Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for WESTERN

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that takes many Victorian/Industrial Age technologies, and then thrusts it into a futuristic world. In a steampunk world, there might be flying machines, computers, and ray guns - but built from copper, wood, brass, and using steam as a power source. It's a unique blend of the future and the present that makes steampunk unique.

Yes, steampunk is centered around the Victorian time period in England (19th century), but here in America, our country was the new frontier. Explorers venturing into new territory, clashing with the native populations. The industrial revolution exploded, and western expansion was made possible by the steam train.

I grew up on Westerns. Still love them. And the Western setting does play an important part in my current project, Dragonfly Warrior. To me Westerns are a wilder, grittier version of the heroic motif of the old legends (King Arthur, Beowulf, Odysseus). Good and bad are clearly defined, and many of us to love the anti-hero that Westerns popularized.  And a world were lawlessness and an untamed land can be unforgiving is a wonderful setting for an adventure.

Here are some cool Western-inspired steampunk goodies:

Steampunk gunfight

Steampunk on horseback

Steampunked Wild Bill!

What's a Western without a cowboy?

And steampunk cowgirl too!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I believe you've already mentioned Wild Wild West, definitely a steampunk feel.

Sarah Ahiers said...

LOVE me some westerns. And steampunk westerns are possibly the best thing ever invented. Fact

Julie Dao said...

Very, very cool. There's something so epic about Westerns. I haven't seen many, but I listen to a lot of movie music by Ennio Morricone who composed amazing things for these movies. And your project sounds awesome.

Brinda said...

I am not a fan of Westerns (books or movies). Tombstone is one that I liked. I think the only steampunk one I've seen is the Will Smith movie.

Laura Eno said...

I love that horse!

Jay Noel said...

Alex: Campy, but steampunk for sure.

Sara: Combines two great genres!

Julie: Westerns are just an Americanized version of classic epics. Universal.

Brinda: You need to see the newest version of True Grit. Even people not into Westerns love this great movie. Matt Damon was surprisingly great, as was Jeff Bridges.

Jay Noel said...

Laura: I knew you'd like that!

Rusty Webb said...

Oh my - I do do the old guy with the mechanical arm. I love my westerns too.

Rusty Webb said...

And I just said do do. Stupid phone.

Kelly Barnes said...

If I I were leading a wagon train, I'd want a partner like the cowboy with the BA arm.

Juliana L. Brandt said...

I know most people didn't like Will Smith's Wild Wild West, but I thought it was hilarious. There is something extra special about Steampunk set as a Western :)

Anonymous said...

Love the second-last pic, it truly depicts the Steampunk West at its best!

Brinda said...

Jay- I forgot about True Grit. I did see it and really liked it!

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Does Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez fit the bill here? Theme: A World of Crime

Stephsco said...

I love the pic of the horse with the literal tail pipe. Great.

It's too bad Wild, Wild, West wasn't that good of a movie because it had some really cool concepts in it.

Jay Noel said...

Rusty: I suffer from fat fingers with small buttons on my phone, so half of my texts are obscene!

Kelly: He is without a doubt one tough mutha.

Juliana: There were parts of it that were good. The movie started pretty well, but just kinda got stupid for me the rest of the way.

Jack: I agree totally!

Brinda: I'm interested in maybe checking out the original with John Wayne. They say it's just as good.

Gail: YES! I've wanted to read that for a long time.

Stephsco: I know! It had so much promise. Great actors, great concept, but just a horrible script.

David P. King said...

Another brilliant gallery. Question: I'm sure you're familiar with FullMetal Alchemist. Would you consider that to have steampunk elements to it (the mechanical arms come to mind)? We just finished the finale of Brotherhood. It blew us away. :)

Jay Noel said...

David: Yes. Alchemy can be pretty steampunk too, especially when you talk about advanced tech in certain settings (Edward's arm and Alphonse's armor)

Lynda R Young said...

lol, I'm not sure about that horse...

Jay Noel said...

Lynda: It's a little campy, but it's cool!!!!

Ciara said...

Okay, why is the cowgirl showing some skin. Where is the hot cowboy? I'm just saying. :)

Jay Noel said...

Ciara: Sorry. I am a bit biased!

Mr. Shife said...

Westerns are one of my favorite genres too, and I love the steam punks pics are way cool. Also, you asked me about video production on my blog and I have dabbled in it since college. Right now I just use my Flip and iMovie to create stuff. I was accepted to film school so there has always been a fascination in that kind of work. Have a good one.

Melissa Bradley said...

Wild, Wild west was a fave show growing up. And I am digging that steam powered horse.

I love to imagine taking an airship over Dodge City or San Francisco.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Wild Wild West but without Will Smith please.

Pk Hrezo said...

A fun blend for sure! I love westerns too... so raw. I say we throw a steampunk fashion party at a dude ranch. Now that would be some fun right there. ;)

Jay Noel said...

Shife: Huh. After all of these years, I didn't know that about you. Cool.

Melissa: I watched old reruns as a kid. Still love it.

Michael: 100% agreed.

Pk: Hell to the yeah!

DEZMOND said...

I wonder if Indians are sometimes involved in the steam punk too? Imagine some steampunk arrows and such things :)

Jay Noel said...

Dez: My book coming out late July has "American Indians" in it. Totally steampunked out!

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