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ghost-angel

Steampunk - Source Material

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

Try the Castle Falkenstein game. A mix of magic and steam punk. There's also the manga, Steam Detectives. There's also the anime series, Keishin Corps.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

I used to run a Castle Falkenstein campaign. We kinda bent the genre, and the Great War came 40 years too early, but we had a blast.

 

If you can't find the R. Talsorian version, there is a GURPS version that also has an Ottoman Empire expansion.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

Well I consider 'steampunk' to be more of a feel than a iron clad locked to the victorian age or the anti-establishment (?) concept which really threw me. Where did that come from? Almost all steampunk usually is pro one establishment or another. Anyway I digress.

 

For me SP is any story taking place in a setting that resembles the 1800's to 1920's where the protagonists use and invent fantastic technology that relies on mechanical or steam driven technology, including computers (like the Babbage machines).

 

In SP a scientist is more than one is in any other except Pulp which exploits many of the same tropes. In this case a scientist is almost a jack-of-all-trades in the sciences with the uncanny ability to understand, use and repair pretty much anything they come across.

 

The major difference is style, in Pulp the rocketship is sleek with retro-futuristic fins while the steampunk one has blunter lines with iron plates and plenty of bolts and rivets. Pulp uses an Atomic Engine while Steampunk has a boiler driven engine using Cavorite, Claudia or Ragnite to overcome the attraction of gravity.

 

It is all about the style, as such many Steampunk sources are outside of the rigid 1800's under Victoria.

 

Just my opinion of course. But many of the early Pulp scifi was Steampunk before the word was coined.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

The Sci-Fi Channel used to air a series called The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. Unfortunately, it didn't last too long.

 

Here's the opening sequence:

 

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

Another Anime is Valkyria Chronicles. It hasn't released in the States but what I've seen of it is pretty good.

 

There is a Manga as well but I haven't seen that yet.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

The Sci-Fi Channel used to air a series called The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. Unfortunately' date=' it didn't last too long. [/quote']

 

It was a great show. I also think it was prematurely ended.

 

Another show that isn't exactly SP, but can be mined for ideas was the Young Indiana Jones shows.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

Well I consider 'steampunk' to be more of a feel than a iron clad locked to the victorian age or the anti-establishment (?) concept which really threw me. Where did that come from?

 

As a short shot into history, and in danger of tainting my own thread - it came from the fact that the original Steampunk Literary Movement (and the origins of Steampunk as a genre - literature is unsurprisingly the origin of most genres) was coined by author K.W. Jeter in 1987 to try and describe a series of works by himself and others going back to the early 80s. And as an offshoot (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) of Cyberpunk.

 

The Difference Engine is the most prime example (and contains an AI, in fact some have speculated the AI is in fact Wintermute) of directly transporting Cybeprunk Near Future (dystopian and anti-establishment themes along with) into Victorian Past.

 

As with any label, once it's identified it's easy to go back and pick out various works in the genre no matter how old - and since Verne, Wells, and even Shelley served as direct inspiration for the 80s Steampunk novels they are ultimately considered part of the genre at this point. Even some of Twain's work.

 

So the 'need' to be in Victorian England comes directly from the fact that early Steampunk was almost universally set in that specific time and place.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

I see Post Apocalyptic Steampunk as another viable sub-genre, as it's easy to postulate a weird science Neo-Victorian culture arising in a less than total destruction apocalypse.

 

Some examples might include Naussica, the webcomic FreakAngels, or Moorcock's Hawkmoon setting.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

The Bas Lag books by China Mieville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council)

 

I would give this a healthy second as I'm currently making my way through these books...

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

As a short shot into history, and in danger of tainting my own thread - it came from the fact that the original Steampunk Literary Movement (and the origins of Steampunk as a genre - literature is unsurprisingly the origin of most genres) was coined by author K.W. Jeter in 1987 to try and describe a series of works by himself and others going back to the early 80s. And as an offshoot (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) of Cyberpunk.

 

Gotta rep you for actually knowing history or doing any amount of research there.

Personally I would have thought the "anti-establishment" or "anti-authority" theme from steampunk would be guessed at by the word "punk". Although possibly people just don't know what punk means any more? Those who have no idea about the 70s?

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

The word Punk has been co-opted, incorporated, watered down, mutilated, spindled, stamped, briefed, filed, re-organized, re-labeled and quite frankly - that's fitting.

 

I've been reading Steampunk since about '89 or so. And I come from an almost strict literary background (which holds true for my dance with Cyberpunk as well, though I got into that around 86/87). Which is why I have both a narrow focus and an incomplete picture of Modern Steampunk.

 

Whether I like it or not, agree with it or not, the genre has moved up, on and outwards. And it's about time I relearn some of the tropes.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

I still think the good Steampunk is anti-authority. Falkenstein, Girl Genius, Perdido Street Station - they're all "a small group of anarchists working against the government" although in the case of Castle Falkenstein it is more likely to be against someone else's government.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

I still think the good Steampunk is anti-authority. Falkenstein' date=' Girl Genius, Perdido Street Station - they're all "a small group of anarchists working against the government" although in the case of Castle Falkenstein it is more likely to be against someone else's government.[/quote']

 

That is where I think most modern readers are hammering their personal views onto what they read. Your point "although in the case of Castle Falkenstein it is more likely to be against someone else's government" illustrates what I mean. In the 50’s and before, it was still acceptable to be patriotic and the government was still considered yours and not an automatic evil. Other governments may have been evil, but not yours. If something was happening at home it was not the government, but someone acting on their own. Most of the items in the genre that were written by an author pre-contamination (before it was fashionable to blame everything on ‘the evil gov’) was actually pro-‘us’. ‘Us’ being which ever country you belonged to, be it Great Britain or the USA for me. I haven’t been able to find anything written elsewhere that I could read, though I have heard of stories written in German.

