I recently attended WorldCon, in San Antonio, where the Steampunk: The Present and The Future panel of Judith Shields, Elektra Hammond, Phil Foglio, and Takayuki Tatsumi, spoke about the growing presence of Steampunk in literature, the cinema and television.
Elektra Hammond remarked that Steampunk is for those who like to read Steampunk ficiton, including the variety of cross-genres such as Steampunk/Romance, Steampunk/Zombies and Steampunk/Web Comics. It’s also for people who don’t like to read but do like to dress up. It also interest people who like to make things. There is something for everyone in Steampunk and no one is doing it wrong. It was mentioned that as Steampunk grows in popularity everyone hopes the acceptance and openess of steampunk remains.
The panel and audience also mentioned that individualism and optimism fueled the Victorian era and that kept going until the war hit. Then instead of making things one at a time and ornate, they needed a lot at one time and cheap. So steampunk brings us back to the individualism and optimism prevalent before the first world war.
Regarding Japanese Steampunk, Takayuki Tatsumi asked the audience how many were familiar with the Japanese Steampunk anime, Steamboy. Several hand went up. He commented, “though it’s not that new, it’s a strongly popular Steampunk animae.”
As for the hottest new things in Steampunk, a new genre, Zombie/Steampunk Westerns were brought up. Dead Reckoning, a Young Adult book by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemay Edghill was recommended. Everyone loves Mercedes Lackey but also Rosemary Edghill has always been one of my top favorite authors. Her book, Met By Moonlight, is one of my favorite romance novels of all time.
Here is the blurb for Dead Reckoning:
Jett is a girl disguised as a boy, living as a gambler in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. Honoria Gibbons is a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Both young women travel the prairie alone – until they are brought together by a zombie invasion! As Jett and Honoria investigate, they soon learn that these zombies aren’t rising from the dead of their own accord … but who would want an undead army? And why?
As far as the latest in costuming and ideas, Judith Shields recommended Brass Goggles for the UN and Steampunk Empire for the US to get great information about what other Steampunkers are creating as far as costumes.
While the panel members asked the audience if they had heard of what the next big thing in Steampunk would be – they mentioned things I’d recently blogged about on Steamed: Jim Butchers’ Steampunk series he’s working on, Westernpunk, and the Frankenstein’s Monster movie. So if seems, if you want to keep up with Steampunk, Steamed is the place to be.
And as far as the latest in books, dear readers keep in mind, Thursday is guest author day – where many authors tell us about their new and upcoming releases.
Please comment below of what you think of or have heard of as being the next big thing in Steampunk.
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Maeve Alpin, who also write as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 18 published romances. Her latest Steampunk/Romance is Conquistadors In Outer Space. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.