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Author Topic: Steampunk legend and lore  (Read 8812 times)
Cory
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« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2007, 05:14:26 pm »

How much of a Romantic movement do you think a Steampunk world would have had? Do you think you would have had, maybe, a vast divide between, I guess, the realists and romantics? Would it have been a class one? Or would the idea of gremlins (little house spirits for the workshop, maybe) just have developed sooner?

I would imagine that the more excessive the technology, the more intense the reaction against it. In William Morris' News from Nowhere, he describes a utopian Romantic British society of the future where pretty much everything is agrarian, neo-mediaeval and liberal-socialist.
Quote
I was going to say, "But is this the Thames?" but held my peace in my wonder, and turned my bewildered eyes eastward to look at the bridge again, and thence to the shores of the London river; and surely there was enough to astonish me.  For though there was a bridge across the stream and houses on its banks, how all was changed from last night! The soap-works with their smoke-vomiting chimneys were gone; the engineer's works gone; the lead-works gone; and no sound of rivetting and hammering came down the west wind from Thorneycroft's.  Then the bridge!  I had perhaps dreamed of such a bridge, but never seen such an one out of an illuminated manuscript; for not even the Ponte Vecchio at Florence came anywhere near it.  It was of stone arches, splendidly solid, and as graceful as they were strong; high enough also to let ordinary river traffic through easily.  Over the parapet showed quaint and fanciful little buildings, which I supposed to be booths or shops, beset with painted and gilded vanes and spirelets. The stone was a little weathered, but showed no marks of the grimy sootiness which I was used to on every London building more than a year old.  In short, to me a wonder of a bridge.

...

This seemed to me such very queer talk that I was on the point of asking him another question; when just as we came to the top of a
rising ground, down a long glade of the wood on my right I caught sight of a stately building whose outline was familiar to me, and I
cried out, "Westminster Abbey!"

"Yes," said Dick, "Westminster Abbey--what there is left of it."

"Why, what have you done with it?" quoth I in terror.

"What have WE done with it?" said he; "nothing much, save clean it. But you know the whole outside was spoiled centuries ago:  as to the inside, that remains in its beauty after the great clearance, which took place over a hundred years ago, of the beastly monuments to
fools and knaves, which once blocked it up, as great-grandfather says."

We went on a little further, and I looked to the right again, and said, in rather a doubtful tone of voice, "Why, there are the Houses
of Parliament!  Do you still use them?"

He burst out laughing, and was some time before he could control himself; then he clapped me on the back and said:

"I take you, neighbour; you may well wonder at our keeping them standing, and I know something about that, and my old kinsman has
given me books to read about the strange game that they played there. Use them!  Well, yes, they are used for a sort of subsidiary market, and a storage place for manure, and they are handy for that, being on the waterside.  I believe it was intended to pull them down quite at the beginning of our days; but there was, I am told, a queer antiquarian society, which had done some service in past times, and which straightway set up its pipe against their destruction, as it has done with many other buildings, which most people looked upon as worthless, and public nuisances; and it was so energetic, and had such good reasons to give, that it generally gained its point; and I must say that when all is said I am glad of it:  because you know at the worst these silly old buildings serve as a kind of foil to the beautiful ones which we build now.  You will see several others in these parts; the place my great-grandfather lives in, for instance, and a big building called St. Paul's.  And you see, in this matter we need not grudge a few poorish buildings standing, because we can always build elsewhere; nor need we be anxious as to the breeding of pleasant work in such matters, for there is always room for more and more work in a new building, even without making it pretentious.
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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2007, 08:09:23 pm »

In Second Life our group has a fantastic person by the name of Remington Pennyfeather. who "supposedly" shot a "fangorious duck beast" while on a Safari in "Zanzibar".  The evidence of this is a little shaky, as the "picture" of him with his foot on the beasts head is hand drawn.  Also the Stuffed Duck Beast itself (about 4 meters high BTB) seems questionable.

so our characters in game have some tall tales we spin, and they are just as true as untrue.  Would this count?
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kiskolou
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2007, 07:24:31 am »

Since i always imagined a steam punk land a little dystopian, i imagined that there would be no myths, just propaganda. There would be posters everywhere telling the poor to, " Build more automatons! " or " Full steam towards the future!" or maybe, "Technology is progress!". The children would be told stories of daring imperialist spies hunting down "anti-tech" rebels on the streets, all in devotion for the queen/king/emperor, whatever the land had. Of course, that is just because of my version of steampunk being a little darker, with more Victorian "anarchists", more mysterious masquerades, and more downtrodden orphans.
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Nemo137
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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2007, 10:07:05 am »

I think a culture like that would develop some rich lore - bitter, dystopian lore, more like urban legends than fairy tales, but lore after all. It'd be all the second hand information, filtered through fantasy, that the downtrodden orphans got from their "older brothers."
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Simon Hogwood
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2007, 09:50:17 pm »

Steampunk urban legends - that's a good idea! Hmm . . .

