (1965-1969) anticipated many tropes that eventually became known as Steampunk. In fiction, the "A Nomad of the Time Streams" trilogy by Michael Moorcock, which began in 1971 with The Warlord of the Air, was also an influential precursor.

3. Associates of steampunk.

As with many genres, sometimes they interact with each other with significant overlap. It’s easy enough to have some die-hard fans cry “That’s not steampunk!” So what are some of the associates of Steampunk that usually have people up in arms?

A. Clockpunk: The term was coined by the GURPS role-playing system and is similar to steampunk in that it portrays Renaissance-era science and technology based on pre-modern designs. The main difference is the heavier focus on clockwork and gears as the main mode of power generation instead of steam. Some would also state that Clockpunk focuses more on the Baroque and Renaissance aesthetic and lacks the sci-fi atmosphere of steampunk.
Steampunk Wood-based Gear Medal by Zackary Quartz No.6 by ericfreitas Dragonstomper.48 Pistol guide by jacemoore

B. Dieselpunk: First coined in 2001, dieselpunk is an art style based on the aesthetics popular between World War I and the end of World War II. The style combines the artistic and genre influences of the period (including pulp magazines, serial films, film noir, art deco, and wartime pin-ups.) Often seen as being more bleak and austere as compared to Steampunk.
DieselPunk by Von-Gore-AltModel Dieselpunk Clock 1 by dkart71 Dieselpunk Shock Trooper (3) by Zilochius

C. Decopunk: A more recent subgenre that started around 2008, Decopunk is centered on the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne styles, and based around the period between the 1920s and 1950s. In an interview, Steampunk author Sara M. Harvey commented:  "Dieselpunk is a gritty version of Steampunk set in the 1920s-1950s. The big war eras, specifically. Decopunk is the sleek, shiny very Art Deco version; same time period, but everything is chrome!"
New Business Cards by MurderousAutomaton The Archives Reborn Collection by LandgraveCustoms Empire Speeder by MikeMahle

4. Landmarks and Signposts.

What does one need to do to catch up to the Steampunk genre? Here are some good places to start:
A. In print: “The Difference Engine” , William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, 1990; “Infernal Devices”, K.W. Jeter, 1987; “Mortal Engines”, Philip Reeve, 2001; “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, 1999; “Steampunk” anthology, Ann and Jeff Van der Meer, 2008; “Extraordinary Engines” anthology, Nick Gevers, 2008.
B. Big Screen: “Wild Wild West” (1999), League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), Sherlock Holmes (2009, 2011), Hellboy (2004, 2008), Steamboy (2004)
C. Small Screen:  Dr. Who (1963- ), Murdoch Mysteries (2008- ), Tinman (2007- )
D. Music: Abney Park, Vernian Process, Steam powered Giraffe,  Frenchy and the Punk, Voltaire
This is by far not the most comprehensive list. If you know of more, comment below!

5. Steampunk on dA.

Art:
Steampunk Incredible Hulk by DubuGomdori One Man Blitzkrieg Walker by plushman Elsewhere Venice (after Canaletto) by marcobrunez
Accessories:
Leviathan goggles on by LahmatTea Aether Brass Tank by Nymla Steampunk Vial Holster the 4th by Skinz-N-Hydez
Costumes:
Steampunk doctors by Sunymao  Epaulettes and Aviator Caps by AethertechIndustries Lady Eliane Steam V by MADmoiselleMeli
Crafts:
SWORD STEAMPUNK - CALEB by lego999666 Lorem Ipsum by AlladdinSEAzur by perlesdutemps
Jewellery:
Steampunk Ring by DeZzibELlWinged propeller necklace by Pinkabsinthe Vintage steampunk victorian cufflinks by Hiddendemon-666
Mods:
Steampunk NERF Finished by S17s17 Steampunk Psu by 42RUS Steampunk Computer by steamworker

7. How do I get involved?

Communities on dA: :iconsteampunk: :iconsteampunkartists: :iconsteamstock: :iconsteampunk-horror: :iconsteampunkforever: :iconthesteampunkradicals: :iconsteampunkish: :iconsteampunk-club:

Events and gatherings: the Steampunk World's Fair (Piscataway, NJ) , Up in the Aether: The Steampunk Convention (Dearborn, MI), San Diego Comic-Con International’s “Steampunk day”, Weekend at the Asylum(Lawn, Lincoln, UK), EuroSteamCon. Many renaissance fairs and anime/comic conventions also have time and space set out just for Steampunk and related topics.

