The Gatehouse Returns to Blogging

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Welcome to the new and improved The Gatehouse! After one and a half year of photo blogging, we are returning to the proper, old school blog format with an outstanding team of Gatehouse Gazette contributors and Smoking Lounge regulars.

Although our upcoming, twenty-first edition of the Gatehouse Gazette will, at least for the time being, be our last (more on that later), the magazine’s team of dapper columnists and reporters would not let this unique publication die entirely. So your humble administrator set up this shiny new blog to accommodate what will hopefully be a bright future of dieselpunk and steampunk article writing, online!

Our aim here is twofold — to entertain and to enlighten. Do not expect daily updates with lots of pictures as before. There will still be plenty of fun but we are committed to quality blogging with original and insightful ideas about the genres we so love.

Part of the reason for starting this blog is that the authors share a skepticism of what’s becoming of steampunk. There are two developments in particular that we resent. One is to ascribe a particular ideology to steampunk that not all of us are fond of (though some are). We believe that steampunk should be apolitical; a hobby and interest before anything else.

At the same time, we do want steampunk to be more than gentle cosplay and costuming. This is the other thing we’re wary of — the influx of people who want to be part of “the next big thing” without wondering just what steampunk is about. It’s not a unified philosophical or political movement but it’s not just a fashion style either. Steampunk is a community and a subculture with ideas. Here at The Gatehouse, we’ll try to figure out as best we can what those ideas are.

Dieselpunk is quite another matter. Originally a subgenre of steampunk, it’s spawned a movement of its own that does appear to share some political notions although we must be cautious here lest we repeat the mistake of those who see in steampunk a platform toward realizing their own agenda.

As with steampunk, we will explore the world of dieselpunk boldly without being presumptuous. Our aim is to learn and to inform and advance the debate about the nature and future of both alternate history genres.

Wish us luck!

If you want to see the old Tumblr log, it’s still online, of course, at the-gatehouse.tumblr.com.

Nick Ottens is the chief editor of The Gatehouse. An historian by training, he now works for an international consultancy and writes about political and international affairs for the Atlantic Sentinel.
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  1. I’m curious how the wanna-be revolutionist camp reconciles its self-delusion of an articulated, relevant and shared political stance when the chief activities of the most visible “steampunk” cosplay camp are little more than displays of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous bad taste that only the middle classes could produce.

    One group says “we’re anarcho punks” and believes it, the other says “we’re airship pirates” and knows it’s a joke.
    Both are dead-ends exisiting in closed-off feed back loops of their own making.

    So what’s left? Well, the same thing that was there before anyone thought to stick a name on it: The historicaly-informed aesthetic. A bit of the past smuggled into the present and quietly passed around, not in the name of making an unsupportable socio-political statement, nor as a prop in the prolonged adoscence of “geek culture” but for it’s own sake. Simply because it is pleasing to the senses.

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