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While Wells excelled in most of his studies, he failed a geology class, forcing him to drop out of the program and pursue freelance writing while scraping by as a teacher. Wells's first success was The Time Machine , a novel that captured the public's imagination and secured his career.

All of these fictions depend upon scientific authenticity and imaginative technology, but with themes that follow a clear sociopolitical agenda, unlike in the works of his literary compatriot Verne.

In fact, Wells would abandon science fiction early on in his career to turn to sociological and historical nonfiction. Jules Verne: Sane Invention, Insane Inventor Verne augmented the tradition of the imaginary voyage with Poe's emphasis on verisimilitude, ensuring that every machine in his fiction was authentic and plausible.

So vehement was Verne about verisimilitude that he would often condemn contemporaries like Wells for their carelessness and indif- ference to engineering and mechanics. Take, for instance, the case of the 'Nautilus. It rises or sinks by perfectly feasible and well-known pro- cesses, the details of its guidance and propulsion are perfectly rational and comprehensible.

Its motive force even is not secret: The creations of Mr. Wells, on the other hand, belong unreserv- edly to an age and degree of scientific knowledge far removed from the present, though I will not say entirely beyond the limits of the possi- ble. Not only does he evolve his constructions entirely from the realm of the imagination, but he also evolves the materials of which he builds them.

See, for example, his story 'The First Men in the Moon. In "The War of the Worlds," again, a work for which I confess I have a great admira- tion, one is left entirely in the dark as to what kind of creatures the Martians really are, or in what manner they produce the wonderful heat ray with which they work such terrible havoc on their assailants.

Poor Verne - he could imagine a patently absurd steam-powered elephant, and yet Wells's brand of extrapolation seemed ridiculous and in- complete to him! Verne's obsession with creating realistic detail extended to filling books with verbal blueprints that justified and explained the tech- nology in his novels.

While this meti culousness may bore some modern readers, it is, by chance, specifically encoded to appeal to Steam punk mak- ers and artists. The emphasis on the nuts-and- bolts reality of an improbable invention is a key aspect of the Steampunk aesthetic, especially in areas outside of the modern literature.

However, the irony here is that on the big screen and in comics, visual depictions of Wells's creations of- ten seem more plausible than those of Verne.

At times, Verne's very specificity ensured his cre- ations becoming outdated, while Wells's visions, which left more room for interpretation, more ac- curately mimicked the look, the progress, and the intent of modern technology. Wells was not an absentminded dreamer in his fiction, and Verne was not always the practical one.

Still, what makes Verne's novels unique and most inspiring to Steampunks is that his writing depended on inventing plausible technologies to drive his stories. Verne went to great pains to make that technology unique, and his mechanical marvels are as memorable as his characters, like the self-sustaining sub- marine NalltiLLL.!

Shaped roughly like a narwhal, the NalltiiuJ terrorizes the oceans while allowing its romanticized captain to live within it like a king. While the NalltiiLL.! Hunley, as Chaffin's description shows: From a vantage immediately aft of the boat's propeller as one gazes down the craft's forty-foot hull, the appearance of this boat-with its elegant, tapered hydrodynamic shape-evokes the cetaceous more than the material.

It seemed ob- vious that the Hunley's designers [James McClintock, Horace HunJey, and Baxter Watson] wanted their boat to look, and move, like an ani- mal that swims through the sea..

Verne takes the concept of the Hunley and expands upon its natural potential. The Nautdw's spar and tapered body allow it to dive straight downward when submerging.

Nemo replaces the oxygen in the vessel by surFacing to take on fresh air and release the stale. Even the flooding apparatus developed to moderate the vessel's buoyancy gives it a cetaceous appearance, as the flooding and draining of its tanks makes it spout water as if it were breathing through a blowhole.

But the Nalltilw is not just a clever narwhal-shaped machine. Verne de- scribes it in the painstaking detail of a blueprint: It is very like a ci- gar in shape, a shape aJ.

The length of this cylinder, from stem to stern, is exactly feet, and its maximum breadth is twenty-six feet. The Steam House is a mechanical elephant, armor-plated like an iron- clad, which pulls two large houses across India at a speed of fifteen to thirty miles per hour.

