The word 'steampunk' has its origins in the 1980s with a letter to Locus Magazine from science fiction author K. W. Jeter. The writer was attempting to find an accurate description of works by himself (Morlock Night), Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates), and James Blaylock (Homunculus).
Since then, starting as a purely literary genre, the steampunk movement has now seeped into almost every aspect of popular culture, whether you've yet to notice or not.
Steampunk works are typically set in an alternative history of the 19th century, where British Victorian steam power collides with retro-futuristic inventions, while still possessing the elegance many would associate with the period. Now, assuming a life outside of the printed page, steampunk can be found in modern music with bands such as Abney Park, television and fashion.
The steampunk phenomenon has made its way into gaming culture in recent years, with multiplatform titles such as Syberia 3 and The Order: 1886 having earned rave reviews from steampunk enthusiasts and the wider gaming public alike.
Whovians will recognise steampunk influences throughout the history of Doctor Who. During the 2005 revival of the series, the TARDIS console featured a Victorian typewriter, gramophone and an array of anachronistic objects. In fact, multiple stories have seen steampunk influences vividly brought to life, for example during The Evil of the Daleks (1966), wherein Victorian scientists invent a time travel device.
However, it is fashion that seems to have caught the public's attention and now sees thousands of fans every year attend conventions and gatherings donning their finest steampunk creations. In 2013, IBM declared steampunk fashion the next big thing and now sees the style prominently featured in many major brands' collections.
However, in 2006 Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana featured steampunk designs in their Ready-To-Wear Fall collection, attracting huge interest from around the globe in the movement - not only from keen cosplayers but the mainstream media.
Luckily for those based in the UK, London has long been an epicentre of steampunk and the go-to destination for anyone looking to take part in the numerous events organised by fans. The Surrey Steampunk Convivial, held in New Malden, southwestern London takes place three times a year and has previously spanned three boroughs and five venues.
Not only has this seen thousands flock to the event, but news agencies such as the BBC and Sky have all covered steampunk as it grew from its infancy to the fully grown cultural movement that it is now. At the London event, those that had gathered at the celebration of all things steampunk were interviewed by comedian and former Never Mind the Buzzcocks team captain Phil Jupitus for a documentary on BBC Radio 4 and filmed by the BBC World Service.
2018 promises to be a big year for steampunk and is expected to continue its rise in popularity through the likes of literature, music, film and fashion. MCM London Comic Con, held twice yearly, is likely to boast a large contingent of steampunk fans and cosplayers, representing the movement with typical eye-catching style and unique appearances, combining Victorian class with fancy futuristic inventions.
From its humble origins in an article by K. W. Jeter to the rapidly expanding group of ardent fans it has now, expects to be seeing a lot more of steampunk.