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Author Topic: What is Steampunk, really?  (Read 3289 times)
Major Vincent Smith
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« Reply #50 on: April 30, 2015, 05:45:18 pm »

I quite like "a battery of steampunks" or perhaps "a machination of steampunks"
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« Reply #51 on: April 30, 2015, 06:25:49 pm »

Hmmm, let me think.....

"A murder of Crows", "A Pride of Lions"......


"A Gin & Tonic of Steampunks".......OOOOH, OOOOOHH, I know!! - "A Powerhouse of SteampunksGrin Grin


And while we're at it, a collective of Chavs would be "A Fart or Chavs".  Cheesy
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« Reply #52 on: April 30, 2015, 06:30:36 pm »

A fleet of steampunks?
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« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2015, 06:43:15 pm »

Fleet of Steampunks, I like that.

& isn't a Scum of Chavs?
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« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2015, 12:05:38 am »

I thought A Knockoff of Chavs and a Full Head of Steampunks.
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« Reply #55 on: May 01, 2015, 01:39:25 am »

a Full Head of Steampunks.

I quite like that one!  Grin
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« Reply #56 on: May 01, 2015, 05:41:26 am »



 a [rail ] gang of  steampunks
 a battalion
 a regiment
a coterie
a  cotillion
a rag tag bunch
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« Reply #57 on: May 01, 2015, 08:15:23 am »

How about a Clatter of Steampunks?
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« Reply #58 on: May 01, 2015, 02:13:34 pm »

I believe that the correct term is a 'Meshing' of Steampunks derived from what happens when cogs are brought together. However there are equally legitimate regional variations around the globe.
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« Reply #59 on: May 01, 2015, 05:45:37 pm »

How about a Clatter of Steampunks?

Brilliant!
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« Reply #60 on: May 01, 2015, 07:37:19 pm »

Steampunk is like an orange (or the colour orange)  Grin

http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,25961.msg580633.html#msg580633
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« Reply #61 on: May 02, 2015, 02:46:15 pm »

A Gallimaufry of steampunks?
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« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2015, 01:29:46 am »

Would a very small group be a "puff?"
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« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2015, 02:33:17 am »

It's a Steam Trunk of Steampunks.
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« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2015, 06:54:59 am »

A Splendidity, surely ...
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« Reply #65 on: May 03, 2015, 02:16:02 pm »

An Assemblage of Steampunks.

This connects with the Maker culture as well as the literary roots.

I'm really liking this one.
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« Reply #66 on: May 03, 2015, 05:00:26 pm »

A Splendidity, surely ...
Or a Splendour.
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« Reply #67 on: May 04, 2015, 01:47:26 am »

Isn't that peacocks?

Oh yes, I see your point.
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« Reply #68 on: May 04, 2015, 11:53:37 pm »

Part of the problem I've noticed, particularly of late, is that Steampunk is awash with folks queuing up to tell you what it is and what it isn't, who don't seem to have much of a clue themselves. I don't mean here so much, some of these guys are proper OGs, far more so than me. But yeah you have to be a bit careful when listening to advice, and that's also true with what I'm about to say.

Steampunk once was simply a genre of Science Fiction incorporating retro futurism and alternate history. The term was coined in the 1980s as an off the cuff suggestion to describe a few books half the "Steampunks" you'll encounter nowadays probably can't even name let alone haven't read. How it went from that to a bunch of individuals adopting fake British accents and staggering about in ludicrously over embellished "costumes" is anybody's guess.

Please don't listen to people that tell you it's about historical accuracy or that you need a persona. I also advise caution when you hear (as you inevitably will) that there are no rules and it's all about having fun. Take a picture of yourself in a bright pink tracksuit, post it in a Steampunk forum as your new SP outfit and see how much fun that is.

Oh there are rules all right, but the first rule of Steampunk currently appears to be no one must ever admit it.

I've never been one for following rules, so with that in mind, allow me to suggest a few guidelines (nothing more) that you might find helpful.

