How much Steampunk does it take to be Steampunk?

coollogo_com-176107698This is a question I’ve been struggling with for the last few months. How much of the technology needs to be in the book? I suppose it has to do with what the story is about. If it’s more of a technical story then you need a certain amount to carry off the plot, but if it’s a romance, maybe not so much. I found, and am in the process of, reading several Steampunk novels to get a feel for this tech issue.  Mind you, the first few books I found I couldn’t get past the sample offered so…

I think like everything else, the technology in Steampunk should be relevant, but not forced. You don’t randomly throw in a ghost or two in a paranormal romance, so why do the same with technology in Steampunk? The trick is understanding the technology you’re creating. Do you know how steam-combustion works? This is the foundation of the entire genre and a basic understanding is necessary otherwise you will get people questioning the validity of your story. Research is more important with the genre than any other. Okay, maybe as much as a Science Fiction novel (especially if you’re writing hard SF).

For that reason, I think this genre will be exciting to work in.


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

5 Responses to How much Steampunk does it take to be Steampunk?

  1. Interesting question.

    Yes, you’re right about the research. Your world has to make sense and it’s important to understand at least a little of the technology. As for how much technology – well, the story and the characters are what’s important. The technology is part of the world and only comes in as far as the characters interact with their world.If you give the technology too much space, then it starts to sound like an early SF story, when the technology was the only thing that mattered. Those stories were cool, but will never pass muster as good storytelling. So I guess you answer your question by losing yourself in the story and knowing what your characters need the technology for.

  2. Pingback: Steampunk Sunday; The Toys of Steampunk | Darke Conteur

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