I realize that this isn’t the most well known Sci-Fi sub genre in the world, so here’s a crash course in Steampunk, Victoriana, and Neo-Victorian.
Steampunk is speculative fiction, usually set between 1850 and 1900, and is mostly set in either London or the Old West. It’s also sometimes set in a purely fictional world that is full of Victorian era details. Jules Verne is also aprimary source for many Steampunk enthusiasts. It’s both fantasy and Sci-fi, focusing on various occult and magical themes, mixed with misplaced technology and lots of goggles, steam power, airships, and clockwork.
For me, Steampunk is a beautiful, exotic, and exciting style to play in. Electricity was only just beginning to gain importance during the Victorian era, fighting with steam, coal, and analog. Photography, film, recorded sound, world travel, electric lights, computers, the impressionists, and flight were only just beginning. At that time in history the future could have been anything. Add fantasy (faeries, vampires, aliens, time travel, magic, zombies) to the mix, and of course, airship pirates! How fun is that?
There are also two other terms you might hear me use on this page:
Victoriana and Neo-Victorian.
Victoriana is anything that was made in the Victorian era (1837 – 1901), and is indicative of the style of the time period. For example, the book Around the world in 80 Days by Jules Vern was written in 1873 and is bursting at the seems with the the flare and feelings of the world at the time.
Neo-Victorian, on the other hand, is anything that has been made now but still holds to the styles, values, or aesthetic of the Victorian era. For example, the fairly recent films Hugo, and Sherlock Holmes, or a great deal of the items for sale on Etsy are all modern things, which look Victorian.