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 What is Steampunk? 
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Post What is Steampunk?
It's a theme or style based on Victorian imagery, often referring to alternate-history fantasy fiction. Despite the regrettable movie treatment of the plot, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is very typical example of this style. Frankly a lot of the appeal is all the antique-looking gadgetry and an air of adventure. Wild Wild West, The Golden Compass, and the air pirates from Stardust all count as Steampunk.

If you haven't seen it, check out the first scene of Mike Mignola's The Amazing Screw-On Head:
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/hk1tZGje_78&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed>

As far as costuming goes, of course you could google "steampunk". Or you could look at some pictures of the band Abney Park. <a href="http://www.abneypark.com">Image</a>

Or just visit http://www.brassgoggles.co.uk/.

Anybody else have favorite steampunk sites?


Last edited by alisgray on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:25 am
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Many pics, here:

http://community.livejournal.com/steamfashion/

http://community.livejournal.com/steamy_stitches/

http://community.livejournal.com/midlantic_steam/

http://community.livejournal.com/anachrotech/

http://community.livejournal.com/steampunk_style/

http://community.livejournal.com/nw_steampunk/

http://community.livejournal.com/daily_steam/

http://community.livejournal.com/steampunkdepot/

http://community.livejournal.com/gears_and_steam/

http://community.livejournal.com/steamgear/

http://community.livejournal.com/neo_victorian/

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:40 am
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That loathsome guitar is enough for me.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:40 am
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yeah, doesn't really strike me as your style either, Zom.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:42 am
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zom-zom wrote:
That loathsome guitar is enough for me.


Gears for the sake of gears.

Ack.

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:42 am
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I like foppishness and coxcombery as much as the next guy, but this pretend Wild Wild West look is just not cool.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:47 am
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Dear me. This sounds very serious. No doubt you must be right. Fortunately, my life became a great deal more interesting and entertaining once I stopped worrying about being cool.

I for one would very much enjoy seeing your images of foppery and coxcombing, Zom.

Functioning gears are a lot harder to work with, but not unheard of. I'd say that Rasputina's style is pretty appropriate to steampunk too, though I don't recall them having any actual gears.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:58 am
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zom-zom wrote:
That loathsome guitar is enough for me.


at least the gears aren't close enough to the bridge to cut the fuck out of your hands, i guess.

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:06 pm
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I'm simply making an observation according to my aesthetics. If you think it's stylish, go for it.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:16 pm
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A short film to watch when you have the time... Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship :
http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseacti ... d=32890851


Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:35 pm
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I am oldskool. I like Verne. As if that wasn't obvious...

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:31 pm
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Not that anyone would buy a book, but the synopsis is edumacational:
Image
Quote:
Synopsis
Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and charmingly anachronistic settings, this pioneering anthology gathers a brilliant blend of fantastical stories. Steampunk originates in the romantic elegance of the Victorian era and blends in modern scientific advances—synthesizing imaginative technologies such as steam-driven robots, analog supercomputers, and ultramodern dirigibles. ...

Basically, think about what people in the late 1800's imagined the future would be like, and there ya go.

(Yeah, I know, still not much help trying to figure out what to wear to fit the theme. Not that you HAVE to, but I was gonna try to outdo my Der Zirkus "clown" costume...)


Last edited by rskm1 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:38 pm
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In any case, it's a fine excuse for a new corset.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:42 pm
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I should hope that these bands are into making their own gear. If they were building enormous tube amps and their own instruments I'd be interested.

Simply altering existing instruments to appear to be antiques is just dumb fashion.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:45 pm
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I like visual arts as well as performance, myself.

Another of my favorite steampunk titles is a comic from the '80s called Baker Street. Its aesthetic was more on the order of this:
Image

One of the mystery storylines involved exposing a rat-fighting betting parlor.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:23 pm
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i built a tube amp once.

got an engineering degree out of the deal.

i am SO steampunk.

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:46 pm
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thosquanta wrote:
i built a tube amp once.

got an engineering degree out of the deal.

i am SO steampunk.


Was it made out of brass? Did you make your own vacuum tubes? Was it huge?

If not, you're just another enginerd.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:56 pm
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The video game BioShock is kinda steamy...
http://www.2kgames.com/bioshock/


Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:26 pm
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Fullmetal Alchemist has some steampunk goin' on...at least the automail always struck me that way...

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:40 pm
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Steamboy was steampunk, but it was really bad.

There was, however, some really great stuff the Japanese did, just about every Final Fantasy game had great elements of steam punk.

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:38 pm
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zom-zom wrote:
Did you make your own vacuum tubes?

Geez, how hard can you suck??


Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:32 pm
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Post Re: What is Steampunk?
alisgray wrote:
Or you could look at some pictures of the band Abney Park. <a href="http://www.abneypark.com">Image</a>


That would require giving the band more attention than I ever thought they merited, and as former member Archel was the only one worth looking at for any period of time anyway, I'll go somewhere else.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:51 pm
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Is there any hope you're likely to make it out to Goth Prom this year, Haakon?

