1. Tallandboring
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    Tallandboring Member

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    Post-Apocolyptic

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tallandboring, Sep 13, 2011.

    I am writing a post apocolyptic novel, it takes place far in the future, after multiple disasters. (The world is reffered to as Third World)
    Most of todays technology is gone, and what remains is considered ancient artifacts.
    I'm going for a steampunk type setting, what kind of technology do you recommend?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Third World has a present-day meaning you might not want associated with your story.

    I am not a steampunk fan, so I'll leave the tech suggestions to others who are.
     
  3. Tallandboring
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    Tallandboring Member

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    Oops, I meant to say Third Earth, kinda spaced out while typing.
     
  4. Mr Mr
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    Mr Mr Active Member

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    Anything steam powered seems the most obvious sugestion. Clockwork things aswell.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Steam-powered, huge and complex machinery (and weaponry if applicable). I don't think you need to be a mechanic to write steampunk. You can just say it was large, steam-powered and had lots of gadgets on it, and readers will accept it as it is. :)
     
  6. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    My suggestions are to read up on actual technology from the 1800s and early 1900s, where Steampunk seems to get most of its inspiration. As one of my projects has some light elements of steampunk in it, I've done a bit of this research myself, and I've been surprised more than once at how... advanced people were back then. A few examples, for instance:

    - Telegraph lines were like a primitive internet. Why? Because people could communicate with each other almost instantly using the telegraph. The telegraph never became as prominent as internet is nowadays, but it was still extremely important and it really did change things for many people. In my project, I used this idea and further developed it - in my project's world, most upper and middle class people have their own personal telegraph machine, which they used to instant chat with each other.
    - Primitive computers were made as early as the 1830s (or somewhere around there). However, these were more like gigantic calculators or programmable machines rather than the electronic gadgets we think of today. Still, they were extremely impressive for their time and were able to do mathematical calculations and so forth.
    - Zeppelins and hot-air balloons are a common staple of steampunk, and not without good reason.


    However, you can even look beyond that, in other eras. The whole idea of steampunk is the adaption of modern technology to an era of "earlier" primitive technology, hence things like steam-powered tanks (instead of oil-fueled tanks) and so forth. In many other time periods and cultures, inventive and creative people have developed advanced technologies that were, well, pretty advanced for their time. Many of these technologies can help augment the steampunk technology you design for your story, and maybe even give it its own flavor. To give some examples:

    - Leonardo da Vinci is probably the easiest example. You've probably seen at least some of his ideas before, including his tank-thing (which I think they proved to be workable), a robotic man, a helicopter, and so forth. These were all made using gears and so forth, and they have even inspired a sub-genre of steampunk called clockpunk, which draws aesthetic inspiration from the Italian Renaissance (thus da Vinci's time) rather than the Victorian look and feel of steampunk. (As a side note, some steampunk also integrates some clockpunk elements in it; in the strategy video game Rise of Legends, for instance, they had one faction, *coincidentally* called the Vinci, whose technology and aesthetic were a combination of Italian Renaissance clockpunk and Victorian steampunk - hence things like steam-powered tanks fighting alongside gigantic clockwork machine-men)
    - Earlier inventors also were able to use gears, pulleys, and so forth to make complex machines. Heron of Alexandria, for instance, engineered things such as steam engines, vending machines, and even programmable puppet theatres (that is, it's a puppet threatre that is powered entirely by a system of gears, pulleys, levers, etc., and you can change what the puppets do, scenery changes, etc. by playing around with where the said gears, pulleys, levers, etc. are and their positions).
    - Islamic and Chinese inventors also developed some rather complex clockwork machines.

    Just read up a bit on these things (there was also a TV documentary series on the history channel ages ago about the advanced accomplishments of ancient inventors, but I dunno its name, but it was really interesting) and you'd be quite surprised at all the different machines and technologies you can find. It'd undoubtedly hellp inspire you a lot

    And as Mallory said, the great thing is that you don't need to be a mechanic or engineer to be able to write all of this out, or, heck, even understand how these machines work in the first place. Looking at the real world's history of human ingenuity and creativity will undoubtedly provide so much inspiration for your punkpunk technologies. It's worked, at least for me, in my project.
     
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  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    btw, it's spelled 'apocalyptic'...
     
  8. Chivalrous Tart
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    Chivalrous Tart Member

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    Play some of the earlier Final Fantasy games (4-9). They have an immersive world that is heavily laced with alternative technology (Steam air ships, lots of cool boats, weapons, etc.).
     
  9. Tallandboring
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    Tallandboring Member

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    Thanks for all the recommendations everyone!
    I really appreciate it!
     
  10. chr0nic
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    chr0nic New Member

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    Also, if you're into gaming, Bioshock \ Bioshock 2 is very reminiscent of 'steam punk'... Also, IMO, parts of Portal 2.
     
  11. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    Actually I think Bioshock is more specifically Dieselpunk, which is a sub-genre of steampunk that takes inspiration from the early Atomic age (c. 1920s-1950s) rather than the Victorian/Edwardian aesthetic of steampunk, so Dieselpunk combines elements like the Roaring Twenties, Art Deco, the Pulp Fiction stuff and all that.


    Anyhow, as one can see, "punk" fiction is a pretty diverse field.
     

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