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Steampunk shocking Moorcock omission

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  • Figuring I ought to at least check out this steampunk stuff, I recently bought a copy of EXTRAORDINARY ENGINES. Published in 2008, this claims to be the first original anthology of steampunk tales. In his intro, editor Nick Gevers gives a brief history of the genre:

    Michael Moorcock pioneered the steampunk form with two major trilogies in the 1970s: The Dancers at the End of Time' and 'A Nomad of the Time Streams'. Brian Aldiss paralleled these with 'Frankenstein Unbound'. Howard Waldrop and Steven Utley added superb shorter works like 'Custer's Last Jump' and 'Black as the Pit, From Pole to Pole'. But it was the eighties that the subgenre truly shot to prominence. Three disciples of Philip K. Dick got the ball rolling....
    I'd say that gives Mike the proper credit. Kina weird that Jeter, Powers, and Blaylock were all disciples of Dick though, given there's nothing in his work I can think of that obviously relates to steampunk.

    Oh, one final thing. I was searching the criminalelement website t'other day and discovered an excerpt from 'Warlord of the Air'. Not quite sure what it was doing on a site devoted to crime fiction, but there you go:

    http://www.criminalelement.com/stori...treams-trilogy

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    • Steampunk is a dead form-not much left to say about airships ans brass gears, at least not anything new(perhaps this is only fitting?).

      No matter, it's rude to steal from a living author-sometimes people do it without meaning to, a story read long ago bubbles to the surface, this is what post modern is all about-but still, due diligence, and all that.

      That said, I miss Jerry.

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      • Originally posted by Rob Hansen View Post

        I'd say that gives Mike the proper credit. Kina weird that Jeter, Powers, and Blaylock were all disciples of Dick though, given there's nothing in his work I can think of that obviously relates to steampunk.
        I think that they met P. k Dick by accident, they were not fans of his work ( at least it is what Tim Powers says ). I would say that among other things that P K Dick is a master of retro-futurism or dieselpunk, and that is one of his multiple facets as a writer!

        http://www.theworksoftimpowers.com/e...r-interview-3/

        I think it will be hard to find better steampunk/dieselpunk books than Nomad of time or The Anubis Gates, but these are 2 of my top 3 desert island books ( the other would be, quoting Chesterton, " a manual of how to build a ship" ).
        Last edited by zlogdan; 02-22-2013, 08:49 AM.
        "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
        "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

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        • I believe Jeter was very good friends with PKD. I think his influence is meant to be evident in his Dr Adder and Noir novels, which I've not read, rather than in Morlock Night, which I have and can't really see any PKD influence at all. Jeter, of course, also went on to write the Blade Runner sequels, which I've heard conflicting reports about. I guess PKDs influence upon SF in general and cyberpunk means that by default he's also indirectly influential on steampunk and also for his alternate history novel High Castle, which by default any alt.history SF tale has to be influential on steampunk as steampunk is basically a era-specific sub-genre of alt.history. I guess the non-steampunk alt.history genre has been largely superseded by steampunk in the modern SF market?
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          • I think I could make a good case for Philip Jose Farmer.

            He had a long use of airships, blimps and Zeppelins in his work. It was his interest that sparked mine and the various attempts to make the idea work between the wars era. The recurring theme in a lot of his work. Greatheart Silver being a particular favourite.
            Papa was a Rolling Stone......

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            • I read "The Man in the High Castle" as a teenager, and about half a century later, still remember parts of it.

              "God-damning the Nazis and their cornball castle every step of the way." sticks for me, as does, "We will be weetness before the Japanese!" Took me a while to figure out that the word was witness, that's how young I was.

              Dick's work was flaky, but, oh, so delicious!

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              • Originally posted by krakenten View Post
                Dick's work was flaky, but, oh, so delicious!
                You sum him up perfectly
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                • Originally posted by Pebble View Post
                  I think I could make a good case for Philip Jose Farmer.

