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Steampunk: A Beginners’ Guide

If you’ve ever been fascinated about the wildly popular theme that is Steampunk, then this is a quick look at what Steampunk is and isn’t, as well as all the do’s and don’ts of the fandom. Join Timlah as we delve deeply into the fascinating world of Steampunk, an old bygone era mixed with modern day technologies and theories. It’s truly a wonderful, bizarre world, so be prepared to hold onto your bowler hats!

Steampunk is something I never thought I would have gotten into, at least a couple of years back. When we held our meetup last week, it occurred to me that actually, there’s a lot about the sub-genre that I really enjoy. From nice clothes and fancy hats, to funky looking goggles and gadgets that seem both awesome and questionable. Whilst I’m not really a true Steampunk connoisseur as of yet, I certainly understand why people get absorbed by this fandom. From the elegance that the outfits displays, to the extreme creativity to re-purpose an old device/machine, there’s something simple yet fascinating about it.


Simply put, Steampunk is the mix of old and new, old styles, old fashion, old machines mixed with new technologies. A lot of people will mistakenly say “Steampunk is putting cogs on your clothes”, but there’s far much more to it than just adding cogs as decoration. In fact, that barely counts as Steampunk, for it doesn’t add anything of any real significance to the outfit, or any device provided. If anything, it just makes things generally heavier. So what, pray tell, would count as Steampunk?

Distinct from Cyberpunk by being set in an alternate history, Steampunk is the fusion of all that is tech with aesthetics. This means that if something would function well whilst showing it’s beautifully crafted workings, then it will do so. A typical example of this would be a watch which shows cogs turning as time goes by. It doesn’t have to be particularly much, but just enough for it to be understandable, beautiful and practical all at the same time. Now, it doesn’t need to actually be practical, as the fandom often adorns cogs on objects in which it really would serve no purpose. Of course, it’s worth noting that it’s not just cogs, but keys, leather straps, gas masks and much more. Anything that could feasibly have been put together in the historical period could be considered for a Steampunk outfit.

Competition Aftermath

There are whole events dedicated to this subgenre, including whole Facebook pages for local fans of it. You can often join up to these via request and once accepted, you will be able to see other peoples events that they’ve set up, as well as people discussing the larger Steampunk events. Usually groups like this will have meetups of their own, so once you’re signed up, just let them know you’re going and you’ll be able to meet up with other fans. It’s an interesting and diverse culture with various extremes, from those who justl ove the fashion side of the subgenre, to those who like to think up and create fully working machines that make you ponder what could be done.

Many events take the Steampunk genre and puts their own spin on it, it turns out that even BristolCon this year are doing something Steampunk themed. It’s an incredibly diverse subgenre with a lot of interesting bits of fashion and characters. Even the great Professor If you’re interested in Steampunk and you’re in the South-West of England, let us know what your favourite Steampunk events are. As always, please remember to give us a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


2 responses

  1. Steampunk fans should check out Steamworld Heist. It’s got steam powered bots and fancy hats to collect.


    August 22, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    • Steam powered bots?
      Fancy hats?

      Mr. Judge, are you a salesman? Because you just sold it to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

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