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Author Topic: Greetings, Fellow Human Beings!  (Read 929 times)
Aberrant23
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« on: January 24, 2018, 11:48:01 pm »

Admittedly, I am new to the Steampunk genre. I've known of its existence for a number of years, but have largely ignored it in lieu of more traditional fantasy, science fiction, and horror projects. I've started looking at Steampunk more seriously lately, in part due to curiosity and wanting to broaden my horizons, and in part because I've recently begun reading The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher, which has helped pique my interest on the subject.

Anyways, long story short, I am an aspiring author, and I think a steampunk setting would be the perfect backdrop to a sci-fi/fantasy series I've been developing over the last several years. It's still got some ruffles, so to speak, but I think it's got some potential.

As mentioned before, I am not all that terribly familiar with the steampunk aesthetic, especially when it comes to my writing, so I'm here mostly to meet some other steampunk enthusiasts and do some research on the subject. I'm primarily looking to make a world that feels true to the aesthetic. What did people dress like, what did they eat, what did they do for fun, what kind of technology did the common man have access to in his day-to-day life, that sort of thing. My knowledge in history is sadly lacking, so I'm literally building on a foundation of nothing aside from perhaps some exposure via television and movies.

I look forward to making some new friends and learning more about this literary aesthetic and subculture. Smiley
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Synistor 303
Officer
***
Australia Australia


Zenyna Ironbracker


« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 06:48:14 am »

After reading your post a couple of times I cannot help but wonder if you believe that Steampunk was a time in history and that we are all 'Steampunk history' buffs here?

I would define Steampunk as an art movement. We are makers of that art in all its many forms. You may to do a little more research.
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Aberrant23
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 07:46:43 am »

Which is why I am here; to do research, to discuss, and to learn. My initial post was perhaps a bit rushed, and I understand where it may be confusing. Allow me to elaborate.

I am aware that Steampunk is not a point in real-world history, though from what I have seen and read, it does tend to anchor itself to a certain aesthetic based in real-world history; namely, Victorian- (and perhaps Edwardian-) era England, and the American Wild West. Having largely ignored most of my history classes growing up for reasons I won't get into here, I feel like I am lacking knowledge in this area, and am merely seeking to educate myself on the matter.

That being said, I am aware that Steampunk doesn't adhere strictly to what history provides, allowing the possibility to explore the eras in more fantastic ways. As an aspiring author looking to use this medium to tell a story, I seek an understanding of the historical eras Steampunk is based on to lend a sense of credibility to the world I am developing, building up those more fantastic and awe-inspiring elements from that foundation.

As a newcomer to the Steampunk community, I am interested in learning what is and is not accepted within this art movement, genre, subculture, etc. What do people like to see coming out of this movement? What don't they like to see? What pushes the envelope too far, or not far enough? I realize that there is no hard, definitive explanation for what Steampunk "is" as a whole, but surely there are themes or elements that can help differentiate what "is" and "isn't" Steampunk.

I am not trying to be willfully ignorant on the subject, I only lack the exposure many of the other people on this forum have. I am a student, looking for teachers. If I err in my assessments or conclusions, I seek corrections so that I can use the term and all its associations more accurately. In the end, I realize the vision I have will be my own, and it will be left to others to determine whether or not it truly fits under the definition of Steampunk, but in the meantime, I would like to do my best to sort out and recognize the common threads so that I might understand it better.
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 09:04:34 pm »

Welcome to the forum Mr. Aberrant!

Traditionally, I'm less of a literary author and sartorial aficionado myself, and more of a maker, aeronautical engineer and amateur historian.

However, in the last  couple of years that has changed dramatically.

I have turned to the sartorial side in support of two characters which I have developed, from my penchant for historical research and development of alternate futures.

One  character has been there since I joined the forum in 2010, and the second emerged from anachronistic story lines I dabbled with in 2013. Naturally, the setting for these two characters is aeronautical in nature.

Both characters are representative of my real self in one way or another. Now I'm at the point where the alternative historical backgrounds I have created are massive enough to generate subplots that write themselves, so to speak.

