- Arts and Design
World of Steampunk
Steampunk: The Victorian Science Fiction
Steampunk. A strange word, an even stranger look. What it really is? Well, steampunk was created as a genre fantasy reaching down to the same sci-fi roots: the 19th-century scientific novel, 18th century Gothic horror and pulp fiction from the early 20th century.
It's all this that Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn't manage to invent . Victorian elevator to the Moon? Driven by steam cyborg? The machine differential with artificial intelligence? Why not!
This page was meant as an introduction to the world of steampunk, to give some examples of steampunk style and to move reader's imagination beyond the limits. Because human imagination has no limits!
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One of the good examples of steampunk literature is written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill. The story takes place in 1898 in a fictional world where all of the characters and events from Victorian literature (and possibly the entirety of fiction) coexist. We find here Captain Nemo, Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, characters from "Out of the Silent Planet" by C. S. Lewis and H.G. Wells' "The Island of Dr. Moreau" and "The Time Machine". "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"
Other examples of steampunk literature:
- The Difference Engine an alternate history novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
This book lives up to its name: it's really a steampunk bible. Introducing reader into the world of steampunk, from literature through jewellery to fashion and film, with lots of photographs offers a good reference to the intriguing steampunk movement.
When it comes to steampunk film, we can choose from many movies. Among others:
Wild Wild West western from 1999 directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh and Salma Hayek.
Wild, wild laughs, adventure and special-effects wizardry abound when megastar Will Smith reteams with the director of "Men in Black." Smith is agent James West, leading sidekick Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) and a sexy adventuress (Salma Hayek) on a perilous assignment: stop Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) and his contraption-driven plot to establish a Disunited States of America.
Van Helsing, a legendary monster hunter, is summoned to a mysterious land in Europe. He teams with Anna, the beautiful descendent of a family committed to battling Count Dracula. Once in Transylvania, Van Helsing and Anna must combat some of the most notorious monsters from history including the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster
The hangman did his job, Dr. Watson declared the condemned man dead...yet Lord Blackwood has emerged from the tomb to assert his deadly will over 1890 London. Is he in league with the forces of hell itself? Is the whole Empire in peril? It's a mystery macabre--and only Sherlock Holmes can master it.
The plot hasn't changed but what's new in this version of the story is the presence of flying war machines crafted from plans stolen from da Vinci's vault. The airborne crafts are exquisite in their detail and figure prominently in the film, but their very presence adds an almost absurdist new feel to the already slapstickish picture.
Rango is a computer-animated family comedy film from 2011 directed by Gore Verbinski (director of the Pirates of the Caribbean). In the film, Rango, a chameleon, accidentally ends up in the town of Dirt, an outpost that is in desperate need of a new sheriff. It features the voices of actors Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant and Ned Beatty.
An animated Western with a chameleon as the hero is an unlikely concept, but Rango is a great film thanks to its witty mix of parody, intriguing characters, and sophisticated humor. The film won Academy Awards for Best Animated Film.
Above all types of this unusual Victorian art, it's steampunk jewellery that appeals to me the most. Just look at these beautiful pieces of jewelley! Aren't they gorgeous?
Of course there is a lot of steampunk art in form of pictures and posters. Here are only samples, created by artists selling their works through Zazzle:
Resources for aspiring steampunk artists
Books for those who want to create steampunk - make steampunk jewellery, costumes and gadgets, draw steampunk illustrations, write steampunk novels.
Instructions on how to take apart non-working mechanical watches and clocks for those essential supplies.
The jewelry ideas are fantastic and easy to customize, the author uses mixed media to create wonderful assemblages which reflect steampunk aesthetic values.
Filled with do-it-yourself projects, shows you how to build exquisite, ingenious contraptions on a budget.
Learn how to use the readily available tools of the modern mad scientist, and expounds on the art and philosophy of scavenging unique components and raw materials. The perfect companion for the hobbyist and advanced machinist alike, this inventive volume will guide you through the creation of your very own infernal devices.
This how-to jewelry-making book features the work of an array of invited jewelry designers influenced by the growing Steampunk trend. In Steampunk circles, jewelry-makers are often master metalsmiths who combine found objects with fine metals to create elaborate pieces. In Steampunk-Style Jewelry, the projects focus on "no fire" techniques-like simple stringing, wirework, hammering, stamping, gluing, stitching, and off-loom beadwork-so that even a beginner can create pieces in the style.
Writing Steampunk is a journey into building Steampunk fiction. There are choices to be made in regards to era, characters, and world building. And there's research to do. Why? Because Steampunk is alternative history and some tinkering will need to be done. A list of Steampunk novels is included, as well as a list of publishers likely to be interested in Steampunk, a brief overview of events, discoveries and inventions of the 19th and early 20th century, and a lot of encouragement, suggestions and examples are given.
Enter into a world where fashion is Victorian punk, technology hasn't surpassed the steam engine and bizarre gadgets and contraptions that you haven't imagined in your wildest dreams. Authors takes readers through the process of drawing, painting, and digitally illustrating the marvelous players and elements of the steampunk genre. As aspiring artists learn how to create steam-powered machines and gadget-toting characters, this book explains the history and origin of steampunk, its cultural relevance, and other interesting facts about real-life steampunk machines and their makers.
Steampunk resources on the web
- Steampunk Emporium
A selection of the Emporium's wares, inspired by the whimsical, inventive and adventurous spirit of the Age of Steam.
- Clockwork Couture
A fashion house that sits on the edge of time.
- The Steampunk Home
Blog about home décor that combine the scientific romanticism of the Victorians with our real present and imagined future.
- How To Steampunk Guides
Steampunk Guides For Steampunk Costumes Or Everyday Clothing And Accessories!
Feel free to write a few words here. Share with others your experience with steampunk.
Did you come across steampunk before? Do you like the style and why? Do you create your own steampunk items? Where do you find inspirations and supplies? Or maybe you prefer other types of art?