On-line Resources:
1. Dieselpunk Encylopedia: dieselpunksencyclopedia.wordpr…
2. The Gate House (on-line steampunk and dieselpunk magazine): gatehouse.ottens.co.uk/
3. The Gate House Gazette: www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/gaz…

8: Readers' Suggestions!

Thank you so very much for all of them! Keep them coming! :w00t: :w00t: :w00t:
Fiction: "Clockwork Century" (series) by Cherie Priest, "Leviathan" series by Scott Westerfeld, "The Clocksmith" by Cody Brown (support a fellow deviant; first chapter here! fav.me/d41h1vm ), "Parasol Protectorate" (series) and "Finishing School" (series) by Gail Carringer, "Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences" series by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

Graphic Novels: "Gotham by Gaslight" by Mike Mignola, "Girl Genius" by Phil and Kaja Foglio, "Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory" by Greg Broadmore, "Tea Girls" and "Otto and Victoria" (series) by Brian Kesinger :iconbriankesinger:

Games: Dishonoured (2012), Bioshock (series), Machinarium (2009)

Music: The Cog is Dead, Soundtrack to Machinarium (2009) by Tomáš Dvořák 

Events and Gatherings: Brass Confederacy in Port Townsend, WA; Rise of Aester (LARP group), Seattle www.riseofaester.com/ Steam Rats (LARP group), Seattle www.seattlesteamrats.com/

Here on dA: :iconsteampunk-italia: (also found here: www.steampunkitalia.com/ )


:bulletblue: What does steampunk mean to you?
:bulletblue: What’s your favourite part of steampunk?
:bulletblue: Who are some must-see authors/artists/etc. that you recommend?
:bulletblue: What are your local steampunk gatherings?
:bulletblue: Did we miss anything? Comment below!





This is an article for this week's :iconprojecteducate:
I am sure everyone's probably heard a lot about steampunk now. But just what is it? What is it all about? What does it mean to be "steampunk"? 

Here's a small introduction to a world-wide phenomenon. 
Let me know what you think, yes? 
Add a Comment:
 
:icongafantonina:
gafAntonina Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015
Great article!
I would also like to suggest Machinarium (2009) game and soundtrack to this game by Tomas Dvorak, which also has a steampunkish feel to it for me. Maybe it's quite late to suggest, but I've just read this article ^^;
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello ! 

Thanks for the reading the article and thanks for the suggestions! 
Don't worry about being late. The articles are published out in the open so anyone can read it at any time. That's the beauty of it, after all. 
I'll add your suggestions to the article. 

Once again, than kyou!
Reply
:icongafantonina:
gafAntonina Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015
Oh, thank you, I'm happy to help!
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're more than welcome. 
I'm always happy to hear responses from my readers! :) 
Reply
:icongafantonina:
gafAntonina Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015
:aww:
Reply
:icongoldennocturna:
GoldenNocturna Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Student Writer
Not to be nitpicky, but "Leviathan" is a trilogy/series. I would also like to suggest the "Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences" series by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. Would the "Infernal Devices" series by Cassandra Clare also count or no?
Reply
:iconindigosummerr:
IndigoSummerr Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
My favourite part of steampunk is definitely the clothes and the accessoires, they just look awesome!!! :la:
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! And thanks for the comment. 

I can't agree with you more. Some of the gadgets and accessories are out of this world! :XD:
Reply
:iconmurderousautomaton:
MurderousAutomaton Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
This looks like a great article--I can't wait to read it!  And thanks for featuring my Decopunk business card designs! :la:
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, 

I should say thanks for letting me feature your cards! I liked them a lot and figured more people should see them. 
In the meantime, thanks for dropping in and dropping a line. That means a lot to me. :)
Reply
:iconkirihearts:
KiriHearts Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014
I'm very much into steampunk in literature (one of my favorites being Burton and Swinburne series although I've only read the 2nd), but I am liking the look of decopunk. :) Thanks for the article!! It was a wonderful read!
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! 

And thanks for your input. I'll look up the series and see if I can add it to the list of readers' suggestions. In the meantime, thank you very much for your very kind words and your support! :)
Reply
:iconmarcobrunez:
marcobrunez Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for mentioning my artwork! This is a very nice article, a very good and honest introduction to steampunk
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! 

