Steamline: An Introduction

May I bid you a fond, if a bit formal, welcome to Steamline.

Imagine if you will a world based on the Victorian era and influenced by the Industrial Revolution with a significant change. Instead of coal powering technology, replace that with steam and let the inventions go wild. Airships roaming the skies, weapons and tools of all sorts for missions of a grand variety. A society based around this world could be seen as post-apocalyptic or a pure fantasy universe. One can’t forget to mention the characters that are often as anachronistic and colorful as the universe itself.  At least for me, this describes the world of Steampunk, a variety of science-fiction often set in alternate history version of the industrialized Western civilization of the 19th century. This genre of literature sometimes brings in elements of adventure, romance, horror, and other genres which leads to the creation of a  lot of hybrids. With so many hybrids, trying to describe this genre can be a challenging task for certain. However, one thing is for sure, steampunk lets itself to a lot of diverse ideas resulting from the creation of such hybrids.

I still must admit that to describe Steampunk as only a literary genre would be doing a major disservice to those who have built a subculture and a fashion out of it, not to forget everything else inspired by it. Those inspired by the fiction have created a community where people can create characters or personas where they use the aesthetics to define a look. This look would be defined by the use of leather and metals (specifically copper and brass) when mixed with outfits inspired by the 19th century. These outfits are then accented with various objects including pocket-watches, parasols, and weapons of all sorts. Though there is many examples of those who use gears and goggles in their outfits, it is usually suggested that those items actually have a relevance to the outfit the person is trying to portray. In addition to the style, there has been a movement adopting Steampunk for home decor as well as a lifestyle and philosophy.

This has spread to the point that all around the world,  there are a variety of conventions dedicated to gathering enthusiasts of Steampunk together to share their passion. In addition to the conventions, there have been various musical acts that would coincide with the subculture, however the musical genres of individual groups are still rather broad. For example, there is punk in The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing to the electronic Wet-Glass RO and the big band Secret Society. Still, those are only a few examples of what has grown out of the interest in Steampunk.  Of course, there also have been various amazing works of art and and modifications to existing products to make them resemble possible objects in the fictional worlds.

As for the purpose of Steamline, this will be mostly a look at some major books in the genre as well as an occasional peek at musical acts that have been spawned from it’s influence.  So for now, I bid you a fond farewell and hope to return to the log soon enough.

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