After I saw the mysterious airship crash, two men in black overcoats and shaded goggles warned me not to tell anybody, unless I wanted to suddenly lose my job at the factory.
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Enoch Tremaine
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2007, 11:07:36 pm »

Indeed, Kisk, until them slathering horseglue on weathered masonry for yet another emboldened high-contrast poster, primarily in shades of blood and soot, become the same who gaze upon pocket watches from high perches above the smog layer, marveling at the pristine blue.

Nothing quite like a Morality Play sans Innocents, where Luther was bang to rights on the mewling newborn among the tattered cotton prints irrespective of Social Station.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 11:10:35 pm by Enoch Tremaine » Logged
Sir Andrew
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2007, 04:31:03 pm »

I'd imagine that stories of little men that run around messing up machinery would no doubt emerge, like the gremlins of WWII...

(on a side note, why is it that most mythical creatures whose names begin with the letter "G" seem to be drawn to mechanics? Gnomes, Goblins, Gremlins, there has to be a connection...)
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2007, 10:06:58 pm »

Because my good sir...

G = Gear  Grin
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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2007, 06:18:44 pm »

Since i always imagined a steam punk land a little dystopian, i imagined that there would be no myths, just propaganda. There would be posters everywhere telling the poor to, " Build more automatons! " or " Full steam towards the future!" or maybe, "Technology is progress!". The children would be told stories of daring imperialist spies hunting down "anti-tech" rebels on the streets, all in devotion for the queen/king/emperor, whatever the land had. Of course, that is just because of my version of steampunk being a little darker, with more Victorian "anarchists", more mysterious masquerades, and more downtrodden orphans.

You share my own personal vision.
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2007, 06:35:23 pm »

Yeah I too like the idea of a Victorian Dystopian setting.

"1884" maybe?  Wink

And I think the Proganda posters would be cool if they were mostly done in a Art Nouveau style. Kind of a juxtaposition, between the harsh cold setting, and the advertisement art of the time.
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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2007, 07:24:27 pm »

once I get home from work I'll see what can be done in photoshop, though contribution from an actual artist would probably yield better results than my simple collages
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OHebel Wring
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« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2007, 09:44:54 pm »

I think the thing that you do when you examine legends is to see why they have become legends.  That explains the values of the culture.  An example (from America) would be looking at Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Paul Bunyon, George Washington.  Most of these characters have a story attatched to them that involves individuality, honor, innovation, etc.  Although you could argue that these values are not carried out by many people, the fact is that they are values that are recognized none-the-less. If you look at a lot of eastern legends, they repremand individuality.

Now in our alternate reality, we will have to establish the values that this reality holds dear.  Given that we are inventing the reality, those values will closely resemble our own.  And as a result, I would argue that their legends (although varying in flavor) will resemble ours as well.
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Otto Von Dieselbowser
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« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2007, 01:55:15 am »

Quote
Yeah I too like the idea of a Victorian Dystopian setting.

"1884" maybe? 

Oh what wonderful visions you have inspired in my head Mr. VP.  ^_Q

Bravo!!
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Fantômas
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« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2007, 03:32:44 am »

I'd imagine that stories of little men that run around messing up machinery would no doubt emerge, like the gremlins of WWII...

(on a side note, why is it that most mythical creatures whose names begin with the letter "G" seem to be drawn to mechanics? Gnomes, Goblins, Gremlins, there has to be a connection...)

Griffins? Gargoyles? Giants?.....I think you're imagining the pattern mate.

Smiley
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jordanno2
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« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2007, 09:26:04 am »

a land ruled by a big brother type is intruigeing


I dont know if this is off topic but I suppose for those in the steampunk universe its a sort of urban legend
 :DThe terrible gohst of the steam man?

a man who many years ago replaced himself with steam powerd parts and he wanders the countryside looking for food,water,coal/wood metal parts if you help him he might fix something broken if you refuse to help him you will  regret it.
eg:he either turns you into anouther steam man/woman or burns you to ashes in his fire box to heat his boiler I havent decided what villanous practice this bieng will do to those unfortunate to disobay him.

