Episode 230: A New Era

September 17th, 2012 4 Comments

Hosts : Rob and Mike
BS! MembershipsSpooky Outhouse Productions
Music : All music used with permission of Ghoultown

TL;DR (To Long; Didn’t Read)


4 Responses to “Episode 230: A New Era”

Anthony Baldwin

September 17th, 2012 - 3:36 am

Great Show! Love the new changes.


September 17th, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Hey guys,

I just read Leviathan by Scot Westerfeld. It’s an alternative history to World War I where the British Darwinists (users of fabricated life as weapons) and the German Clankers (users of steam-powered walkers) replace the technology of the time. It’s a teen novel but still decent.

Out of context quotes by Westerfeld “Leviathan is as much about possible futures as alternate pasts… That’s the nature of steampunk, blending future and past.” To combine that with what you guys were saying: It’s nostalgic science fiction.

I think it’s just a young genre. There is a lot of crappy steam punk out there, but there is a lot of crappy fantasy, cyberpunk and science-fiction too. There is a legitimate sub-genre here. It’s just not polished yet. But it’s okay not to be a fan.

Good show,


p.s. This novel has pictures! Like adult novels of old. Here is an allegorical map of Europe from the book.



September 19th, 2012 - 8:30 am

Hey, guys.

RE: the tangent into steampunk –

It’s mentioned in the Wikipedia article you guys were reading, but Steampunk as a literary…well, trope, I guess, not a full blown genre – started with William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine. Sterling and Gibson are basically the fathers of Cyberpunk fiction.

So to answer your question, Steampunk is Cyberpunk, only transported to the Victorian era. The Victorian era had a lot of the same pressures that Cyberpunk addresses – borderline dystopia for the majority of the people, overpopulation, rule by the oligarchy, and most importantly the explosion of new technology occasioned by the arrival of complex machinery and new technologies.

You’re right that this original concept has essentially been buried under a massive pile of fake gears, flight goggles and art deco scrollwork. And that Wikipedia article is incoherent. If you wanted to run a Steampunk game and were trying to figure out what it was about, though, all you need to do is borrow the theme from a Cyberpunk story and change the window dressing.


September 22nd, 2012 - 4:41 am

My podcasters are all grown up now, brings a tear to my eye!

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