Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Gatehouse Gazette

Download it for free at http://www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/Gazette%20-%2011.pdf

For many centuries, the interaction between East and West has been a fabulous dwell for art and storytelling. From the days of medieval merchantmen to the era of the great white hunters of imperialism, to our modern day fascination with Japanese cyberculture and the much debated rise of China, the East has lingered in Westerners’ minds as an irreplaceable image of otherness. Unlike our present day of interconnectedness, globalization and what-not, up until the nineteenth century, the Orient was very much a place of mystery, inhabited by people alien to Europeans’ experience, an exotic, cruel, and barbaric refuge for Western imagination. Critics of Orientalism have done much to cast shame upon our often patronizing and bizarre representations of Eastern life and tradition, but fortunately for those incorrigible aficionados of Oriental romance, steampunk allows us to reject the chains of reality and all the racism and guilt associated with it, to explore anew this imagined world of sultans and saber-rattling Islamic conquerors; harems and white slavery; samurai, dragons and dark, bustling bazaars frequented by the strangest sort of folk. Isn’t this, after all, steampunk’s very premise? To delve into a past that never really was. The Orientalists’ world may never have existed but its history is so powerful that up to this very, Westerners are smitten with it. With this issue, the Gatehouse Gazette is no exception.

As the yet undiscovered realms of Asia are so vastly different, so Victoriental steampunk must differ depending on where it takes place. The deserts of Arabia and the forbidden mountain ranges of Afghanistan may evoke visions of ancient citadels and fata morgana and deserted monasteries atop barren peaks; the jungles of India and Indochina invite adventurers to search for booby trapped remnants of lost civilizations while temples and palaces of spectacular wealth loom beyond, in the lands of Cathay.

In this issue, we, too, travel throughout all of the Eastern World, from Meiji Era Japan to Colonial India to Chinese magic in nineteenth century London.

There is non-Victoriental content on offer as well however, including an interview with Hugh Ashton, author of Beneath Gray Skies, an alternate history novel that is reviewed in this issue. There are your regular columns and a contribution from Sir Arthur Weirdy-Beardy, our correspondent in London.

Download it for free at http://www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/Gazette%20-%2011.pdf

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