The Oxford English Dictionary defines steampunk as "a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advance technology". Think Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas or H.G. Wells The Time Machine. Or the Wild Wild West movie featuring Will Smith and Salma Hayek. Even the new Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr have a steampunk vibe.
While steampunk started as a sub-genre of literature it has grown into an entire sub-culture movement that influences art, music and fashion. There are steampunk conventions, fairs and all sorts of events where people cosplay. They dress up in some of the most elaborate costumes, with ray guns, googles, corsets and even robotic arms. You never know what you will see. A google image search for steampunk cosplay will reveal some awesome cosplay outfits.
Steampunk crafting is lots of fun. A google or pinterest search for steampunk crafts will keep you busy for quite some time. It doesn't need to be expensive. With just paper, cardboard, glue, plaster, wood shapes, plastic cups, paint, random trinkets and time you can create neat things, like this airship.
Or with a wooden bead, some polymer clay, paint and a bit of chain you could make a mini ray gun.
Bits and pieces of random stuff with a little imagination can make awesome crafting possiblities
For some inspiration check out the steampunk titles available in the Lake County Library system:
The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman
Corsets & Clockwork edited by Trisha Telep
Dark, urban fantasies come to life in the newest collection of Steampunk stories, Corsets & Clockwork. Young heroes and heroines battle evils with the help of supernatural or super-technological powers, each individual story perfectly balancing historical and fantastical elements. Throw in epic romances that transcend time, and this trendy, engrossing anthology is sure to become another hit for the fast-growing Steampunk genre!
This collection features some of the hottest writers in the teen genre, including: Ann Aguirre, Jaclyn Dolamore, Tessa Gratton, Frewin Jones, Caitlin Kittredge, Adrienne Kress, Lesley Livingston, Dru Pagliassotti, Dia Reeves, Michael Scott, Maria V. Snyder, Tiffany Trent, and Kiersten White.
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine
Come inside and take a seat, the show is about to begin...
Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic.
That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape. But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes.
Two of Tresaulti's performers are entangled in a secret standoff that threatens to tear the circus apart just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now the Circus must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within.
Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson
A remarkable collaboration that is unprecedented in its scope and realization, this exquisitely wrought novel represents an artistic project between the bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the multiplatinum rock band Rush. The newest album by Rush, Clockwork Angels, sets forth a story in Neil Peart’s lyrics that has been expanded by him and Anderson into this epic novel. In a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The mind-bending story is complemented with rich paintings by the five-time Juno Award winner for Best Album Design, Hugh Syme.
The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer
1000 Steampunk Creations byDr. Grymm