And yes, though beautifully illustrated, Steamboy had very little going on in the way of plot, Nemphusi. I was disappointed.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:33 pm
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alisgray wrote:
Is there any hope you're likely to make it out to Goth Prom this year, Haakon?


No idea. Why do you ask? And if it's super secret, just pm me.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:39 pm
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No super secrets. Just curious to see what you'd come up with.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:02 pm
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Nemphusi wrote:
Steamboy was steampunk, but it was really bad.

There was, however, some really great stuff the Japanese did, just about every Final Fantasy game had great elements of steam punk.


Sakura Wars - steam-powered mecha piloted by girls. It's really cute, sometimes humorous.
A bit from the Wikipedia article on the series is more generally applicable:

"Although the alternate timeline's history is similar to that of the real world, a crucial difference lies in technology, where most of the benefits of today's modern era are made possible in the early 1900's with the effective utilization of steam."


Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:51 pm
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Post I disagree
I disagree with the example of what steampunk is given by alisgray.

Steampunk is very simular to what cyberpunk is. it isn't Victorian persay; its more based on what the world would be like if it never passed out of the industrial age. Simular to how cyberpunk is where it takes a point in our "real world" history and trys to show how the fucture would be different if technology was to fork in a different direction.

So yeah like I said above; it's more based on the industrial age style with fashion and concept with a bit of Victorian fashion thrown into it (which was the style at the time) .

A few examples would be the city of lost children.

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Thu May 01, 2008 4:11 am
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LOVE City of Lost Children. That's a fine example of non-English steampunk. Good advice.


Thu May 01, 2008 10:07 am
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Steampunk isn't any one thing. It's a fictional history, retro-futurism.
It is whatever you make of it.

Image

"It's not fantasy if it's not elves!" or "It's not goth if it's not black!"
Seriously...?
These rules & boundaries are as imaginary as the rest of it. It is supposed to be a fun game of "what if". The real world went the way of the internal combustion engine... what if it didn't? We generally default to The Victorian Era, but Regency through Edwardian would work just as well, or Taisho Era, or The Wild West, or Colonial America, or whatever you want, really - Wells' "Time Machine" makes obedience to any one time period or another pretty much moot.

There are worlds upon worlds of possibilities.

Image


Thu May 01, 2008 10:42 am
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Ooh, ooh, Chrono Trigger!

And ... kinda ... Rocketman.

Yeah, you guys remember Rocketman.

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Thu May 01, 2008 11:59 am
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Nemphusi wrote:
Yeah, you guys remember Rocketman.


The Rocketeer?

More movies... The Illusionist, The Prestige... The Golden Compass. Castle in the Sky, and perhaps Howl's Moving Castle. In some of these, things happen more by magic than by science ("Hey! You got your Fantasy in my Science Fiction!")... But the mutual influence is clear.


Thu May 01, 2008 12:24 pm
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alisgray wrote:
No super secrets. Just curious to see what you'd come up with.


Good question. There's a chance we might attend, we shall see.


Thu May 01, 2008 1:11 pm
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petey wrote:
Steampunk isn't any one thing. It's a fictional history, retro-futurism.
It is whatever you make of it.


Petey's answer FTW!

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do a google on the old RPG "Space 1889"

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I just want to share this...
Image
('cause she's hot both ways)


Thu May 01, 2008 10:36 pm
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Image


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One thing's for sure, it has absolutely nothing to do with "Punk".


Fri May 02, 2008 9:19 am
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But that's how the kids these days try to mark their "movements," by tacking on "punk" at the end.

Consider it a compliment.


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pff, i would never be involved in something so silly.




err....



wait...

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devil wrote:
But that's how the kids these days try to mark their "movements," by tacking on "punk" at the end.


Bingo

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veinsplasher wrote:
devil wrote:
But that's how the kids these days try to mark their "movements," by tacking on "punk" at the end.


Bingo


Bingopunk!


Fri May 02, 2008 4:08 pm
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+jamison+ wrote:
Bingopunk!


http://poizenideas.com/bingo/

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Image

Dingo Punk.


Fri May 02, 2008 9:26 pm
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Pff. You ain't a real punk unless you're CLOWNPUNK.


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Would the whole retro future thing tie in to movies like "City of Lost Children", "Dune" and "Dark City"?
Or for that matter, "Star Wars"
I really dig that concept

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Sat May 03, 2008 3:19 pm
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City of Lost Children, absolutely, see above.
<a href="http://www.sillof.com/C-Steampunk-SW.htm">Starwars</a>
Image
<a href="http://www.sillof.com/C-Dune_atr.htm">Dune</a>
Dark City certainly has a sympathy of design. I can't remember enough of the movie to have an opinion one way or the other. The Rocketeer, certainly. Metropolis, even.[/img]


Last edited by alisgray on Sat May 03, 2008 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Skycaptain
Edward Scissorhands (but only in the lab where Edward was built)
Back to the Future III (at least at the end where Doc Brown returns in a locomotive time machine)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?
Van Helsing?


