What is Steampunk?
Steampunk refers to a sub-genre of alternative science fiction with a Victorian era twist. The term was said to first gain popularity in the 1980s when one author in the name of K.W. Jeter used “steampunk” to describe stories about the Victorian era’s interpretation and view of the future.
This sub-genre started back in the 19th century when much was happening in terms of industrialization and mechanization of human activities. During this time, machines were being used in the manufacturing sector. Towns have become highly urbanized with telecommunication facilities and mass transit systems. Because of these industrial advancements, steampunk was born to interpret more of the present and future happenings in the field of technology. It was also in the Victorian era that steam powered engines on cars were popular. And when all these things were mixed with science fiction stories in that particular era, the whole idea of steampunk was born.
Many attribute steampunk’s emergence with the works of people like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. They popularized art works, sense of style and fashion, and presented futuristic imaginations with a Victorian flare. It was typically the Victorian way of seeing and imagining the future with depictions on space travel, mechanized activities in life, aeroplanes, and submarines among others. Steampunk also involved an alternate form of history since all ideas are presented in fiction style. Stories and artwork evolved on the present technologies of the Victorian era and twisted them with possible future technologies and advancements.
But besides artwork and written material, steampunk also evolved into a personal style or fashion sense. Futuristic gadgets in Victorian time were the basic requirement for this fashion revolution. Items such as pistons, goggles, and flywheels were frequently used as representations to the mechanical and industrial revolution that happened in the 19th and 20th centuries.