                  He had a long use of airships, blimps and Zeppelins in his work. It was his interest that sparked mine and the various attempts to make the idea work between the wars era. The recurring theme in a lot of his work. Greatheart Silver being a particular favourite.
                  I'd argue that his influence is entirely in his obsession with and the use of airships, blimps, etc. He never used them in an alternative present or anachronistically early in history. His stories that used them were set in the timeframe that they appeared in (e.g. The Greateart Silver shorts), apart from the far future worlds he worked them into (e.g. The Wind Whales of Ishmael, the Riverworld saga, Dark Is the Sun.)

                  The only story that explicitly mentions out-of-place technology (making it arguably steampunk) is, imo, The Other Log of Phileas Fogg.
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                  • We keep forgetting Jules Verne!
                    A note, digging in the video pile, I found 'The Golden Compass' which is Steam Punk done right, and I found my copy of 'The Fabulous World of Jules Verne'

                    Made in 1958, with an animation technique called "Mystimation", the same general thing as the Monty Python show used to such good effect,it was adapted from Verne's "Facing the Flag", and mixed live actors with steel engravings.

                    I'll opine that Steam Punk, though born in print, does best in film, it's amusing as all get out to see, to read, somewhat less-though the early works had a magic. Hard to recapture, look at "Boneshaker", by no means a bad story, if somewhat banal.

                    In 1975, it would have been a wonder, now, meh.

                    Steampunk is a lot like the Comedia del'Arte, or puppet theater, stock elements, old stories, execution is what counts. Comfort food? What's wrong with that? When you need comforting, that is.

                    I continue to love the form, just as I love Cthulhu Mythos(I write in that one, Hard Boiled Cthulhu, similar, but not identical to Espionage Cthulhu, as practiced by Tim Powers and Charles Stross(his Laundry Files are magnificent, and Powers' "Declare" is not to be missed).

                    After all, what's genre for?
                    Last edited by krakenten; 02-27-2013, 06:39 AM. Reason: additional thoughts

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                    • Steampunk has become shorthand for a particular type of fantasy, and as such, makes life easier for writers and readers, but....

                      Cyberpunk referred to a type of fiction that mixed 'high tech with low life', it was new and shiny, once. Much of computer tech today is daily drudgery, and the bloom is off the rose.

                      Steam Opera(thank you Mr. Moorcock, again you smite the nail on the head)is a happy fantasy that allows us to return to the first days of scifi-for us-when Welles and Verne illuminated our reality, and the future was full of promise without drawbacks. Read that as something for nothing-as opposed to reality where nothing for something is the rule,all too often.

                      Often mixing magic with technology, our evolving fantasy world has the Victorian Age to play with, or, in the case of 'Warehouse 13', all of history. Pomo to the max!

                      Now to the point, 'punk' is kinda nasty, since it refers to a catamite, and refers to the cruel world of prisons and other institutions, where the young and weak were exploited by the older men. It came to mean a young criminal, what were once called 'rampers'.

                      Gibson's original characters were criminals, deep dyed grifters in a sea of crime and violence. Blaylock's world was just a version of this set in the past.

                      But the punk part is not universal to the genre, hence, Steam Opera is more appropriate, IMHO.

                      Perhaps Underground Fantasy would be even better, much good work is being done with espionage fiction, retro and fantastic.

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                      • I've been watching From Earth to the Moon made in 1958, with Cotten and Sanders, which is clearly a parable concerning the arms race mainly between the US and the USSR. Republic's last picture and truncated when money ran out, but its moral intention is clear.

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                        • I know I've seen this film, but I can recall very little of it.

                          But, oh, boy, can I remember the 'Classics Illustrated ' comic version!

                          Last night, I ran my DVD of 'Hugo' and was entranced. I'll make a case for this as Steam Opera, the film being mostly fantasy with a backdrop of real events.

                          Rarely have I been so touched by a story, redemption and happy endings abound, villiains reform, beauty triumphs.

                          And there are those wonderful machines!!

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                          • Things don't get much more steampunk than this:



                            Oswald Bastable, or Fred Dibnah, would have been delighted.

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