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New Innovations in Steampunk?

Started by RJBowman, April 17, 2023, 03:55:58 PM

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RJBowman

Are there any innovations in steampunk? When I find anything that seems adjacent to steampunk but different from what I've seen, I will usually link to it in this forum to maybe inspire something new, but mostly the genre and the visual arts it inspires don't seem much different from what was being done 10, 20 years ago.

I understand that the genre draws from the past of circa 1810-1910, and that past is immutable, but the genre also draws on the present and the future, which do change, and it draws on a past world period of approximately a century, which is a very broad and deep well to draw from.

mizzarrogh

I know this is not new, but i think for example Jake von Slatts computer conversionsand and the revoking of actual functioning telegraph parts connected to moderncomputer systems, like the teletype project where a step in that direction.

J. Wilhelm

#2
Quote from: RJBowman on April 17, 2023, 03:55:58 PM
Are there any innovations in steampunk? When I find anything that seems adjacent to steampunk but different from what I've seen, I will usually link to it in this forum to maybe inspire something new, but mostly the genre and the visual arts it inspires don't seem much different from what was being done 10, 20 years ago.

I understand that the genre draws from the past of circa 1810-1910, and that past is immutable, but the genre also draws on the present and the future, which do change, and it draws on a past world period of approximately a century, which is a very broad and deep well to draw from.

That's a very good question, actually. There does seem to be a strong stagnation in the movement, doesn't it?  One might even think that we are in a Post Steampunk movement - BTW I hate that Post-(insert genre name here) classification because it's a copout.

Inasmuch as innovations in the past one has to look at the introduction of the Goth movement and the introduction of the DIY movements in the past as "innovation periods," as Mizzarrough points out, but it's hard to see where a new wave could come and energize the movement.

I'm going to make a prediction and say that AI art will be the next immediate step in Steampunk. You can see it on DeviantArt right now. They're not calling it Steampunk, but it definitely is, because Steampunk saturated the Internet with images more than a decade ago, and AI programs unwittingly are being trained on those images, at such a rapid pace that Steampunk is literally emerging in places where the "AI DJ" (I just invented this term) never intended to generate Steampunk images. It's not much, and arguably AI is not art, according to artists all over the Internet, but I think it's what we will see.

One such example is AI images from people who are using AI to draw 19th century style uniforms, eg:

https://www.deviantart.com/johnblackwater/art/Rhodesian-Light-Cavalry-950834015

Right now I'm trying to harness my limited AI-DJ skills to illustrate my concept for characters and scenes for my never-to-be-finished "Valkyrie and the Eagle." It might just energize me enough to resume the writing process, as I don't have the artistic skills to do those illustrations myself, and I need the visual inspiration to get writing. I think that's what the utility of AI will shine through.

These images are way too cartoony for me, but they're a good first attempt. I'm looking at illustrating the Valkyrie and the Eagle.  I'm not sure if I could turn it into a comic, but it's a very interesting idea.


First try at illustrating Airship Core of Engineers Adjunct Officer Bahlmann


Rough sketch of Officer Bahlmann's love interest trapped in a French garrison in Toluca, Mexico.


"Valkyrie Hallucination 3"


mizzarrogh

Yes, i made tons of "AI" (if it realy is AI, or just Logic Learning, people are debating that on a tec forum i use to hang in...) )  :)
(I just did not post that much of it here because i taught people where less interested in it here, but i will of course post more if there is any interest here.)

Things that i assume lies in the borderline between steampunk in it's modern meaning and traditional historical preservation that come to my mind is experiments (which could include modern tecnology, particulare for analyzis (or sometimes simply for modern security reasons... like the experiments made in order to find out why people drowned under certain circumstanses... i find it equaly interesting, but actualy drowning would probably be bad for ones health i assume...  ;D  ))and functional restorations of old things and practical reserach about how to actualy live in the past. I did not post much about it here since i am pretty bad writing in a way other people would easily understand, but i personaly find it highly interesting, both to discover how people actualy lived, recreate old tecnology, and also how theoretical more fanttasy related things could had been incorporated, prefearably if one can made an actualy functioning replica of those fantasy objects that are of of intewrest and are reasonably realistic to make, like daggers, theories around the dimmensions of trees, testing out radio equipment, etc.


von Corax

Cyan, the studio behind the game Myst, are about to release a new game called Firmament which is being described as Steampunk. I haven't seen enough of the trailers to draw a conclusion myself.
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5845 km from Reading

Corva

An intersection with solarpunk might revitalise it. Solarpunk with steampunk characteristics.

...what if the world hit peak coal in 1850, and had little oil to replace it?

Far more development of solar thermal technologies. Perhaps an earlier development of the diesel cycle -- a good diesel engine is twice as efficient as muscles at converting biomass to work, so it's a lot better than having horses, even without considering the animal welfare issues of relying on workhorses for everything. A return to relying on wind. A steep reduction in the amount of new steel produced. It would not however be a return to pre-Victorian times. For one, the canals had already been dug; their owners would experience quite the reversal of fortunes.

It's a rich vein to mine.

Ernst Frutphlinguhr

I'm working on a regional variation at the moment, in the veins of Silkpunk, Spicepunk and Afro-retrofuturism.

RJBowman

Quote from: Ernst Frutphlinguhr on August 21, 2023, 03:35:50 AM
I'm working on a regional variation at the moment, in the veins of Silkpunk, Spicepunk and Afro-retrofuturism.

I'm working on a version where all the regions of the world meet in a major trade hub on a Pacific island.

Felscor

Perhaps one of the biggest issues with lack of innovation recently is due to the hyper-strict definitions of steampunk; whereby, if it's not strictly Victorian or strictly steam powered it becomes something else. Such as diesel punk if a diesel engine appears, or atomic  punk if the steam engines and cogs appear on 1950s stylisation.


The Victorian weird science will always be my cultural love however if we are to move forward we need to bring the punk back into steampunk as an imparitive matter.
Elymas J. Banderbine
Urban Druid

mizzarrogh

#9
Quote from: Felscor on September 19, 2023, 11:38:27 PM(...)

The Victorian weird science will always be my cultural love however if we are to move forward we need to bring the punk back into steampunk as an imparitive matter.

Yes! I fully agree here, and the first working Diesel engine where actually constructed allredy in 1897 (invented in 1892).