And thank you very much for your very kind words. 
I am very glad to know you approve of the article!
Reply
:iconwilliamjcovello:
WilliamJCovello Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
That's actually a really informative rundown. 
You even helped square away one ore two points I was a little hazy on. :)

Thanks for the clear and concise analysis, my friend. :)
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... are you trying to tell me that I was able to clarify something for you? The writer between us?! 
... that's quite an honour, my friend. 

... But that makes me wonder, 
... just which points were you hazy on in the first place? ^^;
Reply
:iconwilliamjcovello:
WilliamJCovello Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes, my friend. :)
There are vast spheres of human knowledge that are completely beyond me. And I'm aways open to educate myself on that which I'm ignorant to. :)

Just generally, I didn't know a lot of the specifics of the genre. :)
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
... In that case, let's say that it's my pleasure and my honour to present something to you that you have yet to acquire in your own cache of knowledge. ^^; 

... I think the reason why I wrote this article has more to do with me wanting to acquaint people with the "basics" of steampunk. You know, looking beyond the costumes and the trinkets... just what the genre was all about when it started. I also wanted to learn more about the associated genres (and hopefully share my findings). I hope that's what I've achieved here. 
Reply
:iconwilliamjcovello:
WilliamJCovello Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Like I said, there are vast spheres of human knowledge that elude me. I'm always happy and eager to learn. :aww:

And I'd say you succeeded in leaps and bounds! :)
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I try, I try... 
... I figured there must be gaps and lapses in my own cache of knowledge as well. This gives me a chance to fill them in. 

... I told the folks at Project Educate that I would write more articles for them in the future whenever possible. Before you know it, I might become the "article guy" around here. 
... I guess I've always written non-fiction faster and better than my fiction... ^^;
Reply
:iconwilliamjcovello:
WilliamJCovello Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
We can all help each other filling them in. :)

Maybe non-fiction is your forte and you haven't realized it. :)
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've always liked reading non-fiction. I think I like writing non-fiction, too. 
... but the again, for the folks on dA, it seems nonfiction is the way to go. Just look at yours truly, 3 articles and counting! ^^; 

... I am guessing eventually I'll run out of new things to write about. But until then... :plotting:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconlorddarkstarr:
LordDarkstarr Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014
I got bitten by the Steampunk bug not that long ago, and now the only thing that keeps me from getting into it deeper is a lack of money and transportation, and the fact that I don't actually live in Seattle, but south of it where there's little to do and nowhere to go. But now that I know of groups here on DA, I'll have to make time to look into them further.

As far as "What is Steampunk?", I once half-jokingly said that Steampunk is what you get if you imagine what Star Wars would have been like if it had been written by Jules Verne. :D (Big Grin)

As for authors I can recommend, I highly recommend Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless), and her new young adult Finishing School novels (Curtseys and Conspiracies, <Etiquette and Espionage, and the next two novels which have not yet been released). And Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century novels Boneshaker, Clementine, Dreadnought, etc.) are really good too, although I can't help but wonder why she chose to infest Seattle with zombies (especially since anyone who lives in or near Seattle knows that Tacoma, 30 mi. [~50 km] to the south, is where all the zombies are... Wink/Razz ) And the webcomic Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Phoglio is good, although I haven't read as much of it as I'd like.

Oh, and this journal entry of mine addresses one of my pet peeves about Steampunk weapons: lorddarkstarr.deviantart.com/j… . (If you don't feel like reading it, let me just say this: QUIT STICKING GEARS ON THE OUTSIDE OF STEAMPUNK WEAPONS OR THEY'LL JAM!!!)
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, and thank you for writing back! 

For starters, it's my privilege and pleasure to be able introduce you things that you may not have know before. And if this information can help you to get into the genre even more, so much the better! 

Thank you very much for your recommendations as well. I am working together to collect the recommendations from the readers and feedback so I can put them together in one big update. Rest assured that I will be adding some of your suggestions. I think I might have met Gail Carringer in person back in New York in 2010, gathering support for the Soulless graphic novel. I am really glad to know that it was actually made into print! "Girl Genius" came across from another reader as well. So these would definitely make it to the list. 

