J. Huffman, Editrix
 
So reading through the twitter feed this AM, I ran across a couple of links to blogs regarding some sort of discourse regarding a certain personally beloved genre, steampunk.  What it kind of boils down to is that someone(s) are/were annoyed with the "glut" of books being offered up with a steampunk bent and then goes on to point out that glorifying the 19th century through these types of works is not "historically accurate".  I am, of course, generalizing the hell out of the whole thing, but you get the idea, right?

In the interest of full disclosure I must admit freely that I'm attached to this sub-genre personally as well as professionally, so I might have a few self-serving interests going on.  However I still have to ask when it was, precisely, that someone decided that fiction had to be historically accurate?  I rather thought the entire point of writing fiction is to make stuff up.  Perhaps I didn't get the memo on that shift in paradigm. 

I, too, have noted an increase of books that have a steampunk theme to them cropping up in suggestion boxes more often than in times past for me on Goodreads or even prominently displayed at Powell's.  William Gibson introduced me to cyberpunk many, many years ago.  So, too, did cyberpunk make a the same types of appearances, and still does, in it's own cyclical pattern.  Another turn of the screw, another sub-genre gains the spotlight for a minute.  This is true in fiction, movies, music - and is driven by the consumers at large.  So these steampunk authors have been doing something right, since it seems that they've earned their moments to shine.   The next new thing may very well be the last old thing.  I fervently hope it's not sparkly vampires or something akin but hey, those stories have their place in the world, too.  I haven't ever met an accurate vampire, have you?  If so please send them my way.  I would like to ask a few questions.

There were also some few references to the "impossibility" of some of the gadgets and machines that have been dreamed up by writers of this genre - to which I have to wonder:  so what if the science doesn't hold water?  (OH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE!)  It's fiction, not an episode of Mythbusters.  I don't read steampunk books to get historically accurate facts, much like I don't read high fantasy to inform myself about swordsmanship.  But I like reading about guys with swords AND girls who make flying ships out of metal and steam.  I like the idea that these authors have taken pieces of what might have been back in the 19th century and created something fantastical with it.   I applaud the authors taking chances to evoke the creation of a gadget with the resources at hand while telling me a fancy tale.  It's like MacGuyver with corsets.

The blog that I read that inspired me to write this post can be found here: 
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/10/the-hard-edge-of-empire.html
 


Comments

Jeremie
01/10/2011 10:28pm

My dear, I'm reading you; loud and clear. :) First time, so forgive me. So... when are you going to edit my poetry book? ;) Speak soon. x o x o

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Jenna
01/10/2011 10:31pm

You send it, I'll edit it! I'm glad you stopped by :) xoxox

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01/25/2012 6:12pm

Great info, thanks

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01/26/2012 6:11pm

THX for info

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02/16/2012 5:12am

nice post

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03/21/2012 12:38pm

THX for info

Reply
03/24/2012 8:50am

Many thanks for information

Reply
05/13/2012 12:33am

Many thanks for info

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    About Jenna:

    I love books.  Deeply, passionately, and above almost all else.  Let me help you by editing your book!  jjh.edits@gmail.com