Steampunkers party like it’s 1899--and what happens when Goth’s discover the color brown. Steampunk is set in a world where steam and natural gas, not coal and electricity is still the primary power source. It’s a world abounding with airships, gas lamps, gears, cogs, and brass goggles and populated with mad scientists, philosophers, adventurists, and air pirates. HG Wells and Jules Vernon are huge inspirations for Steampunk. Examples include League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Boneshaker, and the Parasol Protectorate series.
Even though there’s a heavy 19th century influence and feel to Steampunk, there could still be extraordinary technology all done with 19th century materials and in 19th century styles. There can be Steampunk airships, space ships, computers, and brass robots. Technology may have simply evolved differently–or maybe a natural (or unnatural disaster) caused society to “regress,” though Steampunk stories traditionally lack the dystopian/anarchist elements that cyberpunk has.
Steampunk stories can be set in the past, in the future, or on another planet. They can be set in Victorian London, the Wild West, Asia, another world entirely – you are only limited by your imagination. They can be alternate histories, mysteries with hard-boiled detectives or cozy Victorian ladies, they can be gothic, or horror, or sweet romance. They can be bodice rippers, erotic, or “tame.” Steampunk stories can even feature the supernatural or paranormal elements.
It’s in the setting, the language, the gadgets, and the characters–who could speak like Victorian ladies or fast-talking American teenagers. With Steampunk, there’s really a great opportunity to be creative and make amazing worlds ranging from gritty to opulent. Its basis is 19th century in nature, but it’s also fiction so you can do incredible and imaginative things. The variety of Steampunk stories is only limited by the imaginations of those who write them.
Are you ready to write?
Writing Steampunk: From Aether to Zeppelin, presented by Suzanne Lazear, runs from October 31, 2011 through November 30, 2011
Suzanne Lazear’s young adult Steampunk dark fairytale, INNOCENT DARKNESS, Book 1 of The Aether Chronicles, will be released from Flux in August of 2012. Visit her website at www.suzannelazear.com She’s also part of the Steampunk group blog Steamed http://wwww.ageofsteam.wordpress.com