Steelpunk anyone?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Virgil Tracy, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Virgil Tracy

    Virgil Tracy New Member

    I'd like to read some Steelpunk. Steelpunk focuses on the technologies of the last decades of the last millennium. Where Steampunk celebrates the 19th century, Steelpunk loves the tech of the late 20th. It harks back to the heyday of the space race and the jet age, when everything was chrome-plated, needle-nosed and rocket-propelled. Because it’s all about power and speed it’s full of fighting suits, flying car chases and battles to obliterate alien invaders so it should be just what you’re looking for.

    There’s only one problem. I don’t know if it actually exists. I kind of made it up. I was thinking that it sounded like the kind of science fiction I’d enjoy so I wrote down what I thought it would be like and asked if anyone could suggest some Steelpunk stories. Any ideas?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    The Digital Revolution was well underway by the 1970's with the advent of the internet by the DOD, and we were firmly ensconced in the Information Age a decade later when personal computers were starting to become ubiquitous. My parents got their first Macintosh in 1990, about five years after they were out on the market. We've been in the Information Age ever since, since most of the west's economy is centred around a high-tech, knowledge-based, computerised society, where information is stored in a series of 1s and 0s.

    It's why cyberpunk arose in science fiction, since it was a response to new information technologies that was upending traditional industrial forms of manufacturing juxtaposed with the dire political and social climate of the time. So, the late 2oth century already has a focus and an approximate 'label' in SF literature: cyberpunk. And 'punk' seemed an appropriate suffix since there was a strong element of anarchy.

    Your talk of the heyday of the space race and the jet age with chrome plates, needle noses and jet propulsion is the golden age of science fiction, from the 1930's to the 1950's. And in any case, steel has been around from the B.C. period in India, later Persia (Damascus Steel) and then in the west. Steel-making became easier and more efficient with the Industrial Revolution. Google tells me that the first metal ships were manufactured in the 1830's with iron hulls. And that steel replaced iron for hulls in the latter half of the 19th century.

    I think the steelpunk that you're referring to is just the 'golden age' of SF. Some people label it atompunk, but that's more for the visual aesthetics. And in case, there is nothing 'punk' about it like there is nothing 'punk' about a whole host of other such labels that are springing up: dieselpunk, clockpunk, stonepunk, fairypunk, mythpunk.
  3. Virgil Tracy

    Virgil Tracy New Member

    I think you're right that I'm harking back to the 'golden age' of science fiction. But I also see punk in Steelpunk as more than just a suffix standing for a style of SF. I reckon it signifies the satirical side of Steelpunk and its subversive edge.

Share This Page