What is “Sailpunk”

Loosely "Sailpunk" refers to a fantastical vision of the golden age of sail and wind powered technology (16th century to the start of the age of steam). Sailpunk also incorporates land based wind technology, larger maritime history and mythology, and of course clockwork as John Harrison's marine chronometer made the science of navigating and knowing longitude possible. Think pirates, buccaneers and adventurers with a global and scientific attitude; the age of enlightenment seen through the lens of the 21st century.

When writing fiction or creating costumes in the genre, references include Miguel de Cervantes "Don Quixote", Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", Voltaire's "Candide, ou l'Optimisme", E. T. A. Hoffmann's "The Sandman", Anne Golon's "Angelique" series and a multitude of swashbuckling pulp romances and movies. Tales should pursue a tone of idealistic anarchy where the real monsters are humans and the classic monsters of the deep are gods with themes about working in harmony with nature and the environment. In my own writing there will be an ambivalence towards colonialism, and colonialist attitudes of the historical era. While the historical era may have been dominated by white men, Sailpunk is truly egalitarian and embraces stories of indigenous peoples from all over the world telling tales that may shake or thrill the descendents of colonials like myself.

But of course, as it is a fantasy, Sailpunk is not to be taken seriously. Think of it as riffing on a theme of sails, scales, time, tide and tentacles.

To join in with the fun check out the Sailpunk group on Facebook


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