The introduction to Steampunk Revolution, the upcoming third steampunk anthology from Ann Vandermeer, is available to read on the Tor.com blog. It’s an interesting piece, reflecting on what steampunk is and where it’s going, and I always like to see someone raise interesting questions about their genre or medium, what it can do, what its boundaries are.
For me, steampunk is interesting because of the contrasts it represents. It’s about the hope of technology, from a time before we learned the taste of pollution and the terror of potential nuclear armageddon. But it’s also about the dark side of that, the disparities inherent in both our past and our ever-developing technological future. It muddles the boundaries between history, fantasy and science fiction, creating interesting contrasts, for example in the gap between a fantastical motor-carriage-racing academic aristocracy and an all too real impoverished, rioting underclass in Gibson and Sterling’s Difference Engine.
Steampunk Revolution is out on 1 December, and includes my story Urban Drift, a heist story about art and addiction. If you like what Ms Vandermeer has to say, then you’re sure to like the rest of the book too.