Friday, January 25, 2013
In reading this (warning, you may have to increase your browser resolution due to the tiny, tiny font) I came across mention of the standard criticism of steampunk, which is that it glorified the British Victorian period and imperialism and is, therefore, a defunct genre that should be abandoned. But as the post linked above points out, lots of non-white, non-Western people who are no way inclined to glorify the British Empire (mainly because said Empire did untold damage to most of the non-white, non-Western people on Earth, damage the effects of which are felt to this day), are fans of steampunk. And with good reason: Europe isn't the only place where people were innovative and made mechanical things. There's no reason for there not to be, say, a Chinese civilization with steam-powered mechanisms in a fantasy novel. Or if it's the European dress and design of the era you are into, there's no reason for a "Victorian"-inspired civilization that didn't consist of white people throwing their weight around all over the world, but was... different. I mean, it's fantasy. Brass goggles, steam-powered airships, and corsets don't cause imperialism. Imperialists do.