While most of Demon of Call'npore's plot is for- gettable, the Steam House is not. M Ne lill. J lflhife VemeJ nOlle!. J of writer.

J alld arti. Leadtizg creator. I "ci- mee fiction. He has been called "the father of Japanese science fiction. Captain Sakuragi is a naval officer who grows disgusted with the Japanese government's inability to do anything to resist the imperialism of Western governments in Asia and Japan.

Whites are carrying out various unnamed incivilities in Japan itself and are bullying other Asian coun- tries. Worse, from Sakuragi's perspective, is that the Western countries are preventing Japan from expanding in Asia in the way that the Western countries did in China.

Sakuragi also sees that the Japanese government is not willing or able to do anything about the coming, inevi- table war with the Western powers. So Sakuragi quits the Navy and goes to an isolated island off the coast of Shikoku. There he builds himself the Denko tei, an "undersea battleship" armed with futuristic weapons, includ- ing torpedoes and high-explosive shells, and capable of operating beneath the ocean's waves. Sakuragi staffs the Denko tei with a small crew of faithful and patriotic sailors and begins fighting for Japan on the high seas.

In Kaitei GUllkan the Denko tei demolishes a group of white pirates who have been harrying Japanese ship- ping. In later novels the Denko tei takes on the Russian. British, and French fleets and destroys them. As with China. Japan has a tradition of novels with fantastic elements that goes back centuries. Chinese H1ii. WllJobei Ikoku Il1ollogatari, a Clllli"er: Following the First Opium War , the Japanese scholar Mineta Fuko published 1 aigai Shil'a , a recounting of the Opium War, which stressed the evil intentions of the British toward China.

But modern science fiction began in Japan with the transla- tion of Jules Verne's 20, League. J Under the Sea. Verne's work influenced Japanese writers, and imitations of Verne and 20, Leagued began appear- ing within a few years. In Yano Ryiikei published Uhtl.? Oshikawa went far beyond Yano. Oshikawa not only included flying machines and other Verne-style science fiction vehicles and devices, but injected a political subtext. Oshikawa's novels describe the evil designs of the Western powers and of Russia toward Asia and Japan and urge the Japanese to join the empire-building games of the Western powers.

Oshikawa's work, with its Vernean techno-fetishism, strident patriotism, and negative portrayals of the Western nations, became popular, especially when the Russo-Japanese War of confirmed Oshikawa's years- earlier prediction of that conflict. Oshikawa became influential on his con- temporaries, and it was not until the s that Japanese writers of science fiction emerged from Oshikawa's influence. Whether it is a function of a general fascination with pachyderms or an echoing extension of Verne's original, mechanical elephants have become a recurring motif in modern Steampunk, from the work of Russian artists to creators of specialty gas masks.

However, Verne's inventions should come with a warning label: The Faustian mad scientist, best typified by Mary Shelley's Victor Frankenstein, is dangerous because he is not equipped to handle his new knowledge This is a typi- cal attitude of the early Victorians.

After midcentury, however, attitudes toward science began to change, so that it was not the knowl- edge itself which was dangerous, but rather what was done with the knowledge. In the last half of the nineteenth century portrayals of in- ventors generally fell into one of two types: It might be too mischievous to suggest that modern-day Steampunk makers and artists also can be identified as either heroic or megalomania- cal types, but all of Verne's characters, whether more or less harmful, fall into the latter category.

Robur is an inventor who holds his genius over the world and imagines himself above the law, including regulations against kidnapping. Half-martyr, half-murderer, Nemo is an archetype of scientific vil- lainy. Submerged underwater in his self-made home, he tries to escape a dark past and re-create the world in his own image. He is a connoisseur of art and literature as his grandiloquent library and eclectic museum dem- onstrate and appreciates all the little details of his unique surroundings.

Nemo can be so charming that even his own prisoners find it hard to hate him. It is this romantic sentiment that gives Nemo his appeal and makes it easier to ignore his murderous and hubristi c lenr etta dll monJe. In describing his inventions, he mingles scientific jargon and facts in his storytelling to make it seem authentic. However, Wells was interested in creating suspension of disbelief, not highly detailed realism. While enthusiasts can try to replicate the internal and external mechanics of Nemo's NalitUllJ by closely reading the text, the explanations of the Time Machine and the Martians' Tripods, along with their chemical ray guns, are not described so specifically that they can be re-created in the real world.