 

If we use the ‘Punk’ to mean anti-establishment, than many stories listed above need a new genre tag. Most of Verne does not apply. True 20,000 Leagues is anti-War. But the rest were arguably not. Most of the rest of his books actually were very British flag wavers in the ‘Look world! Once again the British lead the way!’ style of much of the era when the Empire spanned the known world. Just like a lot of American stories are all about how great America is.

 

IMO, Steampunk is being held to too fine a microscope and was a result of laziness on the part of the person who coined the term. The Steam part implies the Era, but the ‘punk’ was slapped on to sound cool without thought that it actually is at complete odds with the general mood and outlook of the time period being portrayed.

 

For me all Steampunk is actually just a sub of Pulp-style stories as a whole. The date of when Pulp officially starts is still a hot topic anyway and goes all the way back to the 1890’s as it is. So Steampunk is really just a flavor of Pulp with a slightly misleading name….

 

Just an opinion of course.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

IMO, Steampunk is being held to too fine a microscope and was a result of laziness on the part of the person who coined the term. The Steam part implies the Era, but the ‘punk’ was slapped on to sound cool without thought that it actually is at complete odds with the general mood and outlook of the time period being portrayed.

 

For me all Steampunk is actually just a sub of Pulp-style stories as a whole. The date of when Pulp officially starts is still a hot topic anyway and goes all the way back to the 1890’s as it is. So Steampunk is really just a flavor of Pulp with a slightly misleading name….

 

Just an opinion of course.

 

If you go back and find the original artcle Jeter proposed the name in, and I have it in my house /somewhere/ (though I haven't seen it in years so I may not anymore to be honest), it was almost written as a joke. It was a definite play on Cyberpunk, which was the darling genre of the time in sci-fi/fantasy circles.

 

I suspect (without proof mind, just from having been around at the time in the two decades afterwards) that Jeter wrote it because a) he wanted to ride the Cyberpunk Train to popularity and B) didn't have a better idea, he just wanted a word to use. Especially since he was applying said word retroactively to works going back almost a decade at the time he coined it.

 

And like anything - your last line is why I'm undertaking this exercice in the first place - everyone has an opinion. And I want to see if I can gather them up and gel them into some kind of outline - or series of outlines.

 

just like Urban Fantasy contains everything from Charles De Lint's Newford to Joss Whedon's Buffy/Angel series Steampunk also has a wide range of non-similar aspects. It's just a matter of identifying common tropes, underpinnings, and veneers that center around it.

 

And I expect there to be just as much "feel" to those as there are easily identifiable marks. Whether any given single piece involves "Steam" or "Punk" or not.

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

If you go back and find the original artcle Jeter proposed the name in, and I have it in my house /somewhere/ (though I haven't seen it in years so I may not anymore to be honest), it was almost written as a joke. It was a definite play on Cyberpunk, which was the darling genre of the time in sci-fi/fantasy circles.

 

I suspect (without proof mind, just from having been around at the time in the two decades afterwards) that Jeter wrote it because a) he wanted to ride the Cyberpunk Train to popularity and B) didn't have a better idea, he just wanted a word to use. Especially since he was applying said word retroactively to works going back almost a decade at the time he coined it.

 

And like anything - your last line is why I'm undertaking this exercice in the first place - everyone has an opinion. And I want to see if I can gather them up and gel them into some kind of outline - or series of outlines.

 

just like Urban Fantasy contains everything from Charles De Lint's Newford to Joss Whedon's Buffy/Angel series Steampunk also has a wide range of non-similar aspects. It's just a matter of identifying common tropes, underpinnings, and veneers that center around it.

 

And I expect there to be just as much "feel" to those as there are easily identifiable marks. Whether any given single piece involves "Steam" or "Punk" or not.

 

 

Yes :D

 

I wasn't trying to say otherwise. I was just responding to multiple posts that seemed (to me the BBS challenged type ;)) as trying to make the 'punk' part of the name be the primary and most defining theme of the genre.

 

Probably just me hitting the communication barrier again. I sometimes have a very hard time gleaning actual intent from a post based on just how they wrote it :ugly:

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

TV tropes has a list of things associated with Steam Punk. Most of the things discussed are already there. There was also something called clock punk where you take the weird science that comes from using steam to power Transformers and apply clockwork to it.

 

CES

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

Is any of this discussion helping, GA? There's list of material. The common tropes seems to be a Victorian setting where Steam has replaced the combustion engine on the tech scale, where adventurers battle over new applications of their science.

 

I wouldn't exactly put Bas lag in a steam punk setting, maybe not Castle Falkenstein either ( I haven't read that, but have heard of it.) There's too much magic involved there. I don't agree with Full Metal Alchemist as Steam Punk either.

 

Maybe I am being too narrow but Steam Punk is weird science based stuff to me like Girl Genius, Wild Wild West the show, and/or movie, or Steamboy, or Frankenstein.

 

High fantasy added to that is a separate Genre in my opinion. Something like Steam Fantasy.

 

Does that make sense?

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Re: Steampunk - Source Material

 

Is any of this discussion helping' date=' GA? [/quote']

 

I second that, is it? I fear I have decended into babbling rather than helping.....

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