Steampunk Month

October 2009 is Steampunk Month on

I have a strong suspicion that this pronouncement has prompted some of our readers to sigh, “Steampunk! That’s so [1987/1990/2008]!” But there are just as certainly others who are saying, “Steampunk? What the heck is steampunk?” There’s no simple definition that works for everyone—at our staff meeting the other day, we wound up reverting to that old saw about pornography—but I usually start off with something along the lines of “a Victorian-influenced speculative fiction subgenre set in a world where steam power is still in common use; and the aesthetic derived thereof.” But for the full story, I strongly recommend you to Cherie Priest’s formidable “Steampunk FAQ.”

One thing that almost everyone can agree on is that steampunk is really damn cool. So cool, in fact, that a half-joking suggestion at a meeting several months ago has turned into one of the biggest events in’s history, incorporating nearly a dozen new bloggers, original fiction, scads of giveaways, and So. Much. More.

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