Steampunk is one of my favorite genres to read. Sadly, there isn't enough of it out there, and even worse, most of it is totally focused on Great Britain. I can understand why; it's called the Victorian era for a reason, after all. What many people overlook is how vast the English empire's reach was back then. Why can't we see steampunk novels taking place in India, Australia or Japan? Just imagine what those stories could be like. Besides just the potential for gorgeous new locations, think of the chance to address some of the most important yet under-written aspects of the Victorian age: colonialism.
|Japanese women in Victorian dress styles|
Steampunk has often been accused of glorifying British colonialism. I think placing some steampunk stories in different countries and cultures would be a fascinating way to explore this. Steampunk isn't just a chance to glue gears onto a character's top hat and call it a day, steampunk could be used to examine so much about Victorian culture. Whether it's class structures, colonialism or gender, the Victorian era holds multitudes of things to study and challenge. I am tired of steampunk being used as an excuse for poorly written romance novels and bad cosplay. I want some serious themes in there with my clockwork corsets! Even North America feels slightly abandoned. Sure, I can find a bunch of novels that portray cowboys riding clockwork ponies through the untamed frontier, but nothing steampunk in the Civil War?
|Map of the British Empire|
I'm open to suggestions. Does anyone know of any steampunk novels, short stories or comics that aren't entirely devoted to England? Leave your suggestions in the comments below and tell me if you share my frustrations or if I'm merely crazy.