Literature

Thanks to a bit of prodding in the right directions, I’m finally discovering how heavily steampunk is based in literature. The five authors that have come to my attention are H.G. Wells, Jules Vern, K.W. Jeter, Tim Powers, and James Blaylock.

Now, there are a few connections and distinctions to be made here.

Firstly, H.G. Wells and Jules Verne were both alive and dead before Tim Powers, James Blaylock, and K.W. Jeter ever even existed, and neither Jules nor Verne created the term steampunk. The term steampunk is thought to first have been used by author K.W. Jeter when referring to a few stories with Victorian settings.

Jules Verne and H.G. Wells are thought by many to be the first steampunk authors. Each has one story that is primarily responsible for this. For Verne, it is 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, and for Wells it’s The Time Machine. Each is set in the 19th century and involves extraordinary technology that far surpasses the capabilities of inventors of the period or is even possible at all in the case of The Time Machine

Powers, Blaylock, and Jeter on the other hand, refer to themselves as steampunk authors and often write in worlds that are very much entirely steampunk rather than simply having steampunk elements.

 

 

 

Off Book from PBS Arts: A short video

A very insightful piece on steampunk from an artistic perspective; full of interesting projects and people.

Artist/inventor Joey Marsocci (Dr. Grymm) gives some info about steampunk is and also shares with us some opinions as well as some of his creations, composer David Bruce and Ensemble ACJW present their take on steampunk music, and Third Rail Project’s Tom Pearson, Jack morris, and Jeanine Willet talk about their production of a visually victorian Alice in Wonderland play along with their steampunk haunted house.

Itunes-U: Interview with Jim Bennet

As good of a place to start as any I suppose. The first place I went to gather information was Itunes-U, and the only substantial video I found on steampunk was an interview with Jim Bennet, the director of the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, UK. In it, he describes steampunk as “the vision of a Victorian future that didn’t happen.” The file is too large to upload to the site (shakes fist), but check it out on Itunes-U if you have the time.

At last, the journey begins!

After finally getting a bit more organized I feel that it’s time to begin posting all of the information that I’ve been accumulating over the past few weeks. With that said, please, all, use your imagination and pretend that the things I’m posting are being put up on separate dates so I don’t appear as behind as I actually am.