V.20 No.29 | 7/21/2011
Full Steam Ahead
Steampunk’s mashup of anachronism and science fiction throws a wrench in the cogs of throwaway culture
By Ethan Gilsdorf
Steampunk has been part of the cultural conversation for the past several years, as DIY-ers have embraced a handwrought, Steam Age aesthetic over high-tech gloss. Both a pop culture genre and an artistic movement, steampunk has its roots in 19th- and early-20th- century science fiction like Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. Its fans reimagine the Industrial Revolution mashed-up with modern technology such as the computer. Dressing the part calls for corsets and lace-up boots for women, top hats and frock coats for men. Accessories include goggles, leather aviator caps and the occasional ray gun. And there's a hint of Sid Vicious and Mad Max in there, too.
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