As for your rant, sir... here's another gentleman's echo of a similar (but more far-reaching) sentiment: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFCuE5…
"Rivets and gears are quite appropriate... if they look like they have legitimate use!" ;)
Reply
:icondezzibell:
DeZzibELl Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for mentioning! :3
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, and you're more than welcome. 
Keep being awesome. 
Reply
:iconrmacdhai:
RmacDhai Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014
Definitely need to mention Phil and Kaja Foglio's online comic, "Girl Genius", as a vibrant example.
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, and thanks for your contribution. 
I love the Foglio brothers. It's too bad that I've lost track of them and their more recent endeavors. I'll be adding your suggestion in with the next batch of readers' suggestions!
Reply
:icontensakyuubi2:
tensakyuubi2 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Student General Artist
steampunk is now within the scope of my visions
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Aye, aye, skipper! 
Glad to be of help!
Reply
:icondarthart45:
darthArt45 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've always been interested in steampunk though I don't know much about. After reading this journal though, I'm much more informed. Cool article
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, and thanks for your feedback. 
It's my privilege and pleasure to be able to introduce this information to you!
Reply
:iconsteampunk-seraphim:
steampunk-seraphim Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
This is a nice article.
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, and thanks for writing back. 
I'm glad you approve of it!
Reply
:iconghostshow:
GhostShow Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
I'm into steam punk myself (I could get more involved though... been thinking about it), and I also have a good friend who likes to make steam-punk themed crafts and outfits. She has her own shop in which you can order said crafts as well and I have to say. I would not have come to know so much if I hadn't had her, my own research and some various exchanges-- but this journal of yours helped to root up even more information; this was a wonderful read and very pleasant to see~

ALSO-- Metropolis is a personal favorite of mine. <3 
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, long time no see. 
Glad to know you approve of the article. 

You know me, I'm a historian at heart. And I like to get to the origin (bottom?) of things - Steampunk included. I find that a lot of people are very knowledgeable about the minutia of Steampunk without really rooting that information on where the genre came from and how it evolved over time. That's something I tried to bring to the table. We all know about the arts and crafts and the intricate costumes - but the background from which they spring from and grow in is quite a bit more of a mystery. I am glad to know that I am able to bring that to the table this time around. 

And if your friend has a dA account or an on-line shop that she wants promoted, let me know. I am collecting contributions from the audience so I can make a big update over the weekend. Let me know!
Reply
:iconmadmoisellemeli:
MADmoiselleMeli Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Awwww, thank you very much for the support :heart:
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello,
and you are more than welcome!
Reply
:iconmadmoisellemeli:
MADmoiselleMeli Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:heart:
Reply
:iconnymla:
Nymla Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yaay, fantastic article and thank you so much for featuring my tank-thingy! ^^
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! 

You're more than welcome. I'm glad that you approve of the article!
Reply
:iconsteelhipdesign:
steelhipdesign Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
Ever felt like you were born at the wrong time in the wrong place?  When I found steampunk I finally found (albeit, a creative) home.  It's a genre I now work exclusively in.
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello and thanks for writing. 

Well... I feel like that almost all the time. That's why the first line of the journal was written the way it was: because for a lot of us, we feel like we don't belong to this day and age in our own bodies. Steampunk was a way for a lot of us to find a sense of belonging, I think. I am glad to hear that that's the case with you. And I hope you'll create more steampunk themed work to share with us in the community!
Reply
:iconpagan-live-style:
pagan-live-style Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
Very nice Journal ! greetz len.
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, Len! 

And thank you for writing. 
this means the world to me. 
Reply
:iconpagan-live-style:
pagan-live-style Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014
Welcome !!!
Reply
:iconillydragonfly:
IllyDragonfly Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014   Writer
Aaah, something I like a lot! :love:
I cosplayed with that style once, I even posted my photos on dA.

It means an interesting way to make jewellery and fashion.
Accessories, I always love gears and shining stuff.
Jules Verne. A bit last Exile manga. And in general our own fantasy.
I don't know yet, but if there is one close to where I live, In Italy, I'll go. ;)
There is an Italian steampunk in Italy too, maybe you can list it in your journal since many cosplayers can't go in America or in United Kingdom. It's on dA too. :iconsteampunk-italia:
Reply
:iconsteampunk-italia:
Steampunk-Italia Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
GRAZIE INFINITE, IllyDragonfly.
thanks for your post.

follow us to www.steampunkitalia.com
Reply
:iconsinistrosephosphate:
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, my fellow doctor. Thanks for writing!

I like to call myself a fan of steampunk, myself. However, I don't usually have a lot to offer to the community at large. Writing this article, however, was both a pleasure and a privilege. 

I am collecting the contribution of the commentators so I can put together a big update over the weekend. I'll be sure to add your contribution to the list! I think it's important to show people how big of an international phenomenon Steampunk is. However, my Italian isn't so hot... that's why I have to depend on folks like you! Thank you!
Reply
:iconcogetta:
Cogetta Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
Steampunk forever <3
Reply
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