In honor of Veteran’s Day yesterday, I’m thinking a bit about the popularity of military and pseudo-military uniforms in the steampunk cosplay world and also about the prevalence of military themes in steampunk fiction.
One reason I can think of for the cosplay aspect is that a number of steampunkers come out of a background of military reenactment. Pop on your uniform, add some goggles and gears and it’s an instant costume. Or for the more serious reenactor, the challenge of finding and finishing a more esoteric uniform can be quite a coup. It also provides an excuse for cool props like ray guns and laser swords, like the deck gun I’m modeling with here. Finally, I think, a lot of it is from the airship concept. Here’s the crew of the Airship Defiance, with the spouse, Retired Fleet Admiral Pape and me, Lt. Commander Pape, Ship’s Naturalist, in the back behind the gun.
In stories, I think it’s mostly because the military aspect provides adventure. And it gives us heroes we can root for and be proud of. Happy Veteran’s Day (a day belated) to one and all, and a warm thank you to all those who’ve served in other ways than on an imaginary Airship.