Difference Between Steampunk and Cyberpunk

Speaking of the steampunk and cyberpunk, many people may found them very much alike. This article will talk about the differences between them.

Firstly, let’s see the concepts for them.
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a future setting that tends to focus on society as “high tech low life” featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as information technology and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order,

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.

From the concept aspects, the biggest difference is that steampunk describes the history, while cyberpunk describes the future. Two of them belong to the genre of science fiction, therefore the key point for both is the science, but in the meantime, they hold different attitudes towards the science.

Steampunk was originally started form fantasy literature, and incorporate into science literature. The story usually starts from history in Victorian Ages or Industrial revolution. In story aspects, steampunk tends to emphasize the conflicts between new and old culture, production mode and social structure, also people’s gratitude and resentments in the Great social changes. Steampunk is more favored by young people who longs for revolution, advocates science and machinery, who is keen on individualistic heroism. However cyberpunk is the opposite sides of steampunk whose appearance came from human’s fear for science. In the final analysis, it is the fear for the orientation of science development and result. Due to the unknown fear is widely existed in the human, it is one of the reasons that it can be more accepted by public cultural market.

Steampunk and Cyberpunk

After the reading the instruction above, you have any thoughts for the difference between them?


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