steam punk


“You can define steampunk as visions of the future that never was, as seen through the technology of the Victorian era, when things were made of pistons and steam rather than silicon and transistors,” says Slater, who is dressed in a ruffled white shirt, pegged trousers and spats. “It’s an aesthetic, a geek culture, a craft culture.” It’s certainly all those things; steampunks take pride in their ability to make 19th-century-style clothes and gadgets from found objects, creating intricate gizmos from brass, leather and rivets. A London-based American musician called Thomas Truax even makes his own instruments: there’s one called the Hornicator, made from a gramophone horn; another, known as Mother Superior, emits steam when played.

The emphasis on gadgetry explains why so many steampeople are male. So does the movement’s basis in late 20th-century science fiction. “Steampunk” was initially a literary genre dreamed up in the 1980s by authors such as KW Jeter, who set stories in steam-powered Victorian London as a riposte to then-fashionable cyberpunk books and films. It was quickly adopted by goths as well as sci-fi buffs and grew into a culture that, in America, is big enough to support a three-day Steam Powered convention, which will be held this month near San Francisco.

more from The Guardian here.