Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Genres: The world of Steampunk revealed

Today for my teabreak I decided to investigate the world of steampunk with a view to finding an audience for my book about real life steam punk Dionysius Lardner. In case you've not heard of it, steampunk is a design genre, much in the same way as heavy metal, goth or emo.

The world of steampunk seems to interact seamlessly with the world of Second Life, where several steampunk memes such as New Babbage, the Primgraph and a predeliction for drinking Absnthe seem to find their origin or at least reside.

Steampunk is a genre of fiction writing too: the site Steamed features many authors and Goodreads  itself lists 576 best steampunk books including HG Wells's The Time Machine and Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which, come to think of it, does make sense, somehow, as they both feature both Victorians and futuristic fictional or non-fictional feats of engineering, and daring adventuring, which are major themes. Apart from those two I haven't read any of them. 574 to go then. And I'm not that hot on fiction anyway. That's a bit daunting- does that mean I can't be a steampunk afficianado after all? I do like Studio Ghibli cartoons though, and a lot of them feature weird things that fly and people wearing goggles, and brave women dressed in Edwardian Garb. And I have long been an admirer of Sydney Padua's wonderful Babbage and Lovelace cartoons.

Anyway, it occurred to me that it might be good to have a book launch at a steampunk event, and I had to laugh with recognition when I Googled "steampunk convention" and looked at the artwork and typography for the fabulous posters for the World Steampunk Fair. Attending this event will now, I see, be a Mecca to aim for in my future plans and I suspect my daughter will be just as keen (although she'll pretend she doesn't know me there of course). And its second sentence of the advertisement reads "welcome one and all, welcome steampunks, welcome people who aren't steampunk at all" so that might include me somewhere in that spectrum I hope.

Just as well Babbage can't hear my brass band though.

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