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Author Topic: Westworld (The Tv Serie)  (Read 257 times)
chicar
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Chicar556
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« on: December 30, 2019, 03:45:31 pm »

A bit late in the party but i slightly chicken out. Do its count as steampunk if the 19th century like civilisation IS the sci fi tech?
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2019, 08:44:24 pm »

I don't think so.

At the simplest, it's a western or it's a futuristic sci-fi setting.  It's really a collision of the two.

It's not styled as an 1800s western sci-fi in the sense that that people of that era are making air ships and transmogrification apparatus. The guests are restricted to staying period authentic (and are ignored when they break character).

If all of us showed up in costume, we would stand out. There's no villains dressed or equipped like us to fight.


All of the sci-fi parts are styled futuristically modern relative to us, and not in an 1800s style.  It's the difference between a Star Trek Borg cosplay and a steampunk Borg costume.  Nobody takes stuff straight from Locutus's outfit and wears it over their victorian garb. It looks wrong.  It ain't steampunk unless it looks like a Victorian made it.

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chicar
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Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 12:43:01 am »

ok
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2019, 06:54:51 am »

I wouldn't say it's entirely outside of Steampunk, but it's not your mainstream "Anachronistic Steampunk." The reason is that the story doesn't have a clean parting point from an established Victorian timeline, and instead the plot takes you out of a specific time frame (it's the near future, in the United States, but we can't place the time).

Westworld could fall under the" Uchronic Steampunk" label - ie the same way that Robert E Howard's Hyborean character Conan the Destroyer is living in a late Stone Age Eurasia, but you can't place exactly where and when, ie Uchronia, so Conan stories would be a type of Uchronic Fantasy.

The other issue is that the story has a strong Cyberpunk feel, with a near future dystopian society who exploit artificial beings considered to be mere slaves at best and soulless machines at worst (eg Blade Runner), I guess this is what is a deal breaker to some. Westworld does feel more Cyberpunk than Steampunk, but it's not entirely unrelated.  I would counter that argument by pointing to the "Golem Conundrum" in the story. That is the paradox of having an artificial being acting as if it has free will, which is a plot that traces its roots all the way to antiquity, but relevant to Steampunk it's related to the Victorian Sci-fi Horror of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

And I'd remind the reader that Steampunk can be even wilder, with settings entirely outside of planet Earth, like the 1960s episodes of Star Trek, where in some alien world Captain Kirk's crew find a whole Wild West town full of gunslingers, perhaps as a decoy or trap for visitors (I forget the exact plot).

And what about the Trigun Animé franchise? Wild West aesthetic again, but taking place off- Earth in a far far future. And Firefly? It's Steampunk pedigree is even more tenuous, with only the costuming hinting at the old western movies and the fact the main characters are human .

The most extreme case would be a novel where aliens who look nothing like humans are in the midst of their own industrial revolution, and so the Victorianesque aesthetics repeat again. The latter I called "Virtual Steampunk," because the story is sort of a "convergent evolution" in a time and place completely outside of Earth's reality.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 07:50:47 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

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