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Up In Smoke?


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<a href="http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20021104">Steampunk Comic</a> by Phil Foglio. So lots of curvy women.

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Oooh, Harry Potter, that one guy with the red hair has a mechanical eye..

Err...

Magic Eye.

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zom-zom wrote:
One thing's for sure, it has absolutely nothing to do with "Punk".

from Wikipedia:

"...In its original nature, the punk culture has been primarily concerned with individual freedom, which tends to create beliefs in concepts such as individualism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism and free thought. Punk ideologies have often included a critical view of the world; seeing modern day societies as placing extensive limits on humanity..."

Add to that the Victorian aesthetic, as well as an emphasis on the (very similar) philosophy of Romanticism, and Steampunk begins to look very Punk to me.


- Heretic


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Heretic wrote:
zom-zom wrote:
One thing's for sure, it has absolutely nothing to do with "Punk".

from Wikipedia:

"...In its original nature, the punk culture has been primarily concerned with individual freedom, which tends to create beliefs in concepts such as individualism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism and free thought. Punk ideologies have often included a critical view of the world; seeing modern day societies as placing extensive limits on humanity..."

Add to that the Victorian aesthetic, as well as an emphasis on the (very similar) philosophy of Romanticism, and Steampunk begins to look very Punk to me.


- Heretic


I don't know what sort of egghead wrote that about Punk, but they would have simply been punched out for saying shit like that in 1977.
Not Punk.


Mon May 12, 2008 12:09 pm
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yeah, real punk rock is all about ANARCHY and hating everything and possibly murdering your girlfriend and/or overdosing on something expensively illegal. that's really something to aspire to.


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zom-zom wrote:
I don't know what sort of egghead wrote that about Punk, but they would have simply been punched out for saying shit like that in 1977.
Not Punk.

Yeah, "punk" is all about conforming to the strict definition that punks identify themselves as.
Dumbass Wikipedia don't know shit about SHIT.
(A)


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rskm1 wrote:
zom-zom wrote:
I don't know what sort of egghead wrote that about Punk, but they would have simply been punched out for saying shit like that in 1977.
Not Punk.

Yeah, "punk" is all about conforming to the strict definition that punks identify themselves as.
Dumbass Wikipedia don't know shit about SHIT.
(A)


Yea, it's not like if you disagree with the definition you can go in and write your own or something.....


er

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Image

Zom! Go to GP as a Steam Punk Robot tonight! I know you'd be cool with that. :D


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rskm1 wrote:
zom-zom wrote:
I don't know what sort of egghead wrote that about Punk, but they would have simply been punched out for saying shit like that in 1977.
Not Punk.

Yeah, "punk" is all about conforming to the strict definition that punks identify themselves as.
Dumbass Wikipedia don't know shit about SHIT.
(A)


I can't count the various errors I've found in Wikipedia on many subjects. It's one of the worst sources on the internet. Lazy people love it.



You can say or read whatever makes you happy. I'll stick with my having experienced Punk Rock firsthand starting in 1977. There was very little intellectualizing, most of the punks I hung out with simply liked the music, parties, drinking, drugs and the fashion. Mostly it was about the music. What passes for and is called Punk by the kids today is barfff.

I WUZ THERE MAAAAAAAN.....


Tue May 13, 2008 10:39 am
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alisgray wrote:
yeah, real punk rock is all about ANARCHY and hating everything and possibly murdering your girlfriend and/or overdosing on something expensively illegal. that's really something to aspire to.


The whole "Anarchy" thing was a pose, a joke, a fashion. It was intended to simply piss off and shock people, like the swastikas and such.
Sid Vicious was a mislead, naive kid who took it all too seriously. Drugs and violence in Rock Music? Well, I never!

If you want to believe that "Punk" = Cartoony robots and Wild Wild West cheeseball sci-fi, go right ahead and don some bronze 'n gears.


Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
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...because fashion, humor, and poise have, naturally, stayed in exactly the same form for the last thirty year.

Now, if you want to cast aspersions upon the steampunk genre, I'd recommend that you begin poking at the colonialization inherent. I don't know that the world <i>would</i> be a better place if WWII had not taken place.


Tue May 13, 2008 3:14 pm
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I don't get what you're after here.

I just don't see anything remotely Punk (or rebellious, shocking, refreshing or whatnot) regarding a fashion that is more akin to weird dudes
doing Civil War reenactments, albeit with a H.G. Wells slant.

I would say that it's a very minor fantasy escapism thing, much like the ill-fated New Romantics that immediately followed the death of Punk.


I do understand the sad use of the tag -punk on the end of this sort of thing, as wrong and dumb as it is.


Tue May 13, 2008 5:04 pm
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