I've concluded this mass could lead to a work of fiction I have tentatively named The Valkyrie and the Eagle.

So you never know where the hobby takes you.
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 09:35:15 pm »

After reading your post a couple of times I cannot help but wonder if you believe that Steampunk was a time in history and that we are all 'Steampunk history' buffs here?

I would define Steampunk as an art movement. We are makers of that art in all its many forms. You may to do a little more research.

Which is why I am here; to do research, to discuss, and to learn. My initial post was perhaps a bit rushed, and I understand where it may be confusing. Allow me to elaborate.

I am aware that Steampunk is not a point in real-world history, though from what I have seen and read, it does tend to anchor itself to a certain aesthetic based in real-world history; namely, Victorian- (and perhaps Edwardian-) era England, and the American Wild West. Having largely ignored most of my history classes growing up for reasons I won't get into here, I feel like I am lacking knowledge in this area, and am merely seeking to educate myself on the matter.

That being said, I am aware that Steampunk doesn't adhere strictly to what history provides, allowing the possibility to explore the eras in more fantastic ways. As an aspiring author looking to use this medium to tell a story, I seek an understanding of the historical eras Steampunk is based on to lend a sense of credibility to the world I am developing, building up those more fantastic and awe-inspiring elements from that foundation.

As a newcomer to the Steampunk community, I am interested in learning what is and is not accepted within this art movement, genre, subculture, etc. What do people like to see coming out of this movement? What don't they like to see? What pushes the envelope too far, or not far enough? I realize that there is no hard, definitive explanation for what Steampunk "is" as a whole, but surely there are themes or elements that can help differentiate what "is" and "isn't" Steampunk.

I am not trying to be willfully ignorant on the subject, I only lack the exposure many of the other people on this forum have. I am a student, looking for teachers. If I err in my assessments or conclusions, I seek corrections so that I can use the term and all its associations more accurately. In the end, I realize the vision I have will be my own, and it will be left to others to determine whether or not it truly fits under the definition of Steampunk, but in the meantime, I would like to do my best to sort out and recognize the common threads so that I might understand it better.

If I may interject here for a moment, I did not get the chance to reply before Ms. Synistor (my original welcome mat laid before you in my previous post). However I didn't quite get the impression that Mr. Aberrant thought Steampunk was "a historical period."

One of the greatest fallacies in Steampunk is to try to define what Steampunk is. Many arguments have been fought over precisely that subject. Nobody ever wins that argument, and in part it's due to the fact that it spans so many disciplines and such a wide geography that Steampunk means something different to each one of us.

What I can say is this: Steampunk started as a branch of Fiction Literature sometime in the mid 20th C. The name Steampunk was coined by science fiction author KW Jeter, in 1987(?), as a tongue in cheek term for 19th C styled Sci Fi along the lines of Jules Verne's works. So one guess is that the central theme of Steampunk is along the lines of 19th C industrial revolution placed on an alternate time frame. Sometime in the 1990s Post-Goth folk began to migrate and dress the part of Steampunk characters and in the 2000s the DIY/Maker crowd joined to build props based on the aesthetic.

Having said that, Steampunk is far more than just  British /Victorian Sci-Fi folklore. The reach of the Industrial Revolution was in fact global, and when Steampunk began to spread beyond English speaking countries, newcomers reminded us of the development of the Industrial revolution elsewhere. I myself am one of the earliest (I won't call myself a co-founder) of the Steampunk México Forum. The Japanese equivalent is the Tokyo Inventors' Society.

Japan had the Meïji Era, Mexico had the Porfiriato and Revolución Periods, and Russia had the Bolshevik Revolution, during which modern Western European industry and fashion began to deeply misceginate with the native folkloric culture. Not to mention the British Empire effect in India, and much of the world for example. As a consequence, Steampunk is global and not just British. Hence, depending on the geographical location, it may extend well within the Edwardian Era as well. I feel I must point that out.

Either way, Mr. Aberrant, please feel welcome, and don't get bogged down by definitions!

Cheers,
 
Adm. J. Wilhelm
United States Airship Orca
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 01:50:46 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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