Steampunk and Cyberpunk: the differences

Cyberpunk and Steampunk are both captivating sub-genres in science fiction related to technology and progress.

While both are alternative worlds with futuristic elements rooted in the world of fiction, the difference lies in the discipline and where they draw inspiration. Cyberpunk is set much further into the future, while Steampunk has a historical setting and focuses mainly on a Victorian look.

Steampunk combines historical elements with old-school technological features inspired by sci-fi, while Cyberpunk is a futuristic world dominated by computer technology. Let's take a closer look at what makes them different.

The Cyberpunk world

cyberpunk world

Cyberpunk is heavily influenced by the New Wave science fiction movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This sub-genre of science fiction is based on technological innovations far from the modern Internet era. Cyberpunk's present, past, and future are inextricably linked in an oppressive lawless society controlled by computers and artificial intelligence. Cyberpunk highlights computers, robots and presents a dystopian society dominated by technology.

Differences between Steampunk and Cyberpunk

steampunk world

Let's recall the principles of Steampunk.
Steampunk is a sub-genre based on the technological innovations of an alternative world inspired by Victorian-era technology. It is inspired by 19th-century authors such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, and Mary Shelley. Steampunk fashion is based on a Victorian-inspired look, with Victorian-era clothing such as top hats, corsets, vests, pocket watches, goggles. It often highlights steam engines rather than advanced technology. Cyberpunk fashion is all about urban fashion mixed with futuristic makeover. It often features a base of dark colors, or full black outfits. The most common clothes are trench coats, vinyl pants, and accessories such as dark sunglasses.

The representation of technology in Steampunk and Cyberpunk worlds

cyberpunk robot

Technology is an integral part of Cyberpunk which separates the sub-genre from conventional science fiction. Cyberpunk focuses heavily on high-tech features, advanced technology, and scientific achievements. It deals with technologies that don't exist yet, like cybernetics and advanced artificial intelligence.
Steampunk is a fusion of technology and aesthetics inspired by 19th-century steam engines. Technologies often displayed are airships, steam cars, analog computers, etc. It is based on the idea that the era of steam technology continues. In short, Steampunk deals with obsolete technology.

There are many "Punk" sub-genres. If you want to enrich your knowledge about these themes, we invite you to read our article about Clockpunk, another faschinating universe.

We hope that this article hepled you! 

If you want to see what Steampunk clothing looks like, we invite you to visit our Steampunk store.

victorian clothes

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