There were these Jules Verne stories about submarines, airships and underground exploration set in the nineteenth century. Everything was made from brass and copper and more high tech than the period they were written in. Also, there was The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle as captured in a great silent film from 1925. Finally, Edgar Rice Burroughs gave us the Mars series, that frothy collection of space travel, jewels for clothes and sword play. All these wonderful stories make up for me the fascination of the Steampunk movement.
Steampunk is a combination of the Victorian world set in an alternative universe where steam is still the motive power and everything electric is analog. The only things digital are the fingers in my long, silk gloves. Steampunk is a real world lifestyle and finds expression in fashions, furniture, architecture and role play. See the real life links below for a sampling of what’s available and happening.
Second Life® also has sims devoted to Steampunk role play and designers who make everything one might need for living in another age of lush beauty and funky technology. Not everything I might classify as steampunk is felt to be steampunk by its creators. Steampunk items go by Victorian, Tudor, Renaissance, Gothic, vintage, oriental and other terms. All are however typified by common elements: lush designs, complex details, use of glass, copper, iron, velvet and silk, steam power, analog electronics and a strong sense of whimsy. A few of the Steampunk resources I have found are described below.
- Jenne Dibou has a wonderful hot air balloon. She also has a clever motorboat and a very creative rocket ship that will take you to Mars. Go to JD Mechanical Toy Factory at https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/8658
- Carrah Rossini has built a number of steampunk flying machines, among them the Ananke Nereide Flying Submarine (pictured above), Steampunk Dreamliner and Selene Cloud Hugger. A favorite of mine is the tiny, two-passenger, Ananke “Nessie” Explorer Airship. https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/15827
- The SteamBook Pro Portable Computing Device, a combination of typewriter and CRT tube is available for free from TriloByte Zanzibar at BlakOpal Designs. https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/25
- Daallinii Rae designed the copper lighthouse in the picture above. It’s called the Nautilus Batiscaphe. See it in the Marketplace – https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Nautilus-Batiscaphe-V11/1032476. Many other eclectic buildings are available in-world at Daallinii’s Creations in Sassie (203, 112, 35)
- See a rather spectacular flying ship by Miss Kandy Orabelle (Kandace Commons) at Mieville Twain (63, 144, 26). The Mieville sims are all dedicated to Steampunk themes.
- For role play opportunities in SL see this link on the SL web site – http://secondlife.com/destinations/roleplay/steampunk. I recommend checking out Caledon and New Babbage, but any of the sims listed are more than worth a look-see.
- Clever and creative lamps made from industrial cast offs – http://machineagelamps.com
- A web site devoted to many aspects of Steampunk – http://www.thesteampunkempire.com
- I guess this may be the definitive Steampunk web site – http://www.steampunk.com
Some Literary Links
- The Lost World. First National Pictures Inc., 1925. View at https://archive.org/details/lost_world
- The Mars Novels. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. http://www.johncarterofmars.ca/books.html
What is ManiStyle? ManiStyle is a monthly column that explores an idea, a style, a trend or a realm in SL and gives you some links to go explore and draw your own conclusions. MANIERA SL expresses an outlook on life that is part Vanity Fair and part Rolling Stone. In ManiStyle, we introduce you to our take on life and ask that you share your views and reactions.
Written by Deepthinker Oh
Image Credit: The picture of the Steampunk clockworks was taken at Daallinii’s Creations