There are bands, books and conventions devoted to the genre. It’s growing in popularity and spreading throughout the world.
Maybe you’ve heard of Steampunk but don’t know where to go for more information. The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by Jeff Vandermeer with S. J. Chambers is a good place to start.Published in 2011 by Abrams Image, it’s filled with illustrations and essays covering many aspects of the genre.
There are chapters covering fashion, books, movies, and the history and future of Steampunk.
But what is it? Vandermeer describes the genre as “retro-futuristic” and uses his definition of:
“Mad Scientist Inventor [invention (steam x airship or metal man / baroque stylings) x (pseudo) Victorian setting] + progressive or reactionary politics x adventure plot”
For a musical introduction to Steampunk, try the bands Steam Powered Giraffe and Abney Park. Creative videos and songs like Brass Goggles and Automatonic Electronic Harmonics are characteristic of Steam Powered Giraffe’s original songs. They combine Steampunk, pantomime and Vaudeville into unique performances.
Bio information on Abney Park’s website says the band is a “riotous dervish” of “post- apocalyptic, swashbuckling, Steampunk musical mayhem”. Their Steampunk Revolution and The Circus at the End of the World videos evoke images of Mad Max and other movies.
(part two of this article will be published in the coming weeks)
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