The sub-genre of Steampunk certainly is growing within the Science Fiction community. This year Steampunk was overwhelmingly represented at Balticon, Baltimore’s best know science fiction convention.
The roots of Steampunk, of course, lie in the writings of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. The term “Steampunk” first appeared in K. W. Jeter’s 1979 novel, Molock Nights.
I first become entranced by these devices in the old television series, “The Wild Wild West.” The devices used by James West and Artemis Gordon set the stage, visually, for all subsequent incantations. Although the movie. Released in 1999, had the same feel, the craftsmanship, in my opinion, was not the same as the series.
Although the “Steampunk” has only been used since the 80’s older works, such as Shelly’s Frankenstein clearly fall within this sub-genre.
Lately, Steampunk itself has spawned sub-sub-genres, such as “Dieslepunk”, “Atomicpuck”, “Gaspunk” and “Clockpunk” just to name a few.
As this relatively new sub-genre spreads its wings in the future, we’ll be seeing much, more
Here are some examples of actual machines form the mid 1800’s that used steam: the USS Monitor (left), a totally steam driven ship with lots of attitude and the USS Alligator (right), Steamy Underwater Death!
Here is a video of the Steampunk exhibit in Oxford last year: