“I steampunk, therefore I am”
I like that saying. I had a discussion recently with CmDr Gearwood-Day from Dieselpunk HQ about how steampunk is classified. Dieselpunks aren’t as reserved as steampunks when it comes to boundaries and rules and that must be somewhat easier to live by.
It was my argument (at the time it was pertaining to music, but this can be applied to all areas and, indeed, steampunks as people) that if one calls oneself a steampunk, then all work that one calls steampunk, by that parameter, must be steampunk. The argument against was that it’s not enough for a person calling it steampunk to be classed as steampunk and it needs to – ideally – have an independent body of steampunks looking over it and if the general consensus is that the work is steampunk, then one can go ahead and call it steampunk.
Of course the latter would be nigh on impossible to implement and maintain (although it would be much more fun to watch them struggle with the influx of work) simply because of the individualism that we all cherish so much.
Given the impossibility of getting just two steampunks to agree on anything, let alone a group of them, for these articles, we’ll use the logical approach that:
“If you say you’re a steampunk and you make something and say it’s steampunk, then no-one can argue with you”.
That’s not an unfair thing to say, I don’t think. After all, who am I to say what you should think steampunk is? It’s none of my business. It’s my business to learn about steampunk and find out what other people are doing around the world. It’s a voyage of discovery and enlightenment and at the weekend we run around in silly hats. Fun is just as much a part of it.