For Steampunk Week, we’ve featured a variety of perspectives on what steampunk is and what the community is becoming. One thing that fascinates me most is what the frak makes us so appealing to people outsideof the steampunk community.
Obviously, steampunk’s become a buzzword and has been getting media coverage up to wazoo; acting as a news sniffer for all things steam for Tor.com has kept me aware of the best and the worst of what people think. Sure, we’ve got the shiny, but what else makes the community so attractive? Is the general trend of geek chic just expanding to include everything brassy and classy? Are we just a quirky niche that fits neatly into a five minute evening news segment? Most interestingly, though, is why steampunk now? And what does that say about greater shifts in geek & pop cultures? (Yes, I’m in academia, these questions intrigue me.)
Everyone’s looking for an answer. Besides the plenty of news sources in ourown community, I’ve run into mainstream reporters and indie filmmakers recording their own stories about steam for the non-initiated. To wrap-up this theme week, then, I had a roundtable discussion with two documentary-makers, Don Spiro and Martha Swetzoff, who took some time off from interviewing others to let me ask them about some bigger questions about what they’ve experienced in steampunk.