Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Steam is cool!

Why is Steampunk cool?
It's the shiny shiny gears. It's the smooth curve of the pipes. It's the Victorian lace and whimsy. It's the magic that has to be at the heart of a brass gadget that can fly, shoot a death ray, navigate submarinely, or be artificially intelligent. 
It’s been around for a while, although not necessarily by name. I read Neil Gaiman's Books of Magic in the nineties and that had some memorable steampunk bits. 
BoM 11, Mar 95

Last weekend (Nov 12-13), I was at Hal-Con, my first SF/comic convention in over a decade, and was astounded at how much steampunk was there. I hadn't realized there had been such a shift, but I suppose ten years can do that to a scene. I think the last time I was at a con, was in Toronto. It was nearly floating in a bright-haired, school-uniformed sea of anime. 
Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of cute anime out there, and I've read enough manga to appreciate (and maybe even know…?) who the cos players are playing. But it was very very cool, and very comfortable to see all the steampunk stuff.
Gears, brass weights and springs are old friends of mine. I've always loved clocks. I like the workings of them. Really any kind of gear machine will hold my attention. I've made up a few that I might try to assemble someday. They don't have much in the way of purpose, they'd just be moving art.

Mine. From a scrapyard field trip.

I'll probably never make an actual working steam or clockwork machine, but I have an itch to write in this genre, now…or maybe it's to draw it. Sculpt it? I don't know. Christmas is coming. If your present from me ticks you’ll know it’s from the heart.

BoM 11 again

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