What is steampunk? Fashion craze, literary genre, lifestyle - or all of the above? Playing with the scientific innovations and aesthetics of the Victorian era, steampunk creatively warps history and presents an alternative future, imagined from a nineteenth-century perspective.
In her interdisciplinary book, Claire Nally delves into this contemporary subculture, explaining how the fashion, music, visual culture, literature and politics of steampunk intersect with theories of gender and sexuality. Exploring and occasionally critiquing the ways in which gender functions in the movement, she addresses a range of different issues, including the controversial trope of the Victorian asylum; gender and the graphic novel; the legacies of colonialism; science and the role of Ada Lovelace as a feminist steampunk icon. Drawing upon interviews, theoretical readings and textual analysis, Nally asks: why are steampunks fascinated by our Victorian heritage, and what strategies do they use to reinvent history in the present?