The irony is that despite their de- tai l, Verne's creations probably wouldn't have worked as inventions, either. The interest he invoked was a practical one; he wrote and believed and told that this or that thing could be done, which was not at that time done. He helped his reader to imagine it done and to realize what fun, excitement 0" mischief would ensue But these stories of mine They are aU fantasies; they do not aim to project a serious possibility; they aim indeed only at the same amount of conviction as one gets in a good gripping dream.

They have to hold the reader to the end by art and illusion and not by proof and argument, and the moment he closes the cover and reflects he wakes up to their impossibility. Indeed, Wells may have thought of his inventions as art, but schola.

By revamping the tradi- tional science fiction narrative, Wells's inventions-which Stableford calls "facilitating devices" -made the dream story and future prediction more plausible. Prediction was important to Wells, perhaps more than any other as- pect of science fiction. Despite his memorable machines, Wells was not interested in technological possibilities but in human beings' social and political potential. Comparing the Martians to nineteenth-century imperial powers, Wells is able to relate a parable-and astute modern creators like Ian Edginton and D'Israeli in the graphic nov- els The Creal Came and Scarlet Trace.

J have expanded upon these themes in their own work. The Time l11achine, by way of contrast, is a vehicle for class commentary that fits well with the spirit of the age. For example, outside the realm of speculative fiction, American writers such as Theodore Dreise. As biographer W. Warren Wagar states in H. TraverdilZg Time: Now for anyone with the slightest knowledge of what was happen- ing in Europe and America in the late nineteenth century, the theme of Wells's tale is transparent.

The Time Machine is a parable of class war- fare. Biology disclosed the possibility of devolution, but knowledge of the "Social Question," the intensifying conflict between capital and la- bor, suggested along what lines the devolution was most likely to occur. Social awareness is pivotal to the best practitioners of Steampunk, which has always been conscious of the nineteenth centu- ry's less inspiring moments.

While that era featured great strides in aesthetics and technology, po- litically it was tainted by colonial- ism, imperialism, and racism - the hrst two issues, in particular, at t he forefront of Wells's scrutiny. While Wells had his own share of Victorian narrow-mindedness when it came to race and conquest, his most influential novels grapple with the issues of sustainability a nd social justice. His particular gift was to use science fi ction ele- ments to combine an entertaining tory with serious exploration of important issues.

It is interesting that with those elements stripped away, Wells was unable to use en- tertainment as a delivery system for his ideas, and his mainstream, more realistic fiction is largely un- readable today. I n their own ways, both au- thors drew inspiration from the am- biguities of technologi cal progress and built upon Poe's techniques to create parallel worlds filled as much with horror as with beauty.

In so doing they would provide a mple influence and provocation for the Steampunk culture of the late twentieth century and there- after, which continues to be faced with a choice: Bnured A eeOrlUrlQ' to. Year lIV Stre. Box Electric Bob's Big Black Os rich: Evermor's Forevertron structures.

Not since art nouveau or even surrealism has one idea permeated cul- ture so completely, or been dependent on two such peculiar and unique antecedents. The Forgotten Influencer: Perhaps best known for popularizing the Horatio Alger stories, dime novels otten served as proponents of the American Dream, portraying a rise from rags to riches.

The Edisonade was the science fiction form of the dime novel and typically featured a young boy inventor escaping his stagnating envi- ronment and, usually with nationalistic implications, heading West using a steam vehicle built from scratch. The first Edisonade, Edward S. Protagonist Johnny Brainerd is a hunchbacked dwarf who constructs a Steam Man, which, like Verne's mechanical elephant, puLIs Brainerd and his sidekick Baldy Bicknell rickshaw-style to the Western frontier.

There, he meets "The Huge Hunter, " and together they mine gold, kill Indians, and return to Brainerd's hometown as heroes.

While the Edisonade tradition flourished for twenty years, the plots never strayed far from the original "Huge Hunter. The Edisonade offers an alternative model to the VernelWells "gentle- man explorers" -mad geniuses with mad money-and the adventures of t he former are that much more fantastical to lower-class dreamers as a re- sult.

