I gotta admit, I love Steampunk. LOVE IT. I think, though I can't be too totally sure about this, but I think I love it more than Retro-Futurism. I dunno...if you told me I could be wealthy beyond my wildest dreams and part of that wealth was a gigantic custom-designed and built home created entirely in a Retro-Futuristic or Steampunk style? I'd probably pick the Steampunk.
And what is Steampunk? Glad you asked.
Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.
Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.
Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual artisans into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.
HogSandwich, a fellow blogger whose blog I follow, showed me a link to a Steampunk laptop a few weeks back, been meaning to share it and just hadn't gotten round to it. Check it out...AWESOME. Me wantee BAD.
It's from some site called Datamancer, and there are tons of photos there as well as some other cool stuff that this man (or woman, I do not know) has comverted into Steampunk-style equipoment. And it's FUNCTIONAL.
Like this desktop version of a Steampunk computer, found at The Steampunk Workshop.
It's freakin' AWESOME.
Check this out. It's someone's Steampunk version of an N-1 Starfighter, the prefered craft of the Naboo in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Now THAT is a freakin' cool design.
Probably would have been a better film if the whole thing was radically Steampunked. And speaking of Star Wars Steampunk, there are two places you need to be directed to. The first is Sillof's Workshop. His STeam Wars custom action figures are OUT OF THIS WORLD cool.
And if you fancy something with only 2 dimensions instead of 3, you need go no farther than Eric's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea, the blog of an artist by the name of Eric Poulton. He has some GREAT Star Wars Steampunk work.
That's it, tangent over...I just felt like looking at some Steampunk stuff.