Worlds of Steampunk - Shields Library Exhibit
Shields Library presents an exhibit of the Worlds of Steampunk - Art, Culture, Fashion and Fiction in Fall-Winter Quarters, 2012-2013. The exhibit features a selection of books and other materials related to Steampunk.
What is Steampunk?
The term “steampunk” was coined in the 1980s to describe a subgenre of science fiction. It incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, clockworks and fantastic technology, and is influenced by Victorian esthetics. Steampunk themes typically look back to the scientific and technological advances made during the Industrial Revolution and in the late 19th century for inspiration. Like their antecedents, including the novels of Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea) and H.G. Wells (The Time Machine), modern Steampunk fiction features dirigibles, balloons, everything powered by steam, and mechanical contraptions of all kinds.
Steampunk has grown beyond its roots in fiction to define an entire subculture. Subculture devotees have spawned a unique fashion style. The influence of Victorian or Edwardian styles of dress is clearly referenced and embellished with goggles, corsets, fancy top hats, and all manner of mechanical accessories decorated with wheels, cogs, gears, clockworks and other imaginative devices to form a distinctive style based on vintage looks and textures.
Movies with Steampunk themes are a visual celebration of style, dress and imaginative fantasy elements.
Steampunk art is wildly inventive, with many artists working in metal, wood, graphics and combining many media to create objects. Objects restored from old devices for new and modern purposes and new gadgets with a Victorian or retro look and style are becoming very popular.
Would you like to learn more? Please take a look in the display cases on the first floor of Shields Library. Most of the books in the exhibit are also available to check out from the library’s collection. We hope you enjoy the exhibit.
For a thorough bibliography of Steampunk and associated research resources, link here: Worlds of Steampunk Exhibit Bibliography prepared by Roberto C. Delgadillo.
Exhibit prepared by Roberto C. Delgadillo and Marcia Meister, Humanities, Social Sciences and Government Information Services, Shields Library.
Steampunk Essay by Nathaniel Williams
The following essay by Nathaniel Williams, lecturer in the Department of English and the University Writing Program, was written for this exhibit and is on display near the exhibit cases in Shields Library.
For a text version of the essay please link here.
Featured Steampunk Books
Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. And that's just the beginning of this adventure filled with impossible machines, alternative history, strange creatures and a feisty heroine.
Dreadnaught is the third in Priest's The Clockwork Century series following Boneshaker, book one, Clementine, book 2, and followed by Ganymed, book 4. was named Steampunk Book of the Year by steampunk.com. Look for these Cherie Priest books in the library.
"This is the real thing -- a mad inventor, curious coins, murky London alleys and windblown Scottish Isles...A wild and extravagant plot that turns up new mysteries with each succeeding page." James P. Blaylock
The Art of Steampunk seeks to celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation. A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking.
This compilation contains stunning artwork of Steampunk artists from around the world. The 17 artists featured on these pages, among the frontrunners of the Steampunk genre, have had their work displayed at an exhibition at The Museum of History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK and have attracted the media attention of BoingBoing, one of the world’s largest blogs. Their artwork consists of everything from clocks and watches to light fixtures and jewelry, but every piece demonstrates hours of painstaking work and devotion from its creator. You will find that the artists themselves are just as unique and colorful as their masterpieces. Fully embracing Steampunk ideology, many have adopted a Victorian alter ego-a mad scientist persona to match the complicated intricacies of their artwork.
The Steampunk Bible is a compendium about the movement, tracing its roots in the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells through its most recent expression in movies such asSherlock Holmes.