I have long been a fan of Victorian science fiction – the work of chaps such as jules verne, HG Wells and arthur conan doyle. Their era was so full of hope. Scientific possibilities seemed endless. These writers looked to the future and imagined great wonders. Some years ago i came across a modern sci.fi sub genre that turned this on its head.
The Victorians imagined advances in technology and science. Steampunk (henceforth known as sp) pretty much does the opposite. SP takes modern technology and imagines how the Victorians would have made it with the means at their disposal – clockwork and steam. It's a brilliant idea, eh?
Sadly for me i've yet to find much that lives up to my expectations of this genre. This stems from my first sp experience. I saw a play. A play so funny and imaginative, so indescribably glorious, everything else seems pale and hollow in comparison. That play was entitled Stoke Manderville, astronaut and gentleman.
Since then I've tried to read some sp fiction but gave up in disappointment. Occasionally i'll see a film with sp touches, and Doctor Who's Tardis had a real sp feel – all dials, levers and shiny knobs. But mostly i search in vain.
Recently, however, i came across the online comic 2D Goggles detailing the adventures of Lovelace and Babbage. It's perfect.
And now i'm on my way to oxford to visit a Steampunk exhibition there. Fingers crossed it'll be utterly ripping experience i'm hoping for. I shall report back. Brace yourselves!