Profiles By: Jessi Thomsen

Edits By: Jessi Thomsen

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Steampunk Movies, Music, and Novels

Clothing is not the only popular aspect of steampunk—music and movies feature it as well. Some popular bands include Abney Park, Vernian Process, and The Nathaniel Johnstone Band. A quote from The Nathaniel Johnstone Band says of steampunk music that, “[there] are elements of folk, industrial, swirly-goth, americana, metal, hip hop, and there’s even more musical textures and styles popping up everyday” (steampunk-music.com). Nathaniel Johnstone also speaks of a “blend of the old with the new” in the music (steampunk music.com). Technologically enhanced music may accompany Victorian-themed lyrics, or classical, more orchestral music might be paired with modern lyrics. There is not one specific type of sound in this subgenre of music. As long as it incorporates steampunk in some way, it is classified as steampunk music. That also applies to movies. Some movies are considered to be at least partly, if not fully, steampunk, including The Prestige, Steamboy, The Illusionist, and Castle in the Sky. The premises of the movies are all different, but airships, steampunk gadgets, or steam power are just a few ways that steampunk is incorporated into film (Fantasy Magazine).

As for novels, Chuck Sambuchino writes in an article about steampunk that, “early authors like Jules Verne and his fabulous tales of the submarine Nautilus, the Time Machine from H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” are given credit for the inspiration behind steampunk (5). Many modern steampunk novels take place during the nineteenth century, and the challenge is keeping historical accuracy. Melissa Conroy, steampunk author, criticizes some modern steampunk novels when she says, “they may be ‘set in the Victorian era’ but if you look at it, the characters are very modern…if you’re going to write nineteenth century characters, those people had different perspectives than we do nowadays” (Conroy). She stresses the importance of keeping historical accuracy, even in unpleasant areas, such as women being treated as unequal by men. Steampunk writers have to do tedious amounts of research on historical and technological accuracies to ensure that their work is considered credible.

 

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Steampunk Community in Omaha Nebraska

The steampunk community in Omaha is growing as books, movies, music, and fashion all  contribute to the gain in popularity. The Steampunk Society of Nebraska has a page on the Steampunk Empire’s website, which has over 18,000 members, as well as their own website. There are about one thousand members locally, and members attend events such as British Fest, O Comic Con, or Steampunk Midwest 2015, as well as local get-togethers. It is a group where steampunk oriented people can find community with likeminded individuals. As popularity in steampunk increases, The Steampunk Society of Nebraska will surely be growing as well.