Steampunk - to steam or not to punk?

3:13 PM Anis Widayanti 0 Comments

I found - well "found" is a bit of a fib, I was actually Google-alerted to the existence of this post... anyway - I was alerted to this interesting and most excellent article by S.F.Winser upon the humble topic of "steampunk", which included a brief mention of my own work.

Now, previously I would have reacted with a little heat to someone lumping MBT into the steampunk genre because by my own definition of the term, MBT has neither steam nor magic crammed together in that wonderfully uncomfortable manner that is a hallmark of the scene (such as in Mr Mieville's wonderful world). Neither is the Half-Continent and the lands about a Victorian world (as sooooo many keep mistakenly identify it - I defy anyone to show me evidence of the wearing of tri-corner hats in Victorian England, except perhaps by the most rustic) - no it is as, I have conceived it, Georgian, Hanovarian and a wee bit of the Enlightenment too.

Yet if you take Mr Winser's definition: "Steampunk comes from a time when a scientist could make anything in his basement. It might be something clunky-looking, it might be something beautiful - but dammit it would look interesting and it would work..." then, by the precious here and vere! it IS most certainly steampunk, through and through. Some of my earliest writings upon the H-c and beyond were of benighted laboratories where mad dabblers concocted wickedness to let loose on the ignorant world, and people would disappear to end up as parts in a some thrice-wretched experiment.

So steam the punks I say, though maybe go easy on the steam and invite some frock-coated folk along instead.

(I must confess I quoted Mr Winser's article without permission - I hope he does not mind, it is done in the spirit of conversation. If you do mind, sir, I apologise and humbly ask you if I might use this quote...)

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