Steampunk Spanking

17Sep13

steampunk girlsSteampunk is very much back in vogue these days, although many of you might be forgiven for never having heard of it. The label ‘Steampunk’ was not coined until 1987 and even then it was merely mooted as a possible collective term for a sub-genre of science fiction writing. And some say it was wholly intended as a spoof on cyberpunk.

This last point maybe true as far as coining a phrase was concerned and the confusion with the use of the term punk has put many off. But the traditions themselves are not only older, but a long way removed from the anarchic aspirations of punk and cyberpunk. For one thing Steampunk is smart and savvy and hankers for a return to order of a sort, albeit a sort of stylish Victorian New Order.

For those who do not know, this sub-genre usually deals in alternative history and what-if scenarios. Most especially these stories are set either during the Victorian era or in a 20th century where 19th century values and key technologies did not perish and technology and society took another path.

The common characteristics of these stories are often clockwork, airships and of course steam power.

The movies The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Sean Connery, and Wild West with Will Smith and Kenneth Branagh based on the 1960s TV show of the same name, gives one a feel for the sort of retro science that embodies Steampunk. Indeed could be said to be wholly within this sub-culture.

It is this particular genre that first attracted me as far back as the late 1970s, almost a decade before the name was even invented and the inspiration for this literary tradition can be traced back even further to novels as from the mid-19th and early 20th century such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and a whole swathe of books by HG Wells such as the War in the Air, the Time Machine and even War of the Worlds.

The mechanical legged Martians and clockwork time machine are staples of what is now regarded as Steampunk, where frock-coated and top-hatted heroes abound.

Apart from Wells, it was the novels of Michael Moorcock that was to be my first taste of retro-sci-fi and which is now known as Steampunk. His books presumed a world where the British Empire had not fallen and great mechanical steam or clockwork driven leviathans crossed continents bring destruction to mankind.

His alternative histories included works such as the Ice Schooner, the Land Leviathan, Warlord of the Air and the Steel Tsar. All of which had most of the classic features we now associate with Steampunk.

To complete the picture a whole raft of new authors such as Scott Westerfield, William Gibson and Cherie Priest have emerged sometimes confidently writing under the Steampunk banner.

Today influences can be seen far beyond traditional Steampunk and hints can even be seen in Dr Who (whose frockcoat predates even Moorcock) and many other contemporary imaginative fiction.

So it has been very much with this literary tradition in mind that I have viewed the growing emergence of the Steampunk sub-culture, where Victoriana meets sci-fi in brass and clockwork, and top hats with goggles that has even spawned a music culture.

So what has this got do with spanking and TTTWD?

My first encounter with real life Steampunks was at the LAM some years ago and then again during a London Fetish Fair where real embodiments of characters straight out of a Steampunk novel down to the hat, goggles and the whip in their hands walked the aisles. While on stalls parallels with corsetry and other fetish gear could clearly be seen.

Incidentally, returning to Michael Moorcock for a moment, before the old hippy engaged in a campaign to restrict spanking books to the top shelf on the grounds that no woman really wants to be spanked (well his heart is in the right place and to be fair some of the books he cites are rather misogynist) he did write a few books of his own that touched upon the matter in hand. The time travelling adventures The Life and Times of Jerry Cornelius and The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century were not adverse to a bit of S&M, as it was quaintly called in those days. None of these books are strictly Steampunk, but the author certainly has such credentials.

So given an opportunity it has been an emerging ambition of mine to explore two merging interests. No, I am not buying a top hat and goggles, but I have written a short Steampunk spanking story which you can read here tomorrow.



8 Responses to “Steampunk Spanking”

  1. 1 Kia

    Looking forward to the story. Though you should consider the top hat and goggles thing too- I’m sure you’d look quite fetching 😉

  2. 3 paul1510

    Damian.
    H G Wells, Jules Verne, of course Michael Moorcock was rather later.
    I lived in the edge of Notting Hill which was his stomping ground, sadly I never met him, we would have agreed on so much.
    You are a fellow traveller on this particular path, which is good to know, though I took my first steps rather earlier, late forties. 😦 😉
    Paul.

  3. 4 DJ

    Perhaps Mr Moorcock still does – he is still very much with us and still writing.

    Some of his later grown-up books are rather good.

    • 5 paul1510

      Damian,
      thanks, I’ll check them out. 🙂
      I now live a long way from London, my chances of meeting him are rather remote. 😉
      Looking forward to a steampunk spanking story. 😀
      Paul.

  4. 6 Raffe

    Thank you DJ, patiently waiting.

  5. 7 manhattan

    By Jove, bring forth the zeppelins, difference engines and rod-wielding governesses!

  6. 8 DJ

    Thanks guys 🙂


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