History's Mechanical Marvel Abrams Image, 42 An Imaginary Voyage 10 the PaJt proves sufficient for success, providing, for white males, an affirmation of a "can-do" attitude. But although the cover illustrations for these adventures often seem whimsical, the content would be appalling to present-day readers, full of unapologetic racism and jingoism.

According to scholar Jess Nevins in the Steamplllzk anthology, the Edisonades' strongest contribution to Steampunk may be a tradition to rebel against: Cooking, a quintes- sentially human activity, takes the basic elements and creates a meal, so that civilization is achieved through the act of cooking-or, more abstractly, through refinement, the winnowing out of the unhealthy, the crude, and the wild.

This idea harkens back to Wells's social awareness and scrutiny, mak- ing parts of Steampunk culture more than just an aesthetic movement. Steampunk focuses on the Victorian era not only because of its aesthetic and technology, but because it recognizes within that epoch issues similar to those facing society in the twenty-first century. As Nevins writes: Steampunk is a genre aware of its own loss of innocence.

Its char- acters may be innocent in the context of their words, but Steam punk writers are all too aware of the realities which the Edisonade writ- ers were ignorant of or chose to dismiss Accompanying this lack of innocence is an anger and a rebellion against much of what the Edisonade's [sic] stood for That anger can be seen most fully in Joe R.

A Dime Novel" , which brings in elements from Wells's work to deconstruct the Edisonade in a perverse and willful fashion. The fast-paced adventure plot, the emphasis on innovation as a means to success, and the ambitious drive of Edisonade protagonists also can be seen in novels like Cherie Priest's BoneJhaker, even if Edisonades are not the primary influence.

Priest's pro- tagonists come from lower-class backgrounds and, like Brainerd, use their wits to survive and conquer. Her alternative-history Seattle allows her to emphasize a Western setting similar to those in the Edisonade, but from a distinctly female, progressive perspective. Books like Boilerplate by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, meanwhile, have spoofed the Edisonade as part of a progressive approach to presenting historical detail.

Clambering over the deck of the Dart were a number of fur-clad forms. At first the explorers thought them human beings; but a oloser glance showed that they were huge wbite bears. Taking from Verne the gift of a fantastical and playful imagina- tion, and utilizing Wells's sociological approach to facilitate changing the future, Steampunk rewrites blueprints, reinvents steam technology, and revamps the scientific romance to create a self-aware world that is beautiful and at times nostalgic, but also acknowledges dystopia.

Interestingly enough, whether it was the Edisonades as a catalyst or, more usually, Verne and Wells, these elements didn't result in the immedi- ate establishment of a subgenre or movement.

Instead, for many decades these inAuences were used by forward-thinking writers as a foundation for extrapolation that created the modern genre of science fiction as we know it. Only in the s would a form of "Steampunk" arise in literature, presag- ing a commensurate rise of a Steampunk subculture in the s and aughts. According to Nevins, "Science fiction didn't really become backward- looking until then. You certainly had alternate histories and historical fan- tasies before then, but the focus on the past, both technology steam and previous society Victorian London , wasn't a feature in the thinking of SF or fantasy writers All Ima.

It was there in the mids, a century after Verne and the Edisonades, that the three writers most closely associated with the rise of modern Steampunk would meet to drink beer and bat around ideas.

Then in their early twenties, Tim Powers, K. W Jeter, and James Blaylock lived ten minutes apart and had read Victorian and Edwardian lit- erature in college. Powers recalls that they would read one another's manu- scripts and critique them, unaware, according to Blaylock, that they might be creating an entire subgenre of fiction.

All three authors, each in his own way and in his own style, were writing a form of alternative history based in Victorian times.

The Allllh;. Romantic poets make cameos, including the fictional William Ashbless, conjured up by Powers and Blaylock. InfernaL Device.! Lord KeLl'liz: Dirigibles figure prominently in the proceedings. In a sense, these were American homages to England, but with attention paid to issues of class from a kind of Dickensian perspective.

