The recent conversation about Steampunk continues at Genre Cooties « westerblog.
“Yes, the current emblematic book of steampunk is totally Dickensian, but no one pays attention to that because it’s got zombies and airships, and therefore must be a madcap lark. Because this whole conversation has been about flap copy, not actual texts.”
Charlie Stross has a long essay posted on The hard edge of empire – Charlie’s Diary. He raises some of the problematic issues he feels the burgeoning Steampunk fad is skirting, and otherwise waxes a bit ranty about what he sees as recent over-exposure.
“It’s not that I actively dislike steampunk, and indeed I have fond memories of the likes of K. W. Jeter’s “Infernal Devices”, Tim Powers’ “The Anubis Gates”, the works of James Blaylock, and other features of the 1980s steampunk scene. I don’t have that much to say against the aesthetic and costumery other than, gosh, that must be rather hot and hard to perambulate in. (I will confess to being a big fan of Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius.) It’s just that there’s too damn much of it about right now, and furthermore, it’s in danger of vanishing up its own arse due to second artist effect.”
Worth a read if for no other reason than it’s part of the ongoing SFnal conversation.
This steampunky image is real, from the World’s Columbian Exposition: Ferris Wheel, Chicago, United States, 1893. Used courtesy of the Flickr Commons.