Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Age of Steam

There is an interesting article in the August 2009 edition of SFX Magazine about the steampunk genre. There is some gorgeous art by Antonio Caparo and there are the expected references to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Jeter, but on the whole the rest of the references aren't very up to to date.

The article's author, James White, and genre chronicler Nick Ottens (who is extensively quoted throughout the piece), claim that steampunk is an enduring genre that is alive and well (although Ottens also claims that people are moving away from steampunk in favour of dieselpunk now), and yet there is almost no mention of modern steampunk movements or practitioners.

The most interesting (and up to date) thing mentioned in the article relates to the goth-rock steampunk band Abney Park. However, there is no mention of Philip Reeve's books, George Mann's Newbury and Hobbes adventures, or Abaddon Books' Pax Britannia series. There is nothing about the recent Solaris Books and Tachyon Publications steampunk anthologies, Toby Frost's Space Captain Smith books or Stephen Hunt's The Court of the Air series.

So Ottens claims that steampunk is alive and well, but how much does he really have his finger on the pulse of popular Neo-Victorian culture?

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