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Steampunk:
roots and branches
Stephen D. Poe
Teslacon 2014
• The history and
interpretation of
Steampunk varies.
• There are as many
definitions as there
are Steampunkers.
• This is...
ROOTS
First, there was Science
Fiction/Fantasy
• And, from there in the early 80s, evolved
Cyberpunk.
• Dystopian SF; a genre no...
The Cyberpunk genre expanded
Writers created cyberpunk-type worlds but without
cybernetics; some were set in Victorian Eng...
And suddenly a new genre is born…
Dear Locus,
Personally, I think Victorian fantasies
are going to be the next big thing, ...
Older works were retro-actively
fitted into the new genre
Steampunk
Literary
Novels
Short Stories
Comics
Graphic
Novels
Multimedia
Movies
Anime
Games
Immersion
Music
Cons
Cosplay
D...
Crafts & DIY
• DIY and Maker
• Aside from cosplay, most other
subcultures do not have such a
strong emphasis on DIY
• Not ...
Music
• Abney Park
• Charles von Vitic
• The Clockwork Dolls
• The Clockwork Quartet
• The Cog is Dead
• Corset
• Darcy Ja...
Performance Art
• Rocky Horror
• Steampunk
• Airship Isabella
• Carnival Epsilon
• League of STEAM
• Penny Dreadful Produc...
BRANCHES
And promptly spilt into multiple
Sub-genres itself
• High Vic
• Low Vic
• Airship
• Dieselpunk
• Far East
• Clockpunk/Watc...
14
Steampunk
Genre
Family Tree
Cyberpunk
Postcyberpu
nk
Cyberprep
Retrofuturist
ic
Steampun
k
Teslapunk
Dieselpunk
Decopun...
15
Steampunk Genre Family Tree
Postcyberpunk
• New authors, grew up with
cyberpunk, take it to the
next generation. Typica...
16
Steampunk Genre Family Tree
RetroFuturistic
• Depictions of current or
future times based on what
previous times had
pr...
17
Steampunk Genre Family Tree
Futuristic
• Variations of Steampunk
set in future environments
rather than retro-future
en...
18
Steampunk Genre Family Tree
Other
• Not really classifiable
• Stonepunk
• Clockpunk
• Splatterpunk
• Elfpunk
• Mythpunk...
NEW GROWTH
And it’s Still Growing
From Adam
Heine’s Blog.
Data from
Wikipedia,
retrieved July
7, 2012.
21
Whimsical Directions… NerfPunk
22
New Directions… WizardPunk
Core Differentiators
From Adam
Heine’s Blog.
Data from
Wikipedia,
retrieved July
7, 2012.
• Canon
• There is no canon for ...
Future Trends?
From Adam
Heine’s Blog.
Data from
Wikipedia,
retrieved July
7, 2012.
• IBM
• Steampunk a “New Retail
Trend ...
Summary
From Adam
Heine’s Blog.
Data from
Wikipedia,
retrieved July
7, 2012.
• Since its start in 1987
• Expanded in peopl...
Questions?
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Steampunk roots and branches stephen poe teslacon 2014

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History of Steampunk and other retro futuristic genres derived from science fiction cyberpunk. Includes new emerging trends and futures.
Presented at Teslacon 2014.

Published in: Lifestyle
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Steampunk roots and branches stephen poe teslacon 2014

