back to article IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK

Big Blue wants to show off its ability to chew on Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to predict the next big mainstream fashion: steampunk. So now you know what your kids will want for presents this year: don't be surprised if they want to suddenly build dirigibles instead of rockets and ask for a steam-powered, gear-driven …

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  1. g e

    Glaring omission

    Bioshock.

    That is all.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Glaring omission

      The Chaos Engine, Shirley?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Glaring omission

        Yep, definitely The Chaos Engine from the Bitmap Brothers (of the age that bought you Sensible Software, Team 17, some of Codemaster's best efforts, Psygnosis ditto, Delphine, Bullfrog...)

        William Gibson is also an influence on Steampunk, as is some Japanese anime such as Steamboy

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboy

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Glaring omission

      I think Bioshock would be more accurately considered to be dieselpunk, given the Art Deco stylings and early-mid 20th Century setting.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        @Loyal Commenter

        Did...did you just hipster steampunk?

        I need a lie down...

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: @Loyal Commenter

          Did...did you just hipster steampunk?

          Steampunk was already hipstered. It was hipstered before it was cool.

          Slightly more seriously, I think IBM's sentiment analysis needs its Markov models re-trained. Steampunk went "mainstream", at least in the US, years ago. It's shown up in mainstream TV shows (as an object of mild derision, like Renaissance Faires and the like), and as a quick browse of Regretsy's "This is not steampunk" category demonstrates, people are using the label to peddle all sorts of crap.

          It'll probably be recycled into "retro" before 2020.

    3. Pat 4

      Re: Glaring omission

      The Difference Engine

      1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

        Re: Glaring omission

        The Mutant Chronicles

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0490181/

    4. Minophis
      Thumb Up

      Re: Glaring omission

      The Diamond Age?

    5. Nightkiller

      Re: Glaring omission

      Time after Time (1979) with Malcom McDowell and David Warner

  2. FartingHippo
    Boffin

    So, those new airships...

    It's all starting to make sense now. Next up, EMP-resistant clockwork battle-droids.

    The icon is wearing aviator goggles, natch.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: So, those new airships...

      The aim is to make sure you wind them all up before the other guy?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: So, those new airships...

        >The aim is to make sure you wind them all up before the other guy?

        The Golden Army from Hellboy 2...

  3. wowfood

    pfft

    the day I'm ahead of the trend is the day the world blows up. I've been a fan of steampunk for god knows how long. Also dieselpunk.

    Although I do look forward to finally being able to buy some steampunk items without going "Bugger off, I'm not paying £80 for THAT!" (in reference to a 'replica' lever which had no function whatsoever)

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: pfft

      *slow clap*

      Amazing prediction IBM.

      Next they'll be telling us Abney Park are going to make some music about it all.

      1. Helldesk Dogsbody
        Thumb Up

        @Psyx

        Your marvellous taste in music certainly deserves more than one upvote but I'm afraid that's all I'm allowed

        1. Psyx
          Pint

          Re: @Psyx

          There are people who *haven't* heard of Abney Park?

          Next you'll be telling me that the kids haven't heard of Wolfsheim and the Cruxshadows!

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: @Psyx

            Or Steam Powered Giraffe...

    2. Psyx
      Alert

      Re: pfft

      "buy some steampunk items without going "Bugger off, I'm not paying £80 for THAT!""

      Great: I can buy some mass-produced plastic shite as owned by four thousand other people, instead of grossly undervaluing the efforts of someone developing, designing and making something by hand!

      Damn all those hobbyists: They should totally work for the same amount as someone in a sweatshop. /sarcasm.

  4. EddieD

    And after the mass market has made a quick buck

    ...the fad will vanish underground again...

    "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    we're completely over it now

    Not while Girl Genius is still online, we're not!

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: we're completely over it now

      Is it just me, or has it been going around in a climactic battle spiral for the past couple of weeks and slowly not getting anywhere in particular? It's as if it's run out of steam, or perhaps the Foglios are stoking the boiler ready for something special...... ?

      1. Anonymous Bosch

        Re: we're completely over it now

        The Foglios are stuck in a time warp. They have been stuck in "Adventure with Boris" since about October. But we shouldn't complain, they do this in their spare time from working as rocket surgeons.....

      2. Isendel Steel
        Terminator

        Re: we're completely over it now

        I think "it" might just be waking up....

      3. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: we're completely over it now

        Girl Genius- The story that's going nowhere and taking forever to get there.

  6. S4qFBxkFFg
    Meh

    I might be too much of an old fart, but this all looks horrendously contrived, in an "I glue brass gears to Victorian stuff, I are steampunk!" way.

