Tag Archives: Cyberpunk

Steampunk vs. Dieselpunk: Choose Your Fuel

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Editor’s Note: I did this post a while back for Richard Ellis Preston’s excellent blog, A Bag Of Good Writing. He asked me to lay out the differences between steampunk and dieselpunk because I had (rather accidentally) written a dieselpunk book with A Private Little War and he’s well known for turning out fine steampunk tales. What began as a small conversation ballooned into a bit of a manifesto, and since I like a good manifesto now and again (because they mean you care about something, and caring is a fine tonic against snark and cynicism), I figured I’d reprint it here. Please to enjoy…

Let me begin by saying that I love all you Steampunks. I truly do. I love your airships and your fancy goggles, your aether and your flywheels. I’m not just saying this because I’m writing here, in one of the bastions of steampunkery, but because I really am a fan. Corsets and cogs, pipeworks and pistols—I get the attraction to both the physical details of the setting and the joyously weird, post-modern frisson of plunking an evolved and of-the-moment characters down into a place where their very modernity drives the style and conflict.

But mostly I love you cats for your victory. Among all the various and scattered blank-punk sects out there, it is the steampunks who have moved the cultural needle the furthest. And I know this because, in the course of putting together my most recent book, the Kindle serial, Tales From The Radiation Age, I had no less than three people (one publishing professional, one working writer and one of my early readers) come to me and ask, “Hey, uh, you gonna put any of that steampunk in this book? Because people really seem to be into that these days…”

Continue reading Steampunk vs. Dieselpunk: Choose Your Fuel

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