At Aetherfest in San Antonio a panel made up of DJ Doctor Q, the sky pirates from New England, the Wandering Legion of Thomas Tew, and others discussed regional differences in Steampunk between the Southern states and the New England states.
Leatherwork is big in colder climates, but not as big in the south or southwest, probably due to the heat and humidity there more than any other reason. It appears the costumes worn at cons in the New England area are usually more Victorian in tone than those worn in the south and southwest. In New England they have more access to vintage Victorian clothing and accessories due to the high volume of antiques there.
At Steampunk cons in the south and southwest you will see a lot more Stetsons than top hats as western wear is so much more accessible there than in New England. As many people still ranch and farm in the south we have many western stores. Some regions have more people sporting airship pirate costumes such as New England since again those clothing items are easier to find there since it’s a coastal area seeped in sea faring history.
The conventions also differ a little per region, the pace of the cons in the south run a bitter slower, more laid back than New England, and New England cons seem a bit more music heavy. Cons in the south are more author and panel heavy, after all, southerners are known for their gift of gab.
There are regional differences outside of the U. S. as well. For instance in Russia they enjoy darker more post-apocalyptic Steampunk and Dieselpunk is more popular there. In Britain, as one would imagine, Steampunk embraces and is infused with Neo-Victorianism.
As a Steampunk writer this made me wonder about the affect the region I live in has on my author voice. I titled a Steampunk novella I just submitted to a publisher Conquistadors on Planet X. The title alone shows the state I reside in does affect my voice, it should be no surprise by the title that I live in Texas. Do you feel the region you live in affects you author voice at all in the settings or types of Steampunk stories you write?
Please comment below and share your own thoughts and experiences on regional differences.