Sunday, June 8, 2014

Steampunk proposes ‘fantastic alternative history’

Here’s an interesting take on the Steampunk genre by Matthew Crary writing for UU World: “The expansion of British rule and the rise of the Industrial Age brought with them glaring injustices, many of which [Charles] Dickens made the underpinning of his most famous and cherished narratives. ...

“Steampunk proposes, as a fantastic alternative history, that instead of degrading the human spirit, the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire were employed to lift it up. ... In the place of the historical, Steampunk imagines an adventurous, equitable, even multicultural alternative.”

Crary captures precisely what appeals to me when some of my favorite science fiction characters travel back to the Industrial Age (for example, in Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation).

These characters inhabit a planet where multiculturism and equality are unquestioned realities. Poverty and war have been eliminated (although conflicts still take place on an interstellar scale). They give me hope that humankind can move beyond its remaining prejudices.

Posted to the Facebook page of Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

No comments:

Post a Comment

Robust debate and even unusual opinions are encouraged, but please stay on-topic and be respectful. Comments are subject to review for personal attacks or insults, discriminatory statements, hyperlinks not directly related to the discussion and commercial spam.