Tor.com content by

Joshua Pfeiffer

The Revolution Will Not be Telegraphed: The Sociopolitical side of Steampunk


[“The Revolution Will Not Be Telegraphed” image by David Malki. You can buy the shirt here!]

Steampunk is here to stay. There’s no doubt about it. But as much as I am glad to see my favorite genre of speculative fiction get its due, I am a little disheartened by the lack of something present in today’s incarnation of the genre.

When I look back at the literature that got me interested in this style in the first place, I think of the classics such as Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Mysterious Island, Robur the Conqueror, Paris in the 20th Century, Around the World in 80 Days. Or Wells and his classics The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and War of the Worlds.

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Series: Steampunk Month

A Few of My Favorite Things: Top Steampunk Media

In keeping with the spirit of Steampunk Month, I’d like to ask you all what your favorite Steampunk Book, Movie, Television Show, Video Game, and (or) Music is. Feel free to answer any or all of the above in the comments. I’ll go ahead and start with my top picks from each of those categories since this is my post.


Book: A Nomad of the Time Streams Trilogy (The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan, The Steel Tsar) (1971)

Michael Moorcock’s account of the adventure’s of one Cpt. Oswald Bastable was not only the first Steampunk-related book I read as a young man, but it is also my favorite. It by far had the biggest impact on my tastes as a teenager. It also inspired me to write a lot of my own Steampunk fiction in the early 90s.

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Series: Steampunk Month

The Past (and Future) of Steampunk Music.

A few days ago Brian posed the question “What is Steampunk Music?”, to which many of you replied with your own various ideas of what Steampunk music should consist of.  Well… since I’m heavily involved in the Steampunk music world my self, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give my own interpretation and answer to this question as well. It also seemed quite fitting for my first post here at tor.com.

So to start with let me just say that there is no defining element to Steampunk music. Steampunk music is different to every individuals interpretation of it. The only true definition could be; “Music created by Steampunk fans, or music that Steampunk fans find invokes the atmosphere they expect from a Steampunk setting or aesthetic”.

Ok so that didn’t really answer the question did it? Well how about this…

Steampunk music as I see it more often than not consists of a mixture of genres. Usually a mixture of genres from various periods in music history. Be it Ragtime with Punk Rock, Industrial and Neo-Classical, Chamber music and Electronica, Swing and Hip-Hop, or any other variety of combinations. The only constant element that must be present  is some form of vintage (19th or early 20th Century) musical influence.

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Series: Steampunk Month