Why Victorian fantasy? I'm pretty sure that most people were happy to dismantle old clocks when they were kids, just to take a look at the gears and mechanical debris inside. Potter's Dr. You knew that real people living in a real time had created them, and that they weren't just stamped out of plastic in some hellhole factory in China. So to some de- gree the whole Vi ctorian craftsper- son period seemed like a glorious tide that had once washed over the world, and left a few shining bits behind in odd places.

The ongoing Steampunk love for outdated and baroque technologies tends to empha- size the fanciful evolution of "big concepts" like airships and robots. By , however, ve,. This fixation on the ma- chines of yesteryear means that modern Steampunk fiction always runs the risk of descending into irrelevance.

The tension between the real and the unreal has created works with a sense of irony and loss, but also those that operate by way of nostalgia and that achieve their effects using Steampunk images without any accompanying "weight of the real. J, an, Clockwork TI7t".! Are the,le actllal dub-,lIlbgenreJ?

Probably 1I0l. Vive la revol ution! Some Brits would argue that all American Steampunk is actually gas- light romance.

World or Imaginary Airships, rrursets and

At parties. In mansions. Coined by William Gibson, the term has become mOI"e useful in the context of Steampunk as the fiction has come to feature more and more tinkers and artists. Ita I! In a wider context, Stitcbpunk emphasizes the role of weavers, tin- kers, and darners in Steam punk. While Blaylock. According to Steampunk expert and critic Jess Nevins.

In the same way. I'd call the mystery and detective stories which appeared before Poe 'proto-mysteries His series features fierce battles be- tween opposing fleets of airships, along with complex political and military intrigue. The novels were, Moorcock says, "intended as an intervention. They were intended to show that there was no such thing as a benign Empire, and that even if it seemed benign.

The stories were as much addressed to an emer- gent American Empire as to a declining British. I was shocked when the tools I'd selected to tell [my Nomads of the Air stories] were taken up by many others merely in my view to tell cool adventure stories where air- ships buzzed about the skies and had big fights and stuff in a world.

The very nos- talgia I had attacked was celebrated! For this reason. Published in The D ff'erence Engine was nominated for the Nebula Award. Campbell Award. It is the work most cited by members of the Steam punk subculture who have not read much of the fiction, even though novels by Blaylock, Jeter, and Powers predate it. The Dlflerence Engine fits into the Steampunk canon as a form of "his- torical Cyberpunk.

I lfell, Bnrl1qut! Lord Byron leads an Industrial Radi cal Party, antitechnol- ogy revolutionaries are suppressed, and the British Empire grows to be a superpower. Meanwhile, the United States has been fragmented into several countries, including the Republic of California and a Communist Manhattan Island Commune.

In this context, the British Empire cul- tivates scientillc achievement, giving Charles Darwin, among others, a peerage. The novel's many Steampunk pleasures include jet-powered dirigibles fueled by coal dust and a vast and somewhat clunky mechanical AI housed in the facade of an Egyptian pyramid, occupying several city blocks in London and tended by white-robed monks with oilcans.

The novel gives a nod to the Edisonades, in that one of the characters, Lawrence Oliphant, "is smuggling proto-SF Edisonade pulp novels to the crown prince of Greater Britain. They gleefully delve into the corrupting influence of even seemingly benign technology. Only in the most general way, according to Sterling: That took some laudable nerve.

That, and the good idea of reading Henry Mayhew. As a result, The Difference Engine would initially have a greater impact on Steampunk fiction than the novels that preceded it. Indeed, it would be tempting to say that the California trio, collectively, are to Steampunk what John Fitch was to the steamboat.

However, the truth is the influence and popularity of Steampunk fiction written in the s would rise and fall until the late s. Steampunk as a fashion wouldn't take hold until the late s, and in the absence of a sup- porting subculture, Steampunk as fiction proceeded only in fits and starts, with no core fan base to fuel it.

There was no brilliant, quintessentially Steam punk follow-up to The Difference Engine from Sterling and Gibson, or anyone else. These books form a lifeline between the original innovation by a few key authors in the s and today's explosion of novels from a variety of writers. In particular, three books published in built on the foundation of prior works in interesting ways: Neil Gaiman would later be shoe- horned into Steampunk by dint of an MTV interview, but his fiction is a brand of uniquely English fantasy that only vaguely touches on the con- cerns of Steam punk.

