Steampunk is futuristic Victorian science fiction, an alternate history. It's the collision of Victorian ideals, etiquette, dress, media, ingenuity, and pursuit of adventure, along with fantastical futuristic steam powered mechanisms creating an alternate history in a world that never was.
The steam in Steampunk refers to “The Steam Age”, which encompasses the industrial revolution, and social progression. The punk in Steampunk often heralds back to the days of punk music and culture viewed by traditional society as rebellion. Steampunk is essentially a rebellion against the barrage of constant images, noise, rudeness, and frantic pace of life we cope with. It’s a place of respite from everyday stresses.
Steampunk has become a catch all term for subgenres dealing with historically based science fiction. Steampunk is generally portrayed from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Occasionally it may extend through the Edwardian period from 1901 to beginning of WWI in 1914. Weird West is another aspect of Steampunk, portrayed during roughly the same time frame, but with an American wild west focus. Dieselpunk is the heir to Steampunk. It encompasses the years from the beginning of WWI, 1914, to the end of WWII, 1945. The change comes with the wide spread use of the internal combustion engine. Military themes are often portrayed in Dieselpunk. And lastly, Cyberpunk/Post Apocalyptic shows up occasionally. It's generally portrayed as a dark futuristic world dominated by computer technology. Cybernetic implants are common. Often portrayed as gritty and grim.
The following are links to interesting Steampunk goodies:
The Steampunk Empire (World wide Steampunk community.)
The League of S.T.E.A.M. (Steampunk ghostbusters....mini adventure episodes.)
EPBOT (Jen Yates' amazing blog....type Steampunk into the search bar and see all her amazing projects.)
Jake Von Slatt (His blog is steampunkworkshop.com.)
Datamancer (Doc Nagy's blog. He made the computers for the t.v. show, Warehouse 13.)
Two Man Gentlemen Band (music)
Professor Elemental (music/humor)
Abney Park (music)
The Steampunk Anthem (song)
A brief overview of Steampunk