    Not there really was any "real" steampunk, but it would be nice if there was a little bit more thought to it all.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      "this all looks horrendously contrived"

      Yep - that's Steampunk.

      The rest of the world has already moved on to Seapunk (see above) and Space Goth - which are also contrived, but at least they're not also deadly dull.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        "The rest of the world has already moved on to Seapunk (see above) and Space Goth - which are also contrived, but at least they're not also deadly dull."

        Bye-bye hipsters. Don't hurry back.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          @ Loyal Commenter - SUPERB!

          That YouTube link- excellent!

          He's channelling Viv Stanshall!

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      @S4qFBxkFFg

      Agreed, but some people do get it aesthetically right and functional, like this telescope, which I think you might appreciate.

      1. Naughtyhorse
        Thumb Up

        Re: @S4qFBxkFFg

        befucks!

        im in love

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

    Wasn't Steampunk over once William Gibson and Bruce Sterling had issued the caleodoscopic "Difference Engine"?

    ...and that Microsoft guy had his own Difference Engine delivered to his living room?

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

      That's what I thought too. However I think we are coming into the 'Gangnam Style' phase of Steampunk; The rest of us can just sit back and say, "yeah I was into that back when it was still cool"

      1. Silverburn
        Coat

        Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

        Gangnampunk FTW!

        Steam-powered brass robots doing "that dance".

        Nooooooooooooo.....

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_NqVd5Wqv0

          Whitby Gothic Style!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

      I'm afraid I'm going to have to come right out and say it - I thought The Difference Engine was a bit shit.

      I know I should have loved it, and the techy bits were interesting, but the rest of it felt like there was a good story in there somewhere, it just couldn't find its way out. Instead it was buried by tedious characters and sub-par writing.

      I feel bad admitting it as everyone tells me it was brilliant, but no, it was just... a bit shit. Can anyone recommend any steampunk books which actually do live up to the hype? Boneshaker is already on my 'to read' list.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

        You could try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Ice ... I don't know if its any good, but Stephen Baxter is usually okayish.

        I found it by scanning through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_alternate_history_fiction

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

          Anti-Ice is not particularly hot compared to Difference Engine, really. The plot device of "frozen stuff that becomes antimatter when thawed" is a bit contrived. It sure helps to heat boilers though.

          YMMV.

          Dr. Gunn's Organic History Supplement for The Difference Engine, a novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. May also be administered as Dr. Gunn's Patented History Restorer.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

            Oh well. Give me Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut then.

      2. Don Jefe

        Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

        I agree. The Difference Engine was shit. I was quite disappointed.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't recognise actresses in the cinema, but...

    Am I imagining things, or is that Faye Reagan in the costume to the right of the one linked?

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: I don't recognise actresses in the cinema, but...

      While it looks quite like her, I don't think it is. Probably just some random redhead.

      1. Crisp Silver badge

        Re: I don't recognise actresses in the cinema, but...

        On closer inspection. No. Definitely not.

        http://www.partycity.com/product/steampunk+vickey+and+steampunk+jack+couples+costumes.do?sortby=ourPicks&size=all&from=Search&navSet=steampunk

  9. ukgnome Silver badge
    Holmes

    It had better not, currently I am the only person in the building that has a bow tie and a pocket watch. If this becomes mainstream I will lose my erm appeal.

    <-------that's not a pipe, it's a Smith and Hawkins synergist force insufflater.

    1. Natalie Gritpants

      Remember people: A bow tie is a cry for help.

      Just like orange hair.

  10. Crisp Silver badge

    Steampunk is back again?

    Awesome. Brass cogs for everyone!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate Steampunk.

    There's nothing punk about it (and nothing steam either, really*) . The so called Steampunks spend all their time cos-playing aristos and posh adventurers.

    * Just one steampunk item of clothing that does something rather than having all those cogs randomly stuck on it, is that too much to ask? Maybe a clockwork fascinator?

    1. AbortRetryFail

      Re: I hate Steampunk.

      There never has been anything "punk" about it. It stems from William Gibson's cyberpunk stories, and the ?-punk name just kind of went from here. Hence steampunk, dieselpunk, biopunk, <insert name here>punk, etc.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: I hate Steampunk.

      Some of the most interesting and intelligent people I know are fellow steampunks. There is a world of difference between sticking cogs on something and what steampunk actually is.

      For example, this:

      http://www.crabfu.com/steamtoys/r2s2/

      Until you manage to produce something equally awesome, I think that maybe you are not in a position to trivialise other people's hobbies.

      I believe the saying is, "haters gonna hate."

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