Rafael Fabre announced earlier this month that his famed The Steampunk Tribune is suspending publication.
The blog, which has served as something of an online newspaper for the steampunk community since 2007, previously under the title The Heliograph, was not only an great place to keep up with developments relevant to the genre; it was also a good friend of The Gatehouse‘s and Rafael was kind enough to often promote our online magazine, the Gatehouse Gazette.
While real life got in the way of Rafael’s regular blogging activity, he also left us with some observations about the state of steampunk today which are worth quoting in full.
Though steampunk has received more prominence lately, even being recognized on a regular basis by the mainstream science fiction world, I do hope for the best. Seeing more visibility for the genre (the plethora of outstanding independent film makers endeavors producing amazing work), and Hollywood even tipping a bit towards recognition of steampunk (e.g. the small but appreciated winks from the Sherlock Holmes movies), is heartening.
However, my concern with the injection of political machinations of certain groups and individuals will, in my opinion, limit the acceptance of the genre. Trying to impose a template of ideologies upon the genre is self-serving and acts as an anchor towards greater futures in steampunk. I’ve seen very good writers and bloggers depart from the genre in part due to this circumstance and individuals I’ve attempted to induce into the beloved genre questioned what they saw as politically correct indoctrination shoe-horned into Steampunk. People have every right to their own opinions but this particular eddy seems juxtaposed to the free-flowing essence of steampunk.
To me, Steampunk is an opportunity to enjoy a different time, with a fictional twist — in virtual or real Life. The genre is very accepting of those who may not feel they fit into other genres — old, young, beautiful, not so beautiful (like me!), etc… Trying to dictate to others how they should act or think during their participation is simply unsatisfactory […] but in the end, people vote with their feet with how they spend their free time… and sadly, I think many have.
Sadly, we can’t say we disagree and hope all steampunks takes Rafael’s warning to heart. We wish him well!