You know, so many people say this world is beautiful. Look at it: It is filled with life. There is life everywhere. Is life not beautiful?
Well, I guess I have news for you: 99% of all species that have ever, ever, lived on earth, have died out. Some of the one’s that survived a little longer, in fact have been tremendously successful, are sharks and octopi. Not exactly the animals most liked by the people who say: Earth is made for life.
Someone once coined the line „Evolution takes no prisoners“. This is true. Evolution is cold, nasty and sometimes has an evil sense of humour, as this caricature amply shows:
Now what has this all to do with Steampunk? Well, believe it or not, Steampunk is evolving, too. Human culture evolves in very much the same way nature does. The scene changes in vague and subtle ways and when we look back in 20 years (in very much the same way I look back ion my early days as a heavy metal and Sisters of Mercy fan) we will see just how much has changed.
New influences are coming in, maybe older ones are leaving. Although right now, Steampunk is still expanding, little if anything is being pushed out at the edges. An example very close to home:
My blog was recently called:
skewed slightly toward Lovecraftian steampunk.
I totally agree with that statement. It seems the Lovecraftian Mythos is quite popular in the scene, just go looking for it on the ætherweb. Plenty of sites mixing Steampunk and Lovecraft, a popular example is Myke Amend’s art.
I think some Steampunks think Lovecraft is horror and has nothing to do with Steampunk, i.e. it is not part of the scene. For me, operating out of Europe, I think Weird West is a bit on the fringe but this is purely cultural. I am rather convinced some of my American friends would be puzzled about my interpretation of German miliary Steampunk, The Kaiserliches Zeppelinkorps, since it is unlikely the way they imagine it (it is historically far more accurate). No, this is not intended as a snide remark, I have encountered Americans with German personas and find them rather stereotypical in an unfortunate way.
It would be like every European Steampunk with an American persona would pick a name like „Jack Strong“ or „Charly Jones“ or „Bill McFly“ and they would always be from Texas or New York City.
Still, this is all well and good. It means diversity. Steampunk is now big enough to encompass a number of biotopes, or rather sociotopes for Steampunks of all shapes and sizes to grow into and evolve. So, let us evolve together into a future where we are all bigger, faster and stronger!
If we do not manage this, Steampunk will be replaced by stronger, fitter subcultures and we do not want this, do we?