‘The War of the Worlds’ – Steampunk Fiction with a Blend of Victorian Age and Futuristic Technologies
Steampunk is a subgenre, which takes us to a different world. We find ourselves in a scenario which is set in the Victorian Era, but the events taking place are not confined to that era. This is the fictional scenario imagined by the authors like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne in their science fiction novels. Time machine, gears, spacecrafts, and many other things running through steam power are the salient features of this subgenre.
“The War of the Worlds” composed by H.G. Wells is a brilliant example of the punk fiction. It seems to be influenced by the imperialism of the Victorian era, but in a distinct manner. An invasion takes place in the story, but this invasion is not by another nation. Martians from Mars invade the earth, with their army of three-legged fighting machines. The novel is divided into two parts – “The Coming of the Martians” and “The Earth under the Martians”.
The novel is based on the first person narrative. In the first part, the narrator tells the story of coming of the Martians to earth in a cylinder. Their three-legged fighting-machines are armed with heat rays, black smoke and a chemical weapon. The second part of the novel is based on the efforts of the narrator and his companion to save them. In the end of the story, the narrator finds the Martians died from microbial infection as there is no bacterium on the Mars.
This story became the inspiration for various other science fiction stories and films in the modern times. A large number of modern fictional tales based on the invasion of the creature from other parts of the galaxy or universe came in the limelight after this novel.
Some of the fantasies of the Wells were later a reality. For instance, use of black smoke by the fighting machines of Martians, was witnessed during the First World War. The heat rays mentioned in the novels were developed in the military technology in the later ages and became a forerunner of the laser weaponry. The flying machines are yet to be developed, but the machines run by human such as modern age tanks can be their beginning stages. But, the fighting machines are nearer to the futuristic robotic technologies. The idea of moving from one planet to another through cylinder is thought to be impractical by the modern scientists.
Besides, H.G. wells fictionalized some other concepts also in his literature. He wrote, “The Time Machine” earlier, in which he mentioned the fantasy of travelling across the time.
Such fictions provided an edited version of Victorian Era, which became popular among the masses in the modern age, and impacted their lifestyle in various ways. Steampunk fashion clothing is the one of the best instances of this influence. This fashion is highly influenced on the Hollywood films based on the punk themes. Many of these films are based on the Victorian fiction literature. Innovation of the contemporary dress sense can also be witnessed on the punk outfits.
There are a number of websites where you can find the steampunk and Victorian style clothing. We also provide the costumes for women on our site Steampunk Dressing.
My name is Mark Steve. I am a Historian, researcher and writer. I regularly write articles, reviews on books and novels on Historical topics related to Medieval, Renaissance, Pirate, Gothic & Steampunk themes. If you want to know more about me and my blog, see my blog: Steampunk Dressing and Renaissance Outfits.