Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Something old, something new...
Sorry folks, but if you thought this post would be about marriage and its many gifts, you are mistaken. While Jen and I appreciate what we got (sooo many knives) this is a nerd blog. And so, to catch your eye, I give you something nerdy that is also something that will be new to my nerd-oriented siblings. That thing, is steampunk.
You may or may not know that one of my hobbies is collecting old clocks... or at least it will be when I get some money. This, coupled with every library and bookstore's obstinate insistence to put fantasy and sci-fi books together, led to my discovery of this hybrid.
Defining steampunk is a difficult thing to do. Imagine a victorian/edwardian age where steam innovations allow them to have things like jet-packs, machine guns, airships, and really cool monocles (and who could use a better monocle?). Think "Wild Wild West" with a lot more brass instead of cheese. I hate to use such a bad movie for an example of something that I actually like, but it's the best mainstream thing I could come up with. Outside of the mainstream, is "Mainspring" by Jay Lake. I'm about half-way through it, and while the story is decent, its the background that has got me interested. The universe isn't just like a clock, it is one. The Planet run on giant brass tracks and certain people are gifted enough to even hear the ticking of the earth. Even religion is based on mechanics, with a savior who died on horofix instead of a cross, and a bronze archangel who sends the protagonist on a quest to wind up the world's mainspring.
Not only is steampunk breaking into books, video games, and movies, it's biggest manifestation is in actual steampunk crafting. People will take any piece of modern technology and add copper tubing, brass cogs, a few gauges, and leather straps to it and make it steampunk.
Now that I've caught you up on what's new in nerd-dom, don't be surprised if you see people in top-hats and dresses showing off their goggles and gadgets- I may be one of them.