What is Steampunk?
The term “steampunk” is still fairly obscure. However, the genre and its aesthetic have become familiar to the general public through various works.
First of all, some of the illustrious Jules Verne’s novels could almost be placed in the steampunk category. As a matter of fact, in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Nautilus is a futuristic submarine developed in a classical era (1867-1868). But since this classic of French literature was written in the 19th century, it is classified as a science fiction novel instead.
The Nautilus, the futuristic submersible imagined by Jules Verne, was more advanced than all other submarines at that time.
We could also mention The Wild Wild West. In the famous TV series, and its film adaptation, two secret agents travel the Far West in the 1870s using anachronistic inventions to fight their enemies.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – A science-fiction universe with steam technology, steampunk weapons and Victorian fashion.Alan Moore’s comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which has been adapted by Hollywood) is another good example of the steampunk genre. The story takes place in an imaginary Victorian age and it features characters from the popular literature of the late 19th century (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man etc.), bringing them together in an elite unit to protect Victorian England from fantastic futuristic threats.
The Sherlock Holmes movies are another of the most well-known steampunk works. The movies follow the adventures of the famous detective in an alternate British Empire packed with mysticism and retro-futuristic gadgets.
Steampunk has also appeared multiple times in video games. Bio-shock Infinite (2013), for example, represents the genre perfectly. The game’s story takes place in 1912, in a floating, anachronistic city. Steampunk outfits, airship, dirigible, automaton, steam powered machinery… you name it, it’s all there! With its flawless execution and engrossing story line, Bio-shock Infinite leaves a lasting impression. It’s not only one of the best steampunk games, but also one of the best video games in general.
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