This April, it’s official; steampunk celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its naming day. It was in 1987 that the term steampunk was used by KW Jeter in a note to the Locus magazine, for their April edition.
Of course steampunk had been around much longer – emerging in written and visual form, such as:
- Morlock Night (KW Jeter, 1979)
- The Anubis Gates (Tim Powers, 1983)
- Homunculus (James Blaylock, 1986)
- Infernal Devices: A Mad Victorian Fantasy (KW Jeter, 1987)
And earlier still: Michael Moorcock wrote stories with steampunk elements, enshrining the airship in the, as yet unnamed, genre. His stories were alternate histories, not necessarily set in the Victorian era.
- Warlord of the Air (1971)
- The Land Leviathan (1974)
- The Steel Tsar (1982)
Television tinkered with steampunk as early as 1965, with the Wild, Wild West television series (starting on my birthday. Oh, it was meant to be!) and later with QED, set in Edwardian London. Since then many series, including Castle, CSI:New York and NCIS:LA, have flirted with steampunk (with varying results). More recently we’ve had Warehouse 13, Sanctuary and Murdoch Mysteries.
Pre-1987 movies include 1958’s The World of Jules Verne, Time After Time (1979) and others.
Many groups are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary:
- 30th Anniversary of Steampunk Celebration at the InVision Creative Cafe (Florida)
- Steampunk Journal is doing giveaways during the month to celebrate http://steampunkjournal.org/ (check out the news)
- International Steampunk Symposium in Ohio (28th-30th April) has KW Jeter as one of its guests
I’ll be celebrating by reading, watching steampunk movies and tv show DVDs, meeting up with my writers’ group for tea and bikkies. Come join me and Lynne, from Steampunk Sunday, Queensland Australia, on the 21st April for a Facebook event: Celebrating 30 years of (official) steampunk.
To add to the celebrations, I’m hosting a giveaway, starting today!
Steampunk 30th Anniversary Giveaway
- Three Short Stories
- Doctor Jack
- Three More Short Stories
- Eye of the Beholder.
How to enter: Sign up for my newsletter/email list by 11.59pm, 19th April (Australian CST). The winner will be randomly selected.
The winner will be announced in Tea & Tidings newsletter and on this blog on Friday 21st April. So watch this space!