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Steampunk and Dieselpunk. Can you love them both?

To paraphrase Shakespeare, two houses, both alike in dignity: Steampunk and Dieselpunk.

Can you love them both? Is one a load of hot air? Is the other just a murky, filthy mess?

Unlike the Montague and Capulets in Romeo & Juliet, there’s probably no need to choose a side. The retro-futuristic worlds—we can add cyber-, atom-, hydraulic- and a litany of other punks in here—help complement and define each other.

Steampunk is definitely the more well-known sibling of the two. But like any family, it’s the differences that make things interesting.

While those differences can get blurry, some are pretty clear. A principal delineation is the fuel which powers the technology: steampunk thrives off the back of the seemingly ‘magic’ power of a gas produced from coal; dieselpunk utilises a thick petroleum liquid to bring its society alive.

Timeline is the other main anchor. Steampunk’s political sphere is situated in the Victorian era in which democractic ideals tussle against tradition and monarchy. Optimism abounds as a new world of technology and human inventiveness hints at a utopic future.

Dieselpunk shifts things forward to a more industrialized future where powerful nations, their citizens stitched together through modern mass-communication technology, are on the verge of trading world-ending blows. Fear abounds and hope springs eternal as democracy clashes with facism.

From those two factors, fuel and historical timeline, flows a world of other differences in fashion, architecture, recreation, technology and...the list goes on.

Unlike the people who live in steampunk or dieselpunk worlds, we have the luxury of dipping into whichever one suits our mood. With Metropius, we hope you can delve into the rich world of dieselpunk more deeply than ever.

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