The Traveler’s Steampunk Blog

Musings from a travelling Steampunk

The Punk-Gap

Posted By on 16. Juni 2009

Just one thing that came into my mind regarding the whole steampunk/dieselpunk/cyberpunk thing:

Some timeframes concerning the historical backgrounds of the corresponding punk settings:

Approximately 1870s – 1920s:

The Steampunk Aera

After all, it was the high time of Victorian and Edwardian Times, it was the lifetime of Verne and Wells and this is where we Steampunks draw our ideas and aesthetics from.

Approximately 1910s – 1950s:

The Dieselpunk Aera

(also: The Pulp Aera), yes there is an overlap.
The start of the pulp fiction area, the Golden Age of Science Fiction and also the time of both World Wars. Diesel and petrol replaced steam and technology moved on (what a blunt, unsophisticated summary).

Approximately late 1970s – ongoing:

The Cyberpunk Aera

with many things described in Neuromancer already existing in reality (the internet) or emerging.
I am not going into detail, we live in this area now, so why should I bother describe it? Just look around you!

Also: The original Punk movement also started in the 1970s.

So, we have a Punk-Gap of some 20 years, where there is no specific technology-related subculture.
My personal unverified ad-hoc theorie is the following:

The gap-space is the time of the space race. There was no need for a specific technology relatedsubculture in this time, because weird, arcane, cutting-edge technology was all the rage and everybody was really interested in the New Frontier of Outer Space.

Interestingly, cyber-culture has not penetrated all levels of society yet, as the space race focused the interest of every strata in society of the participating nations and power blocks. Well, within a generation at the latest, cyberculture will be everyday culture and Cyberpunk will be Mainstream Punk, what a weird thought in deed.


3 Responses to “The Punk-Gap”

  1. Nestor sagt:

    My friend has started a steampunk webcomic, you might be interested in checking it out (Only 2 pages up so far, but give it time)

  2. Claes sagt:

    I would say there should a bit more years in the Steampunk section. Meaning, I would see the entire Victorian era from 1830- as a part of steampunk timeline, those were the days of Luddites and Napoleon (his conquering plans with some pre-steampunkish hot air balloons and so on).

    Or should there be a new term for fiction that is set in early 19th century and also end of 18th (when the Industrial Revolution began)? „Jennypunk“ by referring on Spinning Jenny. :p That would be an interesting name for a genre.

  3. Traveler sagt:

    Yes, you’ve got a point. There is actually quite some debate going on, from when to when the aera lasts.
    The frames above are what to me feels right. Actually, judging from the beginning of Jules Verne’s publications, I should make this 1870s (just did).
    @Nestor I like it!

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