  1. 1. Steampunk: roots and branches Stephen D. Poe Teslacon 2014
  2. 2. • The history and interpretation of Steampunk varies. • There are as many definitions as there are Steampunkers. • This is my interpretation. • YMMV.
  3. 3. ROOTS
  4. 4. First, there was Science Fiction/Fantasy • And, from there in the early 80s, evolved Cyberpunk. • Dystopian SF; a genre noir. Highly focused on cybernetic futures, high tech and failing societies. 4
  5. 5. The Cyberpunk genre expanded Writers created cyberpunk-type worlds but without cybernetics; some were set in Victorian England and copied conventions of Victorian Literature. 5
  6. 6. And suddenly a new genre is born… Dear Locus, Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like 'steam-punks', perhaps. —K.W. Jeter 6 Published April, 1987
  7. 7. Older works were retro-actively fitted into the new genre
  8. 8. Steampunk Literary Novels Short Stories Comics Graphic Novels Multimedia Movies Anime Games Immersion Music Cons Cosplay DIY and Maker Performance Art
  9. 9. Crafts & DIY • DIY and Maker • Aside from cosplay, most other subcultures do not have such a strong emphasis on DIY • Not do they have such a strong emphasis on sharing
  10. 10. Music • Abney Park • Charles von Vitic • The Clockwork Dolls • The Clockwork Quartet • The Cog is Dead • Corset • Darcy James Argue's Secret Society • Doctor Steel • The Extraordinary Contraptions • H U M A N W I N E • Insomniac Folklore • Jon Magnificent • Jill Tracy • Les Claypool • The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing • Poplock Holmes • Professor Elemental • Psyche Corporation • Rasputina • Steam Powered Giraffe • Sunday Driver • Thomas Truax • Unextraordinary Gentlemen • Unwoman • Vernian Process • Veronique Chevalier • Voltaire
  11. 11. Performance Art • Rocky Horror • Steampunk • Airship Isabella • Carnival Epsilon • League of STEAM • Penny Dreadful Productions
  12. 12. BRANCHES
  13. 13. And promptly spilt into multiple Sub-genres itself • High Vic • Low Vic • Airship • Dieselpunk • Far East • Clockpunk/Watchpunk • Wild West (cattlepunk)…
  14. 14. 14 Steampunk Genre Family Tree Cyberpunk Postcyberpu nk Cyberprep Retrofuturist ic Steampun k Teslapunk Dieselpunk Decopunk Atompunk Futuristic Biopunk Nanopunk Other Stonepunk Clockpunk Splatterpunk Elfpunk Mythpunk
  15. 15. 15 Steampunk Genre Family Tree Postcyberpunk • New authors, grew up with cyberpunk, take it to the next generation. Typically not dystopian. • Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Cyberprep • Writing with a utopian vision instead of a dystopian vision.
  16. 16. 16 Steampunk Genre Family Tree RetroFuturistic • Depictions of current or future times based on what previous times had projected. • Steampunk • Neo-Victorianism • Teslapunk • Dieselpunk • Decopunk • Atompunk
  17. 17. 17 Steampunk Genre Family Tree Futuristic • Variations of Steampunk set in future environments rather than retro-future environments • Ribofunk by Paul Di Filippo • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi • Nanopunk, Nathan McGrath • Biopunk • Nanopunk
  18. 18. 18 Steampunk Genre Family Tree Other • Not really classifiable • Stonepunk • Clockpunk • Splatterpunk • Elfpunk • Mythpunk • WizardPunk • NerfPunk • RococoPunk
  19. 19. NEW GROWTH
  20. 20. And it’s Still Growing From Adam Heine’s Blog. Data from Wikipedia, retrieved July 7, 2012.
  21. 21. 21 Whimsical Directions… NerfPunk
  22. 22. 22 New Directions… WizardPunk
  23. 23. Core Differentiators From Adam Heine’s Blog. Data from Wikipedia, retrieved July 7, 2012. • Canon • There is no canon for Steampunk • “There are no rules” • Across media • Not just a book, or a movie, or a game • Cross-pollination • Everyone borrows off of everyone else • And that’s OK
  24. 24. Future Trends? From Adam Heine’s Blog. Data from Wikipedia, retrieved July 7, 2012. • IBM • Steampunk a “New Retail Trend in the Making.” • “During 2013-2015, IBM predicts that steampunk will shift from low production, high cost “craft” manufacturing to mass production.” • IBM Social Sentiment Index
  25. 25. Summary From Adam Heine’s Blog. Data from Wikipedia, retrieved July 7, 2012. • Since its start in 1987 • Expanded in people, media, popularity • Split into many subgeneres • Gone from a splinter into a subculture and now going mainstream • “No Rules” • Allows it to grow, morph, expand
  26. 26. Questions?

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