This April, it's official; steampunk celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its naming day. It was in 1987 that the term steampunk was used by KW Jeter in a note to the Locus magazine, for their April edition.
Enclosed is a copy of my 1979 novel Morlock Night; I'd appreciate your being so good as to route it Faren Miller, as it's a prime piece of evidence in the great debate as to who in "the Powers/Blaylock/Jeter fantasy triumvirate" was writing in the "gonzo-historical manner" first. Though of course, I did find her review in the March Locus to be quite flattering.
Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like 'steam-punks', perhaps."
Of course steampunk had been around much longer - emerging in written and visual form, such as:
- Morlock Night (KW Jeter, 1979)
- The Anubis Gates (Tim Powers, 1983)
- Homunculus (James Blaylock, 1986)
- Infernal Devices: A Mad Victorian Fantasy (KW Jeter, 1987)
And earlier still: Michael Moorcock wrote stories with steampunk elements, enshrining the airship in the, as yet unnamed, genre. His stories were alternate histories, not necessarily set in the Victorian era.
- Warlord of the Air (1971)
- The Land Leviathan (1974)
- The Steel Tsar (1982)
Television tinkered with steampunk as early as 1965, with the Wild, Wild West television series (starting on my birthday. Oh, it was meant to be!) and later with QED, set in Edwardian London. Since then many series, including Castle, CSI:New York and NCIS:LA, have flirted with steampunk (with varying results). More recently we've had Warehouse 13, Sanctuary and Murdoch Mysteries.
Pre-1987 movies include 1958's The World of Jules Verne, Time After Time (1979) and others.
Since 1987, the list of steampunk works has been growing. (I've previously listed some works, articles and groups HERE) You can also find a list of steampunk works on wikipedia.
Many groups are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary:
- 30th Anniversary of Steampunk Celebration at the InVision Creative Cafe (Florida)
- Steampunk Journal is doing giveaways during the month to celebrate http://steampunkjournal.org/ (check out the news)
- International Steampunk Symposium in Ohio (28th-30th April) has KW Jeter as one of its guests
I'll be celebrating by reading, watching steampunk movies and tv show DVDs, meeting up with my writers' group for tea and bikkies. Come join me and Lynne, from Steampunk Sunday, Queensland Australia, on the 21st April for a Facebook event: Celebrating 30 years of (official) steampunk.
To add to the celebrations, I'm hosting a giveaway, starting today!
Steampunk 30th Anniversary Giveaway
You can win an eBook copy of each of Viola Stewart's adventures (four eBooks in total), currently available via Smashwords and Amazon:
- Three Short Stories
- Doctor Jack
- Three More Short Stories
- Eye of the Beholder.
How to enter: Sign up for my newsletter/email list by 11.59pm, 19th April (Australian CST). The winner will be randomly selected.
The winner will be announced in Tea & Tidings newsletter and on this blog on Friday 21st April. So watch this space!