From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Blog For A Beer: Steampunk

Welcome to Fantasy Friday everyone. (click here for the rules.) This week’s post is about steampunk, a topic near and dear to your hearts.

I’ve had steampunk on the brain lately for many reasons. Last week I saw a steampunk play, last month I read an awesome steampunk novel, and next week we have a bunch of steampunk lists to entertain you. We here at Fantasy are generally very pro steampunk, but I have some… let’s call them misgivings about the trend.

I think my main annoyance is that steampunk started out in literature — something I highly approve of — then moved into fashion, aesthetics, and fad-ness — something I definitely disapprove of. Call me a snob, but I feel like any cultural trend that is mostly divorced from its roots in literature is banal and the province of hipsters. But I know that’s not strictly true for steampunk. Plus, I enjoy a lot of the gadgetry, tech mods, and fashion alongside the books and stories.

Still, I firmly feel that some things, no matter how cool, should stay in literature and not go scampering off and getting cultural STDs. I’m not even sure why steampunk got let off the leash and not, say, the New Weird, or pirates, or the zombie trend. The latter two have found a lot of expression in movies, but I haven’t seen anyone dressed up in zombie chic lately.

What would New Weird clothes look like, I wonder?

Am I just being grumpy and anti-fad? Doesn’t anyone else share my misgivings? Tell me I’m not alone here.

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