The Steampllllk Trilogy is a freewheeling series of three novellas that range from an outrageous romp about the replacement of the Queen of England with a giant salamander to a baroque affair between Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.

Di Filippo's gonzo humor is on full dis- playas he adds his own slant to Steampunk, influenced by the work of Blaylock and Moorcock. Valente Are YOll concerned about the amollnt of. Iteam ill YOllr Steampul1k? J Catherynne M. Here, VaLente di. There comes a time in the life of every young novelist when she starts to think zeppelins are reaLLy cool. Parents, talk to your children about Steampunk.

It's everywhere these days, isn't it? Anime, Doctor Who, novel after novel involving clockwork and airships.

Young women going about in bUdtLeJ, for heaven's sake! But it's just as easy for the kids these days to get impure Steampunk, cut with lesser punk materials. Let me say it now and for all time, for the protection of your little ones: You can't have Steampunk without steam. Most of the product on the street these days would more adequate- ly be termed Clockpunk or Gearpunk-though the golden age of clocks was about a century too early to bear the ubiquitous Victorian sticker with which we plaster everything from the Enlightenment era to Belle Epoque.

If there's a corset and a repressed manservant, by God, it's Victorian. Steam power itself seems rather inconvenient, bludgeoned out of the way by cor- pulent balloons and quasi-Dickensian dialogue. It is my understanding, poor, unhip child that T am, that Steampunk correlates precisely with Cyberpunk, substance of choice of the last gen- eration: Yet in almost every- thing I've ever seen called Steampunk besides the powerfully adequate Steamboy film , there is no actual steam power to speak of, and precious little anxiety.

Because we, in our current, painfully neo-Victorian culture, think all that old-fashioned stuff is. Tell them of a world which was changing so very fast, devouring itself in an at- tempt to lay just one more mile of railroad track.

Again, I retUI-n to deriolldlZe. JJ as a necessary addition to fantasy: If you want Victoria in your coat pocket, if you want the world that comes with her, all that possibility, all that ter- rible, arrogant, gorgeous technolo- gy, take it aL4 make it true, be honest and ruthless with it, or you' re just gluing gears to your fingers and running around telling everyone you're a choo-choo train.

Get punk or go home - and think. If you're going to go prowling for top-hatted villains at night, seek out the pure stuff, the real.

No one wants to get screwed with a bag full of Drano and flaccid research. But gears are so pretty. So eaJy. Why, you hardly need to know any science at all! Just stick a gear on it and it's golden! Come on, Mom, just one clockwork automaton, please? Don 't be such a hardass.

And you can have them. They can talk like C-3PO and everyone can eat gearcakes with brass icing for tea, and it can be a beautiful thing, but you mustn't call it Steampunk. Valente right and S. Indeed, his intelligent bears, with their baroque armor, seem more Steampunk than anything floating in the air.

However, the true renaissance of the subgenre wouldn't occur until the late s, sparked by a surge of participation within a community that was by then more than a decade old. This redefinition saw "Steampunk" used as a toolbox or aesthetic rather than as a term to describe a movement.

The Steampunk Bible

Three of the most commercially and critically successful Steampunk authors of the modern era-Cherie Priest, Gail Carriger, and Ekaterina Sedia - have brought their own twists to the su bgenre. For Priest, this means a revised American approach, featuring zombies and an emphasis on motherhood in the Hugo Award-nominee BOlle.

For Carriger, the mix includes supernatural creatures and P. Wodehouse-style antics in her deceptively light but liberated Parasol Protectorate series. I'm generally not impressed with anyone who writes as if the last century of literature and thought didn't hap- pen. I do very much enjoy Blaylock and Powers, the latter being more of a direct influence, what with secret societies and alternative histories.

After all, what would calculus be like if we had computers in the eigh- teenth or nineteenth century? They would be able to solve complex math problems the stupid way and much of calculus would never exist.

To Annalee Newitz, one of the editors of i09, a pop-culture website that frequently covers Steam punk, Sedia's approach is unique because "most Steampunk fetishizes the 'wind-up girL' a gilded feminine creature. But Sedia shows us that the life of a windup girl is utter hell: Is it commer- cial? Yes, but Steampunk has always been com- mercialized - that's the story of all punk, really, going back to Malcolm McLaren marketing the Sex Pistols as a brand.

