Friday, January 8, 2010

Steampunk Hilarities


When I was a little girl (please bear with me) 90% of my friends wanted to be ballerinas when they grew up. Do you know which were my aspirations for the adulthood? Well, I wanted to be either an astronomer, to watch the stars, or a mad scientist, muahahah!
No, I was not a deranged child who wanted to conquer the world or something; I wanted to invent cool things, like Gyro Gearloose's, from the Disney’s Duck Tales.
Well, imagine my reaction when a witch friend of mine (or former witch if you will) recommended me a steampunk on line comic? Er, I actually scorned at it, as back then I was prejudiced about stuff published on line, and freely distributed no less.
I was so wrong! When I decided to take a look, at the Girl Genius Comics I couldn’t stop chuckling! (I wasn't laughing out loud and rolling on the floor, only because it was past 2 a.m. and this is not a reasonable hour to make noise.)

Seriously, the comic is so good that it had me literally clapping hands at some point. Plus, they won the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Novel (or Graphic Story, as they call), which is huge!
Right, you already know what steampunk is, you read and love Girl Genius Comics, and you're bored to death... Wait! Here's an extremely cool site you may like (former-witch friend found through Neil Gaiman, no less); you can read some steampunk stories here; there are some awesome steampunk gadgets here; and here's the site of a steampunk workshop! I hope these caught your attention. :-)
Now, if you, on the other hand, had never heard of this steam-thing, here's some interesting (and concise) info:

Steampunk is a genre of speculative fiction usually set in an alternative Victorian or Erwardian world, frequently filled with fantastic elements, where advanced technology is steam powered.
Satisfied? But there's more!
Clockpunk is a steampunk subgenre in which highly technological stuff are based on clockwork mechanisms in pre-Industrial Revolution settings. They generally exclude steam power; so extreme Da Vinci's inventions would make a good picture of it.
Dieselpunk is also a steampunk subgenre in which ultra technological things are powered by diesel and eventually nuclear power, in a 1920's to 1950's setting.

Finally, if you got interested in this steampunk thing, here are some suggestions of readings, "watchings", "playings", and (believe me) "listenings" on the genre:
Some books, starting with the classics (always!):
Never forget the comics: (If you've scrolled till down here, open your mind, will you?)
Steampunk-ish animations:
  • Full Metal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa (There are two sets of series; the second is called "Full Metal Brotherhood" and is on the screens right now. I highly recommend both.)
I'm not into games, but was told that these are good:
Did you know that there are steampunk bands out there? Me neither; just found out about them:
  • Abney Park (seems like heavy rock'n roll with steampunk looks; nice).
To wrap all up, here's an extensive list of steampunk works I found on "master" Wiki.
But hey, if you now some other good steampunk thing you'd like to recommend, please do so! I do want to increase my reading, watching and listening lists! :)

Note: No, I did not forget to give proper credit for the wonderful pictures you saw up there. The first one, with the couple, is from Kyle Cassidy; the second, with the hot guy, is from Nadya Lev. They're both spectacular photographers, so why don't you go pay them a visit? ;-) Ah, of course all Girl Genius illustrations came from free stuff of their website.

24 comments:

  1. Former-Witch FriendJanuary 8, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    Just wanted to point out that many "steampunkers" consider it a life stile, not just a fiction genre.

    And that there are even more subgenres out there, like gaslamp fantasy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslight_fantasy), to witch Girl Genius belongs to, by the way.

    If you are in the USA, there are frequent gatherings of steampunk aficionados all over the country, from conventions to graveyard picnics. But you can find them practically everywhere, like in Brazil, e.g.

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  2. This is the first coherent explanation of steampunk that I've read. I thought I understood it before, but I do now!

    I will visit all the sites you suggested and see what this steampunk writing is all about.

    Thanks for doing this!

    @marisabirns

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  3. My great online buddy Calista Taylor has a blog called A Steampunk Reverie http://asteampunkreverie.blogspot.com/

    She's awesome! She interested me in Steampunk & that's the genre of the novel I started in NaNo.

    I blogged (last week??) about a contest Calista is having for Steampunk short stories. They're up on her blog & voting is still open. It's a great intro to the genre and a lot of fun :)

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  4. Yeah, Former-Witch, thanks for pointing that out. :) Maybe I'll write another post on steampunk, but focusing on life style? ;) Also, thinking of your comment, I found this interesting article, that mentions steampunk lifestyle, music, and 2009 DragonCon .

    Hey Marisa, I'm very glad to have helped. I first heard about steampunk as "the new hot trend" of the literary world, not being aware that I already loved the genre, heh.

    Hi Jemi, I was about to pop into your blog to mention this post (precisely because you blogged about steampunk ), but you anticipated me, heh. Will definitely check out Calista's blog. Thanks for reminding me of it. :)

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  5. Fantastic blog post!! You've done a wonderful job pulling together such an array of information on steampunk. You just have to love Girl Genius. Fantastic, isn't it? And thanks for stopping by my blog! It's much appreciated. : )

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  6. Cool, one movie I remember that had such references was "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow". Not such a great movie, but very cool graphics :)

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  7. Hi Calista, thanks for stopping by; and wow, this is a great compliment,coming from someone who breathes steampunk as yourself. Thanks so much!

