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August 26, 2007, by Léon Krijnen

I just love steampunk   

I just love steampunk. No, it's not music, though it could be that there's a new subculture emerging - a mix of punk, rock, pop, jazz, Goth and classic music - that calls itself steampunk.

While I haven't discovered that genre, the shortest definition of steampunk I could find is 'making modern artifacts in a Victorian coat'. There's no entry for steampunk in my 2004 Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary, but of course Wikipidea has a lot about it.

According to Wikipedia steampunk is a sub genre of fantasy and speculative fiction which came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used - usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England - but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.

Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history - style presentations of 'the path not taken' of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality. It is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk andsteampunk is that steampunk settings tend to be less obviously dystopian.

For my visitors and readers, especially those on DutchCowboys and MobileCowboys it starts to become interesting when we start looking at steampunk as an object style.

Translation in Dutch @ DutchCowboys

While the Dutch and Mobile Cowboys might find the punking with bikes and bicycles, boats, trains, planes, cars, weapons, fridges or ovens just as interesting (or maybe not at all) as I do, all they have to do is a bit of Googling on steampunk phones or steampunk computers and - ah! - here we go!

As I'm going to buy a new iMac very soon, it feels like a tempting idea not to eBay my current G5 iMac, but to dress her in coat of copper and bronze, riveted to the plastic, and to take apartor electrify a keyboard of one of my old Underwood typewriters. With any iMac - old or new - this could be a piece of cake: a copper panel as big as the front, cutting a window in it the size of the screen, a bit of glue or two strips of double sides adhesive tape and the first mod is there.

Check out the embedded Bright Cove Video on top of this article and see what wonderful things Richard Nagy from New Jersey makes. What a fantastic hobby, but I'm afraid it would take away way too much time from other hobbies, not to mention the job. There are however steampunkers who are making a living steampunking, but those guys and girls are very, very good. Like Richard Nagy.

Posted: August 26, 2007 10:33 AM (504 words).   

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