Steampunk "really gelled" for Priest sometime in the mid- to late s. I caught it and ran with it. I proudly donned my Victorian silk blouses and Little tweed jodhpurs. I didn't know there was Steampunk to read, I only thought there was Steam punk to! Thel'e are few authors in the field who are all flash and no substance. Priest's editor, Liz Gorinsky, has been responsible for publishing many contemporary Steampunk novels, also editing George Mann and Lev Rosen. Gorinsky, like many others, sees Steampunk as much more than a form ofliterature.

I got excited by the extent to which the! Cfankerd fMe mecDanl Ferdinand and a Scotfl'. Jh girL ",ith dream.! What is your personal definition of Steampunk? It's partly a set of nostalgias-for handmade and human-scale tech- nologies, baroque design, and elegant dress and manners-combined with the puerile pleasure of mussing up a very stuffY stage in history, bringing a Aamethrower to a tea party, so to speak. And this Aamethrower extends to the political and social as well as technological, because Steampunk cre- ates a new set of Victorian stories that expand the role of the colonized and otherwise subjugated in that era girl geniuses, for example.

How long have you been interested in Steampunk? I'd always been a sucker for alternative his- tories, but there was a more exciting energy here. Rather than the careful extrapolation from one shift in history, Sterling and Gibson were throwing everything at the wall, rewriting history in order to it with their own modern tech fetishes and fascinations.

But probably as important as any literary inAuence was Disney's take on 20, Lea. It's a kids' movie adapted from an novel about a nuclear submarine made in , the middle of the Cold War. The whole effort creates a weird collision of beauty and menace a nuclear sub with a pipe organ , as well as a collision of technologies both on and off the screen. Plus 1 went on the ride at Disney World when I was ten, and it was awesome. What differences do you see between now and when you started?

Steampunk was still largely a literary subgenre when I I1rst became aware of it. But it has been continually widening into new creative spaces- jewelry, clothes, music -always becoming more physically and socially real. That's the most interesting thing about it to me, that you have a physical and social culture arising so quickly from a literary genre.


One rarely wears a costume saying, ''I'm some kind of spaceman" or ''I'm a ge- neric manga character," but lots of people happily dress as a Victorian cy- borg or sky pirate without reference to any specific work. What Steampunk works influenced the writing of Leviathan? In a strange way, the biggest influence on the text was Keith's illus- trations in the book itself. Because there are fifty of them per book, we didn't follow the usual strategy of finishing the text and then produc- ing illustrations.

He was working alongside me, only a few chapters behind or ahead at one point! It was a positive feed- back loop, in that characters, beas- ties, and objects that Looked cool got more screen time, and thus were expanded upon by still more art. How do you think the Young Adult strain of Steampunk differs from its adult counterpart?

What makes it endearing to young readers? Do you see it as part of the future of Steampunk? Probably the differences be- tween YA and adult Steampunk are the same differences that exist in any genre: But Steampunk does have unique charms to some YA readers. Teens are native users of the mass- produced blobjects - iPods, cell phones, etc. So their adoption of a handmade aesthetic is less nostalgic and perhaps more revolutionary. My fan mail suggests that the whole flamethrower-at-a- tea-party aspect of Steampunk is part of the appeal too.Street urchins and sweeps are the truest modifiers of garments, and they're fearless when it comes to waste, stains, rips, and sweat.

But these stories of mine I then used a paint program to fiji in all of the areas that I wanted to be com- pletely solid. Filmed around , On the journey of a U. Half-martyr, half-murderer, Nemo is an archetype of scientific vil- lainy.

By the time I was 18 I had read over 20 books by Michael Moorcock and one of them was 'The Warlord of the Air' w I received this book as a Christmas gift from the younger of my two younger sisters and am very thankful to her for giving it to me. I think I was vaguely aware that there was a science fiction idea of some kind about alternative history, so 1 used that as what you might call the punch une. This is a likely fate for you.

Lots of Free Reading! Despite his memorable machines, Wells was not interested in technological possibilities but in human beings' social and political potential.