The Great Steampunk Timeline

Monday, September 3, 2012

Stephen Hunt, author of Court of the Air wrote an article for TOR books in Oct 2010:
The Great Steampunk Timeline by Stephen Hunt

In this article he included a timeline of literary and social events in which the Steampunk movement that we know has evolved.

Click here for his timeline.

From the article:

But look where steampunk accelerates, look where it starts to take wing. It’s the buildup of millennial angst towards the dawning of the new century. You know the one, the century that should have been the Age of Aquarius—the end of history, the death of faith, the dawn of super-science, and our long march towards Singularity.

Instead, the boiler was lit. Not by the gentle hand of a stoker measuring out spadefuls of coal, but with all the violent ignition of a multi-stage Apollo rocket: wars, terrorism, global warming, bird flu, crime, hoodies knifing granny, economic shock after economic shock. Careers and industries withering under the force of technological innovation, the internet upturning lives with the force of a superstorm.

And this, gentle reader, is the real whip cracking above steampunk’s hansom cab.

Steampunk isn’t true Victoriana. It’s not five-year-olds crying as they were shoved starving up chimneys; it’s not having to have seven children so you can watch five of them die from pandemics before the age of ten. It’s not a decade of pain from a crumbling tooth because you’re living in an age where cutting-edge dentistry means a long swig of whisky and a short pair of pliers.

It’s faux Victoriana. It’s elegant smoking jackets and flounced petticoats rather than two quid jogging bottoms from Lidl. It’s manners and wit rather than trash-talking curses. It’s understanding and stripping and rebuilding your gadgets, rather than trading in yesterday’s iPhone for tomorrow’s Google Nexus One. It’s comfortable tweed and refined salons, rather than a punch-up in Cardiff City centre because you disrespected some moron by watching him vomit for two seconds too long.

That’s how you understand steampunk.

Indeed Stephen, indeed!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.


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