April 3rd, 2008

Ceci n'est pas une personne.

Steam Punk from my point of view...

Since I've now been interviewed twice about Steam Punk, and I told them basically the same thing, I thought I would just put my current views up right here. This is more stream of consciousness than anything else, so I might jump around a bit.

What is Steam Punk?

Steam Punk is a retro off shoot of Cyber Punk. Many feel it started with Bruce Sterlings releasing the book "The Difference Engine". It was an alternate history where Babbage completed his Difference Engine and steam powered mechanical computers took off long before electric computers were ever considered.

Imagine outlandish technology, but where steam power had remained the primary power source instead of the combustion engine. Or just everyday devices that managed to work off of gears instead of electricity.

While most Steam Punk followers tend to gravitate toward Victorian England, remember the West was still wild at this time and it had steam engines as well. And Steam Punk can also be futuristic or current day, as modern things like nuclear and geothermal power are still just steam driven turbines.

Are there hard or fast rules about what is or what is not Steam Punk? No. Unlike most other forms of sci-fi or fandom, where people model things off of existing literature and other media, Steam Punk is very free form and you make it up as you go along. There are some common threads, though. A sense of adventure. Leaning toward the ornate. Gears are prefers over electrical devices.

There are a number of books and movies that people consider "Steam Punk", some examples:

Books:
The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling
Mainspring by jaylake

TV:
Firefly
The Amazing Screw On Head

Movies:
Serenity
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Hellboy
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Comic Books:
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Girl Genius

Decor and fashion:
Jake Von Slatt is Steam Punking an RV and has made some awesome SP'ed computers.
porkshanksMakes some amazing jewelery and clothing (and weapons)

As for music, I think there is still a lot of debate as to what Steam Punk music is. The Seattle band Abney Park identifies it's self as Steam Punk. Other people refer to Rasputina as Steam Punkish. Personally, I think the Firefly theme is about as Steam Punk as it gets. It's not electronic, and it's about adventure. When I imagine Steam Punk music in my head, I think of sailors on tall ships singing songs about adventure, then I take the same style music and apply it to space travel and sci-fi.

There are a lot of subcultures that tie in with Steam Punk, ranging from the people mixing in Cthulhu lore to Flash Gordon style space travel, and even some Dr. Who-esque time travel.

Why do some people identify with Steam Punk, and in particular, Victorian England? Personally, I think we are living in a new Victorian age. In Victorian times there was rapid advancements in science and they thought they could solve any problem with a machine of some sort. Much like today, with nano technology, advances in quantum physics, medicine, and space discovery. Also, Victorian England was involved in colonization in Africa, China, etc, often resulting in unrest in those regions, much like our nation building practices. While the technology is more advanced, the attitudes of then seem to mesh well with now. It's been said that the sinking of the Titanic was what killed the Victorian Age, and brought about a lot of doubt in technology. I kind of wonder what "Titanic" we will have in our age.


Anyway, that is my rambling answer to what is Steam Punk.
Ceci n'est pas une personne.

(no subject)

I'm just curious... What single book has been redone for movie/tv the most? I suspect it would be some Jane Austen work, but I think Dune is working on going up in the ranks...

Paramount has approved making Dune into a movie.... again.

http://us.macmillan.com/NewsDetails.aspx?id=2175&publisher=torforge

There was the David Lynch movie (http://imdb.com/title/tt0087182/), which I loved, but you would only understand if you had read the book. Then the Sci-Fi channel mini-series (http://imdb.com/title/tt0142032/), which was also good, but had a very different feel.

And now Paramount. My only excitement for this is the hope that is leads to the following books being made into movies, though I don't think my favorite book of the series, God Emperor Dune, would make a very good movie.

Still, the book series is a great study of control of limited resources. Frank Herbert had said that he was using the Spice to represent an essential, but some what rare resource like petroleum.
Ceci n'est pas une personne.

(no subject)

Empire Magazine has revealed its list of the "50 Greatest TV Shows" ever. Below is the list and here be the rules.

1. Bold the shows of which you've watched every episode
2. Italic the shows of which you've seen at least one episode
2a. Star the shows you consider "the best" (Addition by tidesong)
3. Post your answers

50. Quantum Leap*
49. Prison Break
48. Veronica Mars
47. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
46. Sex & The City

45. Farscape
44. Cracker
43. Star Trek*
42. Only Fools and Horses
41. Band of Brothers

40. Life on Mars
39. Monty Python's Flying Circus*
38. Curb Your Enthusiasm
37. Star Trek: The Next Generation*
36. Father Ted

35. Alias
34. Frasier
33. CSI: Las Vegas*
32. Babylon 5*
31. Deadwood

30. Dexter
29. ER
28. Fawlty Towers
27. Six Feet Under
26. Red Dwarf*

25. Futurama*
24. Twin Peaks*
23. The Office UK
22. The Shield
21. Angel

20. Blackadder*
19. Scrubs*
18. Arrested Development
17. South Park
16. Doctor Who* (Given it's on it's 30th season (26 original, and I think it's just about to start it's 4th or 5th season of the new series), I think, and many episodes have been lost, I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who has seen all of the episodes.)

15. Heroes*
14. Firefly*
13. Battlestar Galactica (I've watched all of the original series, none of the new one.)
12. Family Guy
11. Seinfeld

10. Spaced
09. The X-Files*
08. The Wire
07. Friends
06. 24

05. Lost*
04. The West Wing
03. The Sopranos
02. Buffy the Vampire Slayer*
01. The Simpsons*

I have strong doubts about the quality of this list, as M*A*S*H is now where on it.
Ceci n'est pas une personne.

(no subject)

I need feed back.

Every week we have a photo contest at work. This weeks theme is "Kids".

I've chosen two pictures. One a delicate picture of lillian_green's daughter, Jessica, and one of shaebot's daughter, Rian.

Jessica's picture if a heart warming photo, but the focus is a little soft.

Rian's is a dramatic picture, and I love how her eyes captivate.

I can't decide which one to use.

Collapse )
Ceci n'est pas une personne.

(no subject)

This is the sort of thing I would have done to my sister as a kid...



Now you know why I don't sleep well when she's in the same zipcode... She has turned payback into an art form.