Steampunk wraps itself in pinstripes, brass, airships, goggles, and patched brocade as much as it wears the marks of history. But while this subgenre utilizes appearances, it is steadfastly passionate about interiority, the inner cogs and workings of not only devices but of people also. It’s for this reason that I believe steampunk is more than an aesthetic or window dressing for art, music, or literature. It is a worldview and a lifestyle.
Evidence of this can be found everywhere. You’ll find steampunks crafting beautiful and useful things, asking all the important questions, and creating thoughtful works. The hands-on, DIY attitude of steampunk, if you let it, permeates every area of life, and because of this, it’s no wonder people have tried to draw up lists of what it means to be a part of this culture, this self-inventing civilization of worlds that never were. However, like a definition for this subgenre, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what makes a steampunk. Continue reading