Steampunk in one of today’s growing trends in YA literature (read Maria Kramer’s award-winning previous post about it!), but many people still have no idea what steampunk means, let alone if they’ll like reading it. The clearest and most concise definition I could find online says steampunk is “genre fiction typically set in Britain in the 1900’s when steam power was prevalent and prior to the broad use of electricity. The location can be anywhere, however, including North America. Steampunk usually encompasses alternate history elements and fantastical inventions. They are often heavily geared toward science fiction and fantasy. Steampunk comprises romances and non-romances.” Even that definition can lead to some head scratching, though. What does it really mean?
Steampunk is alternate history. Steampunk is awesome gadgetry. Steampunk is corsets, cravats, top hats, goggles, and parasols. Steampunk is a variety of little elements that add up to a very unique reading experience. So, how to identify a potential steampunk reader? Here are some questions you could ask to find out:
- Are you a fan of historical settings?
- Do you love when characters use cool gadgets?
- Are you fascinated by clothing from different eras?
- Do you find yourself dropping slang you’ve read into regular conversations?