Definition of Steampunk (as Literary Genre)
Literary creation continues to reinvent itself with new subgenres and narrative perspectives. In the case of science fiction, in the 80's a literary version appeared with a renewing and original approach , steampunk. The cyberpunk subgenre is considered its most direct literary source.
Five characteristics of the steampunk narrative
1- The plot is normally developed in the historical context of Victorian England and in full swing of the Industrial Revolution .
2 - Technologies frequently appear outside its frame of reference and in this sense a deliberate anachronism is provoked.
3- The science fiction narrative by Julio Verne, HG Wells and Mary Shelley are the main references of this subgenre.
4- The narration is historical and at the same time uchronic. Thus, the frame of reference is the English XlX century, but with a distortion of historical reality (literary genres that resort to uchrony describe realities of what might have happened in the past).
5- Steampunk works are a combination of technology, thrilling adventures and a setting of the XlX century.
The science fiction novel "The differential machine" written by William Gibson and Bruce Steling is considered one of the literary summits of this subgenre
This novel published in 1990 has all the ingredients of steampunk. Thus, it is set in Victorian Britain, a mad genius invents a mathematical computer that is a century ahead of the computer age and a series of real historical figures appear but with a different identity .
They wear a clothing that combines several trends: retrofuturismo, cyberpunk and Victorian aesthetics. Some of the characteristic elements are the extravagant glasses, the classic hats, the corsets, the vintage umbrellas and some technological ornaments that recreate the aesthetics of the XlX century (the current technological devices are redesigned with the canons of this current).
It is a fashion that bets on elegance and should not be confused with Gothic fashion
The steampunk universe also exists on the big screen. Three films stand out above the others: "The city of lost children " of 1995, "Adéle and the mystery of the mummy" of 2010 and "April and the extraordinary world" of 2015. Among the video games inspired by this current, one stands out, "The order: 1886".
Fotolia Photos: Warmtail / Andrey Kiselev