“Steampunk is what happens when goths discover brown.”

– Jess Nevins

Well, it’s a lot more than that, actually.

Steampunk is a style of clothing, gadgets and fiction usually set in a Victorian era, that more closely resembles the science fiction of Jules Verne than the historical trappings of Sherlock Holmes.

Except when it isn’t.

Because some steampunks (or “Steamies”, as they sometimes call themselves) set their characters, costumes and devices in a post-apocalyptic time when the world has returned to steam as its primary motive force.

Except when they don’t.

Some steampunk is set in modern times, but the devices we currently rely upon for day-to-day living are modified to honor the styles and mechanisms of the Victorian Era, when craftsmanship, individualism, and quality were the hallmarks of civility.

With some substantial exceptions.

Steampunk clothing is often considered to be the centerpiece of the movement. From corsets to cravats, and from top hats to white spats, the neo-Victorian clothing styles are given over to extreme excess and stylization, with goggles and gears added to spice up the look.

And then we have our cousins, whom we at the Tampa Bay Steampunk Society gladly welcome to all of our events, such as Decopunk (based on the art deco movement of the 1920s), Dieselpunk (based on the industrial look of the 1930s-1940s) and even those dark and mysterious Goths who have just recently discovered brown.

So, yes. Steampunk is more of an umbrella (substitute “parasol” or “bumbershoot”, if you wish) title for a wide range of creative expressions, often featuring, but not necessarily requiring, Victorian elements.

There are a lot of disagreements about the exact definition of steampunk, but what everyone agrees on is that it is an outlet for the creative, individual expression of ideas, styles and inventions that we want to display, compare and enjoy. And it is in that spirit that the Tampa Bay Steampunk Society wishes to welcome any and all who want an opportunity to join in and begin their journey through the exciting world of Steampunk.

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