If you are reading these lines there is no doubt that you are looking for information about Steamgoth. I have written this blog post as an introduction to it, so let’s see if I can throw some gaslight on this issue.
1.1.- Steamgoth: the concept
Our first mention to this may be found at the first blog post we dedicated to our attendance at Wave Gotik Treffen 2013. As far as we know, the term Steamgoth was coined by the British writer James Richardson-Brown back in 2007:
‘Steamgoth is a far darker view of the steampunk world. Whereas steampunk can often be said to be science fiction set in an alternative Victorian-era world, Steamgoth would be horror set in that same world’.
Source: Steamgoth – An Introduction
But wait a minute. Is Steamgoth something brand new? Is it called to have significance enough per se? Is it a real answer or it just does not make any sense at all? Certainly these are not minor questions as, the way I see it, many of the trends derived from -punk (or let’s say cyberpunk derivatives) add very little.
For the Western world, the Victorian era was probably a time of wonder. It was a time of adventure, discovery, progress and, from the perspective of the contemporary man, romanticism. However, this historical period had an obscure side difficult to ignore. Not only due to colonialism, child labour, gender repression or racial discrimination, but to the widespread obsession with all things mysterious and paranormal.
I have always thought that both utopian and dystopian visions have room within the Steampunk genre; however, I feel that the current of thought that gradually prevails is the utopian one. As The New York Times stated quoting Captain Robert from Abney Park: ‘Steampunk is not dark and spooky, it’s elegant and beautiful’. If this comes to be true, Steamgoth is called to fill its own space offering a less ingenuous and idealized approach to the Steampunk paradigm. Does this mean that any manifestation of Steamgoth must be dystopian? Probably not. But with all certitude it should offer a different perspective to the Steampunk realm.
1.2.- Steamgoth: the roots
What fires Steamgoth? Which sources can we track back? What shall inspire it? I will try to answer some of these questions in the following parts of this blog post:
- Steamgoth in a nutshell (1 of 6).- Intro: The darkest side of Steampunk
- Steamgoth in a nutshell (2 of 6).- Literature: The Precursors
- Steamgoth in a nutshell (3 of 6).- Technoscience: The Knowledge of the Supernatural
- Steamgoth in a nutshell (4 of 6).- Occultism: The Forbidden Wisdom
- Steamgoth in a nutshell (5 of 6).- Victorian Society: Lights… and Shadows
- Steamgoth in a nutshell (6 of 6).- Fashion: The Black Obsession
Without further ado, let’s begin our walk on the darkest side of Steampunk: Steamgoth!