If you haven’t heard this term, then you’ve not been online in any way, shape or form for several years. While the aesthetic has been around since long before, the surge of interest in recent years has made it impossible to miss.
“a genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power; also written steam-punk.”
I think this dictionary.com entry leaves a lot out of what is believed to be steampunk, but gets to its core. Another definition rounds out the genre/aesthetic as I understand it.
“An imaginary Victorian age, that features brass and copper clockwork and steampowered inventions that go far beyond 1800′s technology. Steam powered mechanical wonders, optimistic gear driven computers, dirigibles, clockwork firsts, and stuff like that. (But don’t forget the goggles.)
Well, something like that, anyway. Think Jules Verne.”
~From Monster Commute by Steam Cow
Brace yourselves, kittens. It looks like it’s here to stay.
And do be careful, because you can get nasty burns from steam.