“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

~Edgar Allan Poe

You know it when you see it – it is a genre, a style, an art, a fashion, a lifestyle.

But what is it, really?

Imagine a sub genre of fantasy and science fiction immersed in the social and technological aspects of Victorian 19th century with a twist of futuristic advancement thrown in.  It is seeing an alternative, artistic view of the time period while incorporating and challenging the future yet still preserving the best of the past. This is what steampunk is all about.  Some call it a “revisited design of the industrial revolution” which would explain where the name “steampunk” comes from: “steam” symbolizing the Victorian, historical, and industrial modes of the time and “punk” symbolizing deconstruction, redesign, and rebellion.  A creative re-writing of the past to what might have been.

If you are still wondering what steampunk is exactly, let me give you a few examples you may have heard of. Think of authors such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, visuals and film such as Sherlock Holmes and League of Extraordinary Gentleman, and video games such as Bioshock or Alice in Wonderland: Madness Returns (a la the Mad Hatters lair and factory).

I am by no means am any expert on the subject as I am fairly new to the scene of to be honest, however, what little I do know so far is captivating.  Looking back I have obviously seen this style in many places before but never truly recognized what it was or the depth of what it could be. The upcoming anime convention in November, Nekocon, has a theme this year of “Do you want a little steam with that punk?” Naturally, I’ve already begun planning an intriguing and imaginative steampunk ensemble ~ and can’t wait to start putting it together! But for now, I shall leave you with a few glimpses into the steampunk culture; prepare yourself for an array of antediluvian adroitness…

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