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irisclara
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« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2007, 11:17:44 am »

I think a culture like that would develop some rich lore - bitter, dystopian lore, more like urban legends than fairy tales, but lore after all. It'd be all the second hand information, filtered through fantasy, that the downtrodden orphans got from their "older brothers."

You mean like Bloody Mary? I can see that in a dystopian past. Spiritualism and Romanticism were both responses to industrialism. I'd expect lots of ghost stories. Ghost in the machine stories, too. Now that I think about it, stories about children raised by wolves or bears (or aliens) might be popular as well.
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Jools_and_Jops
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« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2007, 03:37:49 am »

After I saw the mysterious airship crash, two men in black overcoats and shaded goggles warned me not to tell anybody, unless I wanted to suddenly lose my job at the factory.


Funny you should mention that, I remember reading a book on UFOs many years ago that had a chapter on Mysterious Airships that were sighted in the late nineteenth century.  These airship sightings were supposed to be similar to modern flying saucer sightings.

here it is on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_airship

Quote
Early citations of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, all from 1897, include the Washington Times, which speculated that the airships were "a reconnoitering party from Mars"; and the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, which suggested of the airships, "these may be visitors from Mars, fearful, at the last, of invading the planet they have been seeking."

 Grin



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Simon Hogwood
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« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2007, 03:43:31 am »

I've seen that article before, so it probably subconsciously inspired that part of my post. The Gentlemen in Black, however, I thought were the best part, although the threat was a little weak. {shruggs}

EDIT: In the interests of not being accused of plagiarism, I would also like to point to this as an inspiration for my previous post. (See the "Angel Down Sussex" blurb.)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 02:55:41 am by Simon Hogwood » Logged
Nemo137
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« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2007, 07:42:08 am »

I think a culture like that would develop some rich lore - bitter, dystopian lore, more like urban legends than fairy tales, but lore after all. It'd be all the second hand information, filtered through fantasy, that the downtrodden orphans got from their "older brothers."

You mean like Bloody Mary? I can see that in a dystopian past. Spiritualism and Romanticism were both responses to industrialism. I'd expect lots of ghost stories. Ghost in the machine stories, too. Now that I think about it, stories about children raised by wolves or bears (or aliens) might be popular as well.
Especially if this dystopian past involved a good deal of child labor. Stories of children who disappear down the mines finding a land of dwarves, or like you said, ghosts in the machines. Maybe the older children tell tales of disembodied hands caught in the works, who come out at night and stranlge the unwary.

You know, kid stuff.
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Lasairfion
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« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2007, 09:21:24 am »

I have a sneaky suspicion that their dreams (nightmares?) would be about people who lived in a world with no steam. Where everything seemed to be powered by things that you couldn't see and ran silently and that all gadgets were small, sleek and featureless.

That people lived in box shaped houses devoid of personality, and worked in box shaped offices of grey concrete, looking at their box shapes visiocasters as they were fed images of small automated boxes that moved up and down at will.

That there was a totally dystopian lifestyle of debt, war, social problems and taxes. But it was glossed over by strange fashions, fads for foods from far off places, worldwide travel in fantastically fast machines (similarly sleek and minimalistic), amazing technological and medical advances, and a myriad of strange new sports.

Perhaps, horrified by their thoughts of what the future could end up as, they decided to ensure that this would never happen, but rather they created ornate and wonderful works of moving mechanical marvels, with style, form and flair; elegance and craftsmenship, ingenuity and good solid engineering know-how. Oh, and grease.

And that is why the futures of the past that never were came to be.
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chicar
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Chicar556
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« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2007, 11:26:58 pm »

Theory 1: For them, steampunk means '' science fiction in the light age (18th century)''

Theory 2: Their are the sames legends and myth than us but affected by the different technological évolution of their world ex: The hunter in the little red hood have a light gun instead of a powder gun.

Theory 3: The surnatural of surnatural people. All exist, vampire, werewolfe, ghost, and so what is surnatural for them go further than our own imagination.
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

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« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2007, 12:29:41 am »

Theory 1: For them, steampunk means '' science fiction in the light age (18th century)''

Theoretically, that is all Steampunk is is it not?
A Science fiction for The 18th Century when the thought of an airplane dropping bombs was the end of the world.
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