Date: 2017-07-13 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm hopeful that this book is the leading edge of a second wave of steampunk that pays attention to the less aristocratic portion of the industrial revolution.

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NPH

Date: 2017-07-13 09:05 pm (UTC)
autopope: Me, myself, and I (Default)
From: [personal profile] autopope
Like, oh, China Mieville's been writing for over a decade now?

Date: 2017-07-14 03:32 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't consider Perdito Street Station steampunk at all. Rather it's traditional weird fantasy/horror. Of course genre definitions aren't some fixed thing, but the mood of PSS is existential dread, while the mood of steampunk is progress (perhaps illusory) and the disenchantment of magic.

I confess I haven't read his more recent work, after getting bored with The Scar. Maybe he's moved in a more steampunk fashion.

But I contend that a book including improbably-effective steam technology is irrelevant furniture, just as the presence of knights and swords doesn't make Star Wars a fantasy, or perhaps just as the presence of spaceships doesn't make Star Wars science fiction.

--
NPH

Date: 2017-07-13 09:04 pm (UTC)
autopope: Me, myself, and I (Default)
From: [personal profile] autopope
Too many steampunk and gas-lamp fantasy works are so distracted by the shiny metal gears and nifty parasols that they lose sight of the fact that for every member of the middle and upper classes there were probably three or four people in the working class.

Actually (Britsplaining ahoy!) the ratio was somewhere between 1:100 and 1:1000, depending on where you draw the cut-off line. And there were roughly nine or ten gradations of "working class" back then, ranging from homeless starving vagrants up to shopkeepers and publicans who owned their own business; to be middle class meant to be a member of a profession (lawyer, doctor, architect, clergy) or to own a substantial business (mill or factory owner).

But it was very much an exponential distribution, with maybe 1000 leading titled families at the apex of society, and about twenty million poor folks at the bottom of the heap.

Date: 2017-07-13 10:18 pm (UTC)
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
From: [personal profile] stoutfellow
There's a bit of a shift of units in your last statement. How many folks to a family?

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