Larry Nolen escreve sobre a primeira colectânea de contos brasileiros Steampunk:
Steampunk has exploded in popularity over the past decade. From anthologies such as 2008’s reprint anthology Steampunk, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (with a second volume set to be released in the next year) and the original anthology Extraordinary Engines (2008, edited by Nick Gevers) to steampunk-inspired garments, typewriters, computers, and other elements that have made steampunk as much a fashion as a literary subgenre, steampunk is huge. There is something about the ethos behind the images. Perhaps inspired by equal parts Jules Verne, H.G.Wells, Thomas Edison, the Age of Imperialism, steam-based transportation, and perhaps a violent reaction to the confusion and horrors of the 20th century, there is something intriguing about the notion of “going retro” and creating a sort of alternative past.
This is not to say that practitioners of steampunk fashion and steampunk literature view the Age of Steam (1775-1914, according to some historians) as a pure, untainted golden age. If anything, the contradictions inherent in the era’s social and political structures provide a sense of tension, some of which exploded into the devastating wars of the 20th century, where mechanized warfare inspired new horrors on the battlefields of Europe, Africa, and Asia (and to a lesser extent, the Americas and Australia). It was an age in which Marx and Engels gave a voice and direction to the frustrations of the emerging industrial working classes across the globe; it was a time which the abhorrent practice of chattel slavery gave its death rattles in the United States and Brazil; it was perhaps, as Dickens described 1789-1794 France, both the best and worst of times.These elements combine to create narrative possibilities that touch upon shared historical and scientific achievements. In many senses, steampunk is the one of the first truly “international” subgenres of speculative fiction, as its appeal quickly spread from one country to the next, without a single country or language region dominating the literary landscape. In the past twenty years or so, ever since K.W. Jeter’s use of the term “steampunk” in a 1987 letter to Locus to describe this nascent movement, steampunk literary and fashion circles have sprung up in cities all across the globe. It truly is an international movement, one that adapts to fit the needs of each country’s literary scenes.
This certainly was the case with the release this summer in Brazil of Steampunk: Histórias de um Passado Extraordinário (Steampunk: Stories of an Extraordinary Past would be a good English translation of the title). Edited by Gianpaolo Celli and published by the São Paulo publisher Tarja, this original anthology of nine stories written by several of Brazil’s leading SF writers serves to highlight not just Brazilian interpretations of what constitutes “steampunk,” but also that this emerging world power has the potential in the next few decades, as linguistic and trade barriers continue to fall, to play a larger role in the rapidly-growing global SF conversation.
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