m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Steampunk: The Anthology

Via del.icio.us sf: Steampunk, an anthology by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, came out from Tachyon Publications in June. This month there’s an interview with the editors in Genre Chicks, which includes Jeff’s handy definition of steampunk:

Really classic steampunk is about a few things: the rise of the inventor or scientist as hero, the use of retro-technology (think, alternate history: technologies, like airships, that once seemed poised to be dominant), and then the introduction of irony to the idea of scientist as hero, in showing how unquestioning use of technology leads to disaster. But, at base, for more people, in pop culture, it’s almost more a “look” than a definition. A kind of style in a book or movie, often involving airships. Much of the steampunk I read is dealing with tough issues when it comes to technology and its uses. It is true, though, that steampunk does also allow for “comedies of manners” with pseudo-Victorian trappings, which are just meant as fun adventure romps. So perhaps the diversity.