Steampunk is steadily moving out of its cultish origins. It’s shifted from the Zeppelins and other 20th century technology being transplanted into Victorian times, to a wider range of more interesting modes. The number of images online of bodice-boasting, time-piece-adorned fashion cosplay photos and craft items has brought a stylish new aesthetic into the genre and expanded it’s horizons. And for some, this has become a serious cosplay phenomenon, the appeal being, I think, the adaptability of steampunk for crafted personal creativity, using timepiece elements, fanciful goggles, top hats, cloaks and various copper or brass metal elements.
I joined a Steampunk group on Google+ and it’s one of the most active (creative) online community I’ve ever been involved with. Many of the images are photos but there’s an increasing number of illustrations and a bigger world is opening.
Classic Steampunk would include some of the original Science fiction classics, Well’s Time Machine and War of the Worlds, and Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, but any reader of Michael Moorcock or Harry Harrison will be familiar with what has subsequently been called steampunk.
The movies have not been immune either, Aliens v Cowboys (trailer here) was a major scale, cinematic attempt at Wild West extreme steampunk. Doctor Who is really a steampunk hero, although one of the best is during David Tennant’s tenure, with the good Doctor meeting Queen Victoria, fending off a werewolf and encountering an alien-identifying telescope (a review here, and some great photos on the i09.com website here).
So, and the last one in this mini-series of infographics, here is a steampunk arm and how it was turned from a sketch to a rendered piece of digital art. For the short stories Gallery of Undead and Baal Across the Water I’ve been sketching my way into the characters of Hunter and Bain, then rendering them digitally. This arm is Bain’s. In the stories it has limited use except as a major inconvenience in water! I’m playing with some anti-technology themes at the moment.
Some Steampunk links
From Sincerelyboots.com here’s some great fashion shots and ideas.
An oldish essay on Steampunk that still veyr helpful, here.
An excellent top 20 reading list for Steampunk lovers, here.
From 99U, an interesting article about structuring a novel, here.
And some other posts on this site you might be interested in:
Other writing links in These Fantastic Worlds can be found here.
Do you have other ways of creating the mood for your stories? I’d be interested in your comments.