The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

I know it's anything goes but I would like to see the community breakdown.


Where does your view of steampunk fall?


What type of world does your character live in?



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When people work too hard to define the boundarys of something, it looses it's appeal in certain aspects because suddenly there are rules.There is a way it HAS to be in order to fit into the category.Part of what makes steampunk so enjoyable is that there is no cannon. No "right" or "wrong" way to do it.*chuckles* We make our own rules up here everytime we chat and RP and nobody gives a dang about if it's biopunk or disel punk or steampunk or what have you.

I have two very specific rules for steampunk that allow for a broad generalization for the subgenre category

  1. The technology must be based on the fuel sources used in the "Steam" Era
  2. The setting cannot be utopian by virtue of the "punk." Steampunk as a subgenre was made as a mirror to cyberpunk, where the punk indicated civil unrest and rebellion.

That is all.  Others may disagree or create their own definition, but this will be exactly how I define steampunk.


And no, there is no poll option.

My view is that it depends on the literary work in question.


But dystopia is always more interesting, from a literary point of view, that is. There's more opportunity for conflict, without which there is no story.

I think it's almost impossible to write a utopian story. If everything is perfect there's no story. Almost all utopian literature has a huge philosophical axe to grind, and precious little story, which is why there isn't much of it.


If you want a polarity for things to fit between, I'd suggest Nihilism / Optimism. Or perhaps more accurately Agathism.

But that's a spectrum of extremes.


A nihilist story might be "The rats fought to the death over the last crust of bread, before the ship sank beneath the waves."


In an agathist story, the hero/ine saves the day, makes the world just a bit better, achieves a small victory against the darkness, etc.  


But I sense a blog post in there somewhere!

I prefer my steam punked.  Evil monarchs, corrupt governments and public officials, world out of wack, and people fighting to bring a bit of light to the hopeless.  Though a bit of gaslight romance doesn't hurt now and then.
No one is certain of what Fate plans, so I see the world in it's usual equilibrium. Of course, Steampunk seeks the adventurous nature in people so there will be forces of good and evil battling it out all over the world!
Neither utopia nor distopia for my character, just a victorian England so much more interesting then the real one, but with plenty of problems of his own
denotativly speaking, dystopia is just non-utopia

A utopia is a united (u) society, and dystopia is a society at odds (dys)


At odds is rather broad, and can refer to any non-utopian society.

I suppose you could say that in the original Star Trek TV show, Earth is a utopia. Anyone can have pretty much anything they want due to matter replicators. There isn't much in the way of politics. Most of the conflict occurs while interacting with other cultures. It makes me wonder why anyone takes up the challenge of sweeping the floors or being a redshirt. We don't see robots doing those tasks either (though they would have pushed the show over budget.)


I think that fpr  "dystopia" to be a meaningful term, things have to be much, much worse than "normal".  



Very interesting thoughts... Without conflict can there be sufficient novelty in a world so that there is a sense of progress?



I kind of go inbetween, it's not utopian or dystopian, more like actual victorian society minus the racism and mysogony.

but will the total disreguard of public safety, highly dangerous machinery, uranium pills, and lots of crime


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