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Author Topic: Novum And How It Helped Clarify My Definition Of Steampunk  (Read 128 times)
chicar
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« on: August 27, 2020, 08:31:06 pm »

If asked to define steampunk i would became by defining science-fiction and explain how it is not only a technological businness but a general scientific one. Preternatural things like cryptids, zombie viruses,clarkian magic, superorganisms (eldtrich beings) and psychic powers are as much worthy to be call sci-fi elements than robots and spaceships.  Than i would end by saying than steampunk is sci-fi based either between the french revolution and the end of WWI or in a setting ressembling this time period.


I recently learned of a term would may help me with this explainations in the futur: Novum, mainly what out of the ordinary but still scientificly rationalisable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum

It has the merit to give a wide enought definition of sci-fi to give a wide enought definition of steampunk to please every tastes.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 08:35:55 pm by chicar » Logged

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.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 04:22:09 am »

Greetings My Dear Chicar -

This is a most excellent topic and insight!

...
 i would became by defining science-fiction and explain how it is not only a technological businness but a general scientific one. Preternatural things like cryptids, zombie viruses,clarkian magic, superorganisms (eldtrich beings) and psychic powers are as much worthy to be call sci-fi elements than robots and spaceships. 

Than i would end by saying than steampunk is sci-fi based either between the french revolution and the end of WWI or in a setting ressembling this time period.
...

Well Done, Sir!

Steampunk is most certainly an "alternate Reality" and I very much agree with the "Preternatural things" ...
I am also enchanted with with your time setting:

"between the french revolution and the end of WWI or in a setting ressembling this time period. "

This covers an excellent time period which is chock-full of intriguing events and the opportunities for many
"what if" forks of alternative history! The era itself reeks of Collonialism ( with both it's ups and downs and terrible acts),
The Industrial Revolution ( ditto ) and the various Cultural Revolutions (ditto again) going on throughout the world, as
the common folk took hold of their own lives, fortunes, and futures... wrenching them away from the Aristocracy.

Quote from: chicar
I recently learned of a term would may help me with this explainations in the futur: Novum, mainly what out of the ordinary but still scientificly rationalisable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum

It has the merit to give a wide enought definition of sci-fi to give a wide enought definition of steampunk to please every tastes.

To elaborate on this, I will quote snips:

For those of us who are Latin Impaired:
snip-----------------------------------
Novum (Latin for new thing)

.....

snip------------------------
Suvin argues that the genre of Science Fiction is distinguished from Fantasy by the story being driven by a novum validated by logic he calls cognitive estrangement. This means that the hypothetical "new thing" which the story is about can be imagined to exist by scientific means rather than by magic, i.e., by the factual reporting of fictions and by relating them in a plausible way to reality.[1]
endsnip---------------------

I personally agree that "Preternatural things" need to be included in parallel with alternative science, but separate from the "fantasy/ magic" bit... otherwise we have Gandalf and Unicorns running into Capt Nemo and Sherlock Holmes and it gets
way to messy for my palate.

However, 2 excellent examples of "Preternatural things" that most folk consider Steamy would be the Hellboy and the newer Sherlock Holmes movies.

Additionally, I agree it is important to include the "supernatural" because at any given point in time, the Science of the Era
cannot explain all events and abilities.

Even in this modern age there are abilities and events that scientific methods can't yet explain.

yhs
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 12:11:18 pm »

The problem is that even dragons are scientifically possible. MacCaffrey's Pern series ended up being more science fiction and less fantasy. Various other well known series are science fiction but with "magic" as part of them, e.g., MZB's Darkover series, various other MacCaffrey series. Sometimes it is hard to define the border. They may have "novum" components but they may still be fantasy in their core.

As I think has been discussed previously, it is easier to talk about components being steampunk, science fiction, fantasy or otherwise, but it is sometimes hard to define a tale as being exclusively one or the other.

Sorontar

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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2020, 05:39:06 am »

No genre, except perhaps non-fiction, has firm borders.  The edges blur into one another like a colour wheel.  You may be able to point to red and blue and even purple but there is going to be those unnamed shades between periwinkle and mauve, between burgundy and puce. 
In the same way there are the genre-bending, difficult to define stories and aesthetics between history and steampunk and sci-fi and fantasy.
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2020, 05:40:34 am »

PS I like the idea of adding Novum to the periodic table between Unobtanium and Vibranium
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2020, 07:12:30 am »

The problem is that even dragons are scientifically possible. MacCaffrey's Pern series ended up being more science fiction and less fantasy. Various other well known series are science fiction but with "magic" as part of them, e.g., MZB's Darkover series, various other MacCaffrey series. Sometimes it is hard to define the border. They may have "novum" components but they may still be fantasy in their core.

As I think has been discussed previously, it is easier to talk about components being steampunk, science fiction, fantasy or otherwise, but it is sometimes hard to define a tale as being exclusively one or the other. It is up to scientists to rid humanity from this curse. Sounds like the plot of a Sci-fi novel.

Sorontar


Many years ago, in a world, far, far away, an old man decided to eat a small dragon... But the gods became angry and they cursed the people of that world with a plague that mostly killed old men. Scores of people were lost to disease, with no end in sight. At a loss, the medics pleaded for help, and so wise men and mages from far and wide convened to find a cure. The mages concluded that the curse was a disease carried by people's breath. Using the Rules of Logic, written down since the Golden Age, the mentats predicted that up to three quarters of the people would become ill, and to buy time while a cure was found they told the people to cover their faces with a fine cloth.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangolin

« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 07:49:19 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2020, 08:35:24 am »

Nice one J. Wilhelm!
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