Steampunk Themes

What are some common themes of steampunk fiction? (If you have suggestions, please comment!)

I’m thinking along these lines:

Punk, to me, at base means rebellion against an establishment.

Because steampunk is influenced by the culture of Victorian England, I also feel there needs to be some kind of commentary on colonialism and empires, and on class divides. Looking at these issues through a “real world” lens is an important part of this.

Technology versus nature also ought to be in there, though on the whole I feel technology in steampunk is usually favorable so long as it’s wielded by the good guys. Tech might be temporarily bad, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything steampunk in which technology ended up being abolished. If it causes bad effects, they’re usually outweighed by the good.

Thoughts? Comments?

Here’s an interesting related post at the Age of Steam blog: The Darker Side of Steampunk.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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