    Yeah, impossible not to fall for Girl Genius. I'm a big fan now, also on their facebook page, and I follow the hilarious Othar, Gentleman Adventurer and Professional Hero on twitter.

    Hey Anon-Claudio, you had a major google fail there, no? lol

    Sky Captain is a good dieselpunk reference indeed. Thanks for bringing this up, and also for reminding me of this fabulous clip from Smashing Pumpkins (Tonight, Tonight):

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  8. Hmm, I tried to embed the video and it didn't work. Trying again, but if it fails, here's the link to youtube.

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  9. Great post, you cover it all.

    A couple more for you:
    Doc Sidhe which is available from Baen books and is kind of a spoof on the old Doc Savage stories. And of course Doc Savage I think counts as well :) Can't remember the author but the Lord Darcy mysteries count too. And of course my wip Tales...

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  10. Hi Penny, thanks for adding more info here. :)

    Yeah, please tell me when this WIP (work in progress, for those who felt lost) comes out to the bookstores, ok? Can't wait to read it! heh

    Ah, everyone, I've contacted the Vernian Process to tell them about the link to their site in this post, and Joshua was really nice in sharing the Gilded Age Records website, were you can find many steampunk-ish bands from all over!

    Man, I didn't know there were so many bands, with so many styles, out there! Worth taking a look!

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  11. Hello there,

    We were just talking about DuckTales and Talespin the other day! Thank you for giving our stuff a listen and for giving such a lovely "Intro to Steampunk" for those who are unfamiliar with the scene.

    Cheers!

    ~Martin
    (Vernian Process)

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  12. Thanks Martin! I'm honored by your visit, and glad that you didn't squirm at my definitions. (it's not as if I were a steampunk savvy, eh?) heh

    Keep up with the good work. Vernian Process' stuff is SO on my wish list!

    Cheers back to you guys! :)

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  13. Former-Witch FriendJanuary 14, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    FYI, http://steampunkworldsfair.com/

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  14. OK -- if Mariana says to look into this hilarious Steampunk thing I've only just heard of over the last few months, then I will!!

    I actually really liked the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and where does the Princess Mononoke fall in this? Those are fantastic movies.
    Kristi

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  15. Thanks Former-Witch! You're always adding content, and I love you dearest friend. :-D (not only for that, of course, heh)

    Hi Kristi! You know, this way I'm becoming smug, heh. I too love the League of Extraordinary Gentleman, but the comic to the film. Did you have the chance to read it?

    Princess Mononoke is a wonderful anime (love it!), but I'm don't think it'd fall into steampunk... The technology doesn't seem too important in comparison to the fantastical aspects of the tale. Agree?

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  16. Hi, everyone! I think an update is in order.

    Evelyn, from the Gilded Age Records and apparently the assistant of Jeff Vandermeer, kindly mentioned that Finch is not a steampunk novel. I was pointed to him as a great steampunk author, but I'm still to read his work. (reading list is huge, guys! heh)

    So, perhaps someone could help out? Which is your favorite steampunk novel written by Jeff Vandermeer?

    Or maybe you'd prefer to tell us about your favorite steampunk novel ever? ;)

    Evelyn also pointed me to G. D. Falksen, whose stories are coming out on that magazine I linked above. I'm intrigued.

    Finally, I was kindly invited to participate in the open forum at the Michael Moorcock's website, and there are many interesting recommendations there, of which Fritz Lang's Metropolis (film), and The Adventures of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot (graphic novel) stand out. (Did I ever mention that I love adventure? lol)

    Maybe you'd like to join the community? All you have to do is register. There are great convos in there! :)

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  17. I'm so glad I found this!! I just finished Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - YA book but the first steampunk I've read. I will be looking for more and this article is a great resource.

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  18. Thanks so much Dee! I'm truly happy to hear that this was somehow helpful.

    If you find other good stuff you think is worthy of sharing with us, please do so! :)

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  19. Will do and thanks for stopping by my Bible Study blog. I also write short stories, poetry, flash fiction at http://www.delenemartin.com - sorry, I should have left a link. blogger automatically points people to the blogger blog.

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  20. How have you and I completely missed tweeting about steampunk, Ducktales or Girl Genius? Since you like GG, I recommend Gunnerkrigg Court, another web comic: http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/index2.php

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  21. Oh, I'm so sorry we missed each other's steampunk-ish tweets... I did tweet a bit about Girl Genius, and a lot about this post though. (As in #shamelessselfpromotion hashtag. Did you know this one? I even adopted as a label here, so funny I find it, heh.)

    Thanks for stopping by, and for adding more cool content! I'll definitely read Gunnerkrigg Court. I've just peeked at the main page and already loved the visual. ;)

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  22. Hey Mari thanks for this, at last I understand what Steampunk is about!
    ^__^

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  23. Good information, and thanks for the recs.

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  24. @Helen and Richard (liminal fic): Glad to have helped! :)

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