2010 06 17 Fantasy Why is the Genre so Popular Rowena Cory Daniells

Blinded by the bright lights, I looked down at the audience from the stage. How many people were out there? A thousand? Five thousand? I couldn’t tell. All I knew it was: These were my people. Steampunks. Some wore full on period correct Victorian outfits, but even I wore dressed in an eclectic manner that combined Victorian clothing with punk and goth fashion along with elements common to the classic pulp or B-movie adventurer.


Corset, waistcoats, skirts, kilts, safari jackets, top hats, and goggles were all in evidence and worn with little regard to gender. This was way beyond my comfort zone. But I was not alone: The Steampunk band Abney Park was on stage with Inc. I turned to the lead singer, Captain Robert, and asked, ‘Is it time?’ The captain was bent double, sorting through cables on the deck. I Ie turned, smiled, and said, ‘it’s all you!’ By THE TIME STEAMPUNK WORKSHOP FOUNDER JAKE VON SLATT HAD stepped onto that stage, Steampunk had already reached critical mass following the publication of Ruth La Ferla’s article “Steampunk Moves Between 2 Worlds” in the Style section of the New York Time on May 8, 2008.


This article merely reflected a full flowering of the retro-futuristic movement that had its roots in a fascination with Victoriana and the fiction of Jules Verne, but it also brought Steampunk to a wider audience and arguably legitimized the movement.