Today I read a fun article by Donna Dickens titled 27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012.
It’s the whole gist of sci fi enthusiasm, to wonder what it would be like for the fictional to be factual.
Some things on this list totally surprised me, as in, I had no idea they were scientific realities.
Most things on this list naturally made me wonder what it would be like to be someone wondering what the world would be like with them–and of course realizing that I am now doing the same thing with fictional ideas, some of which will some day prove to be factual. That’s why this article also strikes my alternative history nerve.
It’s a totally fun read!
Try to define steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, and other genres of fiction, and you’ll likely find yourself growling, “Arrrrgh.”
They can be tough to differentiate.
Here’s my definition:
- Science Fiction – Works featuring worlds beyond our own as explained by technology and science.
- Fantasy – Works featuring worlds beyond our own as explained by supernatural powers or conditions such as magic.
- Steampunk – Works featuring worlds beyond our own, as explained by alternate development of technology or science, whether historical or future, particularly as applied to the Victorian period and aesthetic.
Hence, steampunk is considered more a sub-genre of science fiction than it is of fantasy, as it tends deals with contraptions, time travel, technologies arriving earlier or later than in reality. However, it is by no means restricted from fantastical creatures or powers, so you can see the trouble with compartmentalized definitions. They will hardly be contained!
But thinking of them this way is a nuance from which I like to work with these three conceptual genres.
Another sub-genre I’m interested in:
- Alternate History – Works featuring worlds built on the premise of history going differently than it really did.
I love all this stuff and the many spinoff genres as well. Space opera, spy-fi, superhero, cyberpunk, biopunk, cli fi, apocalyptic, mundane, dying earth, legend, paranormal…