To build up anticipation for the release of my Steampunk Red Riding Hood next week, I will be doing character spotlights, going over the designs of my different characters, how and why I chose to mold them into what they became, and the setting and tone of the overall story. I’ll be spreading the spotlights out over every few days, but before I dug into those, I wanted to share my opinion on what Steampunk is. So-
What is Steampunk?
The easiest and simplest definition, is that Steampunk is Victorian Science Fiction. The time period that it’s based off of is the Victorian Era of the 19th Century. It started out as science fiction for the time period, and ever since has evolved into so much more. Jules Verne and HG Wells are commonly credited with being major influences in the evolution of the literary genre. There is alot of debate about what is, and what isn’t Steampunk, but after I had done some research, I found that there were a few common factors that consistently pop up in Steampunk designs, artwork, clothing and literature.
Characteristics of Steampunk
Steam power required alot of moving parts in order to operate efficiently, such as gears, pistons and flywheels. It’s no surprise then that these different machine parts are incorporated into a large portion of Art and Design that people classify as Steampunk. This is also why earth tones (brown, tan, etc) and brass are major components. On the Victorian side, top hats, corsets, frilly dresses, monocles and lots of buttons and straps complete the design aesthetic. There is no set list on what has to be present to call a work Steampunk, which has given creators the freedom to full explore their imagination.
Some Examples of Steampunk
Lastly, here are some literary examples of the Steampunk Genre-
” The Anubis Gates” by Timp Powers
“The Difference Engine” by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
“Soulless” by Gail Carriger
” Leviathan” by Scott Westerfield
And here’s a quick trailer of a Steampunk documentary-