Unlike Victorian Science Fiction, Steampunk is a contemporary movement taking inspiration from the past. Mainly the C19th and early C20th. It doesn't have to be strictly Victorian era, but design elements and influences from that time are popular. One big thing that differentiates it from any kind of re-enactment, is the obvious contemporary pov. Despite what some folks might say, Steampunk is NOT Victorian science fiction. Jules Verne and HG Wells are not Steampunk authors, purely because they were genuinely Victorian era writers, so despite their futuristic visions, they could not have our contemporary viewpoint. They and their ilk certainly are an inspiration and influence however, as much as their period in history is, hence the relevance to the movement.

The whole DIY maker ethos attached itself around what? 2005, 2006. Possibly earlier depending on who you speak to, but no matter what anyone says it was certainly not there to begin with. Credit where it's due however, it was partly the resulting art, crafts and openly shared knowledge from all that, which helped raise the profile of Steampunk to the degree that it evolved into an actual subculture. I will still continue to say however, that anyone who says you absolutely must be a maker to be a "real" Steampunk, is as full of crap as anyone who tells you persona is mandatory.

The whole costume and persona aspect largely developed through the American Sci Fi Convention circuit, where it continues to thrive. We're getting a lot more of that kind of cultural influence here in Britain as well now of course, but no it isn't compulsory (thank God).

And of course, Steampunk remains a sub genre of Science Fiction (or even Science Fantasy in some cases). So reading a few genre relevant books or watching a few films is something I recommend highly. No single one of them will provide the ideal blueprint, but it's all possible inspiration, and will give you plenty of examples of how other folks have interpreted the "rules". Plus it's always a good time explaining to the re-enactor types how much fun you had designing your historically accurate giant mechanical spider...


« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 03:02:32 pm by Argus Fairbrass » Logged

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« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2015, 12:09:18 am »

Argus Fairbrass you make some good points.  To amplify a little, without the maker movement, there would be no lasting steampunk. Equally, without the costume aspect, there would be no steampunk.

It is a sum of several parts.  There is no exact ratio of the parts, and some parts might not be present at all, but clearly the total is more than any one piece.
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« Reply #70 on: May 05, 2015, 12:39:08 am »

Agreed, I'd also state from personal experience, it's nigh on impossible to hang around a place like this and not contract the DIY bug, even if that was not what attracted you to SP initially. Which I think is quite a testament to how integral it's become even if it wasn't there to start with (no one's ever selling me on that persona malarkey though). Wink
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« Reply #71 on: May 05, 2015, 12:41:01 am »

(no one's ever selling me on that persona malarkey though). Wink

Good man!  Wink
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« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2015, 03:24:36 am »

Fake British accents? Ugh, I was not aware that was happening. I've not really hung out with other US steampunks much due to living in the middle of nowhere, and every time I've tried to go to a con, some big emergency has come up. Can I just apologize for the US? 
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« Reply #73 on: May 05, 2015, 04:04:14 am »

Fake British accents? Ugh, I was not aware that was happening. I've not really hung out with other US steampunks much due to living in the middle of nowhere, and every time I've tried to go to a con, some big emergency has come up. Can I just apologize for the US?  

Before we start apologising, let me state that I have not encountered fake British accents yet.  At least not since 2008. I did once encounter a fake Russian accent.  Does that make me strange?
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« Reply #74 on: May 05, 2015, 07:48:37 am »

Lol, there really are no apologies necessary. I'm just trying to impart to the op that yes, there actually is a kind of yard stick by which folks judge the Steampunkiness of things, and yes we are allowed to cherry pick aspects we like. Obviously if some folks have gone into areas others don't personally care for, that does not of course mean they're doing it wrong.

It was the neo Victorian angle that partly attracted me to Steampunk in the first place. And despite the fact some Steamers have no interest in that at all, and will tell you it isn't in of itself Steampunk. It remains the case that if you walk around in pure neo Victorian garb these days with nary a gear, goggle or ray gun in sight, sooner or later someone is still going to label you as such, so you can't win.
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