content by

Jeff Mach

Pre-Reimagining Steampunk

I have a simple goal: I’d like steampunk to begin mutating before—not after—the burst of the steampunk bubble.

Note that when I say that the steampunk bubble will burst, I’m not joining the ranks of those who think steampunk is a fad, or that it’s going to die, or that, as I’ve sometimes heard argued, steampunk “lacks substance,” whatever that might mean. (Space operas are “substantive,” but steampunk is “artificial”? Seems a damned silly argument to me.)

I’m simply saying that there’s never been a movement in speculative fiction, or fandom, which has only gone upwards. Nor should there be; speculative fiction as a genre would be deeply diminished if we all got stuck in one place and never moved. So I’m not laying claim to any great predictive powers here; I’m simply saying that what goes up…tends to go down.

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Series: Steampunk Fortnight