Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Steampunk


ShellHawk may seem like a cutting edge gal sometimes, but honestly, it just ain't so. In fact, I remember an entire decade (the '90s, I think) when I didn't listen to anything but Irish and Irish traditional music. Trends find me late (if at all), more often than not. Mr. ShellHawk is constantly amused by this and I get that indulgent smile a lot.
So, color me surprised that Steampunk started its movement in the late '80s, alongside other 'punk movements I still just heard about two or three days ago.

I really gotta get out more.

For those of you like me, who only drag yourselves out of The Pit of Despair to get snacks in between building new torture devices and creating new monsters, I'll give you the Cliff's Notes.

Steampunk is what "experts" call retro-futurism. Steampunk deals in the, "what-ifs," of the alternate reality. If you need a visual, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a perfect example of this kind of speculative fiction. Very influenced by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, a look and lifestyle have grown from this movement, as well as literature and a fantastic re-imagining of our own time's everyday technology. There are many websites and fanfic to peruse.



For instance, this iPod skin by artist Colin Thompson allows you to see a steampunk version of the inner workings of your favorite toy.









A well-written steampunk how-to blog and website can be found here at The Steampunk Workshop. Run by Jake Von Slatt (not his real name), this site is filled with clear pictures and directions. It looks like a great website for ideas for your next Mad Scientist's Laboratory.
Here's a PC keyboard he made, too. Gorgeous, isn't it?
Datamancer, purveyor of "Prestidigital Datamancery and Paraphranalic Technofetishism," has re-made the humble laptop into a work of art. I want one. Badly.
And for those of us who treasure the return of '80s fashion (That's 1880s, by the way. Big hair need not apply), there are haberdashers online to outfit us for that lovely Victorian New Year's party.

You can find some steampunk fashion stores at Etsy.



Louise Black custom makes this x-ray corset. Clever girl!
I wonder if it's too late to put this on my Christmas list? Maybe for my birthday...

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