Steampunk

Steampunk

Recent popular fiction subgenres are "dystopian", a close cousin "post-apocalyptic" and something called "steampunk" fiction. If your curiosity is piqued, take a look at this representative short story anthology. According to the informative explanatory preface and introduction, most of the subgenre's influential and important authors are represented. Many readers are familiar with "steampunk" traits and elements without knowing it! Thirty years ago I read Michael Moorcock's, "The Warlord of The Air" which, evidently, was a seminal work.
Think of either a historical or alternative "mechanical" world instead of a "silicon chip" world--a world not of plastic but of steel rivets and chrome. Take your 19th century Victorian world of Jules Verne and and the gentlemanly "time traveler" of H. G. Wells and simply improve the science. You have swashbuckling heroes and derring-do damsels in goggles
and leather. Envision "Rube Goldberg" land and air machines powered by pressure and steam. Get it--"steampunk"?
How popular is the subgenre? How do Kenneth Oppel's "Airborn" and Cherie Priest's "Boneshaker" circulate? Scott Westerfeld, YA author of "Uglies", "Peeps" and etc. is now steampunking with his "Leviathan" (2009) and sequel, "Behemoth". At Oxford last year, they even had a "steampunk" art exhibit. How about a metal computer keyboard with round keys resembling an old manual typewriter?

Recommended by Robert L. Hicks, Librarian.

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