Steampunk may sound like some kind of street music or modern internet slang, but its history actually goes back to the time of H.G Wells, one of the world’s greatest science-fiction writers. You could say that writers like him started this sub-genre of science fiction and made it so popular. You can trace back the origin of the word to the 1950s.
But, what exactly is Steampunk?
Well, this is something everyone who hears the word for the first time asks. In simplest terms Steampunk is the name of the sub-genre of science fiction, which heavily draws inspiration from technology and aesthetic designs of the 19th century Victorian world where the use of steam powered machinery was prevalent. Although Steampunk is usually associated with the science-fiction genre, in last few decades it has expanded as a subculture for fashion, music, movies, games and other things.
A Brief History of Steampunk
Steampunk first got its official recognition in the late 1980’s with the book The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. They were trying to give the genre a name back then. The book happens in the alternate historical background. Like the original industrial revolution, the book also deals with the struggle of people with new technology. The book also deals with the class difference between the rich and the poor as well. The book was a huge success and the so began the gradual popularity of the Steampunk movement which now has a cult like following. The backdrop of Steampunk genre is hugely inspired by the Victorian British Empire and American Wild West.
Steampunk in Science-Fiction
Steampunk was originally a science-fiction genre. Sci-fi writers like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Mary Shelley took the initial popularity to the next level. The genre existed even before its official naming though. The book Titus Alone by Mervyn Peake published in 1959 is considered as the first kind of Steampunk genre novels. All the novels in this genre are set in an alternative history of the 19th century Britain in a post-apocalyptic future where steam power is extensively used. Writers like H. G. Wells and Jules Verne have extensively used steam powered machines and armors, weapons and advanced technology in their books.
The Steampunk genre also includes the fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction.
The Steampunk culture has huge influence on other fields such as fashion, art and design, music, television and films, videos games and social events. With the advancement of modern technology and the rise of pop culture, the Steampunk influence can be seen very prominently. With the increased popularity of science fiction genre books, movies, videos games and comics, Steampunk is now a popular theme for various merchandise including t-shirt designs, theme parks, toys and other products.
Steampunk is a section of science fiction genre where events occur in an alternate history of the 19th century industrial revolution. Fans of this genre are growing rapidly and if you are one of the fans then you will surely like the cool Steampunk theme t-shirts.
Be proud to be a Steampunk science-fiction geek.