As you probably know, a Special Edition of The Gatehouse Gazette themed 1940s has been published some days ago. It seems unlikely that you, dear reader, does not know about this, but just in case I reproduce below Nick Otten’s announcement:
Although we suspended regular publication of our magazine in November of last year […], its regular contributors and yours truly felt we couldn’t let 2012 go by without at least one installment of what, according to some, was the premier dieselpunk and steampunk magazine online.
I was given the opportunity to write an article about the evolution and current situation of the Spanish steampunk scene: a challenge and an honor, I have to say.
1. Table of Contents: Spanish Steampunk 2012 AD
Are you wondering what are you going to find in this article? This is a nice summary:
- Background: 19th century in Spain
- Fin-de-siècle art movements: Modernisme
- Steamy science
- Jules Verne, submarines and blindness
- Literary Heritage: time travelling
- The Spanish steampunk scene
- The community
- Looking into the future
Obviously, reading the complete magazine is a must and I would like to encourage you to download it: ‘Special Edition of the Gatehouse Gazette Released’. In any case, Spanish Steampunk 2012 AD may be found below:
2. The future of Spanish Steampunk
From my point of view, this is the most interesting point to analyze. I would like to take this chance to explain in detail some of the main challenges that Spanish steampunkers are going to face in order to consolidate the local scene. These are my two cents:
- To come to a consensus on what steampunk is supposed to be, in collaboration with the international community.
- To give shape to a mature Spanish steampunk, making the most of its particular influences. Considering that the Victorian era is a period (not a place), how could the Spanish colonial empire promote a multicultural approach? Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Philippines, Sahara… an outstanding array of influences to fuel the development process.
- To grow, in order to achieve critical mass enough to avoid stagnation, dynamize its activities and encourage generational shift.
- To leave behind old quarrels and work together and united towards common good.
- To reinforce its global presence making the most of the fact that Spanish is the second most natively spoken language in the world.
- And, naturaly, to enjoy all this!
This said, I have the impression that these challenges are not precisely exclusive for the Spanish Steampunk scene. On the contrary, it seems to me that most of small Steampunk communities around the world are facing up the same issues…
It is your turn now. What do you think about all this?
Steampunk raison d’être
Steampunk aesthetics are a strong influence for Decimononic and if you are reading these lines we are probably in the same boat. But, what happens when you try to go deeper? What’s Steampunk at present? Is it a movement, a counter-culture, a subculture, a community, a style? There is no straight answer to this question, but let’s see if we can throw some light on this issue.
1.- Steampunk Nature
First of all, ‘Steampunk means different things in different places’. It is a fact that there is an incesant debate regarding this topic, and this is why initiatives like the Great Steampunk Debate have arisen. At this point I would like to encourage you to have a look at the definitions of terms like subculture, community or movement. Is there any lowest common denominator? I think there is. We only need to take into consideration the investigations of scientists like Geert Hofstede or Fons Trompenaars about international cultural models and crosscultural communication to realize that the key issue are values.