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The Nine Novels That Defined Steampunk

Johnathan Sebastian Greyshade has been involved with steampunk since the early days of the brass goggles forum. He and his wife kick started the steampunk community in San Diego California with a series of gatherings under the name Machina Fatalis. They went on to run Chrononaut, a steampunk club night that ran for two years. These days he DJs the occasional steampunk gig but his primary focus the Greyshade Estate where he applies steampunk philosophy to building a sustainable urban homestead.

I’m a librarian by profession, and a scholar by inclination, so when I got involved with the amazing confluence of ideas that was steampunk in mid naughts I naturally wanted to know where this idea of steampunk came from. Most steampunks know little about steampunk’s origins. We are part of a strange phenomenon in which loads of elaborately costumed people call themselves “fans” of books they can’t even name. This is not too surprising since steampunk didn’t become popular as a genre until after it inspired an art and lifestyle movement. The few histories of the genre are too lengthy for most people to digest, but not knowing the basics about where steampunk came from leaves its enthusiasts wallowing in a shallow puddle of clichés . . . (Read More)

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