Showing posts with label Steampunk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steampunk. Show all posts

Friday, April 16, 2010

Steampunk Dreams

I'm all for stretching my style and stepping outside my writer's comfort zone, but there's one genre I've never attempted (and want to): Steampunk.

Steampunk, for those unfamiliar with the category, is a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, and is characterized by elements of fantasy. The style gained popularity in the 1980s, when sci fi writers played the 'What-if' game with these types of questions: What if we'd figured out how to explore space one hundred years earlier than we did, when steam power was prominent? What would Victorian Age spaceships look like? How would giant leaps in technology, if they occurred in the 19th century, have changed history?

The imagination needed to write successful Steampunk blows my mind.

My son enjoyed Larklight, by Philip Reeve so much that I told him I'd read it when he was finished, so we could discuss it 'book club-style.' At the time, I'd never heard of Steampunk. I was immediately captivated by the seemingly regular characters in such an unusual setting. It's about an English brother and sister duo, who live in a Victorian house that's actually a spaceship orbiting far beyond the moon. The story opens when a gentleman arrives for a visit, sparking a terrifying yet marvelous adventure that includes space pirates, giant spiders and a universe in peril. My son and I highly recommend it!

One of these days, I'm going to try writing a Steampunk tale. It'll take some mind expanding I'm not sure I'm capable of, but who knows? Maybe the right inspiration will set off a muse-rattling explosion in my head.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy the imaginations of others already brave enough to imagine a Steampunk'd world (and maybe feel inspired!):

Artist Bob Fett has done some amazing series of Steampunk images. His historical artwork is equally impressive. For some Steampunk/Cyberpunk/Historical Fiction inspiration, view more of his work HERE.

And, maybe images like these (these are not the work of Fett, btw) will spark my imagination:

How about you? Have you tried Steampunk? Is there a genre way outside your comfort zone you'd like to attempt?