I think the best way to understand the term Neo-Vicwardian Retro-Futurism is to break it down into its component parts.
Neo: ‘neo’ is a prefix from the ancient Greek word for ‘young’; a new or revived form of.
Vicwardian: a portmanteau word of Victorian and Edwardian, to cover the beginnings of the Industrial Era. The Industrial Era occurred at different times all over the world.
Retro: imitative of a style or fashion from the recent past.
The term retro has been in use since the 1970s to describe new artefacts that self-consciously refer to particular modes, motifs, techniques, and materials of the past. – Wikipedia
Futurism: concerned with events and trends of the future, or which anticipate the future;
Retrofuturism (adjective retrofuturistic or retrofuture) is a trend in the creative arts showing the influence of depictions of the future produced in an earlier era. Characterized by a blend of old-fashioned retro styles with futuristic technology, retrofuturism explores the themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. Primarily reflected in artistic creations and modified technologies that realize the imagined artifacts of its parallel reality, retrofuturism has also manifested in the worlds of fashion, architecture, design, music, literature, film, and video games. – Wikipedia
Does this clear up some of the confusion? No?
The Victorian and Edwardian eras didn’t have just one fashion style. Just like now, fashions changed, and different parts of the world had different fashion trends. What was fashionable clothing in London wouldn’t have been considered in Paris, Moscow or New York, and would certainly have been too hot for Sydney or Auckland. So the Steampunk Aesthetic doesn’t have just one style to draw from, but a whole century’s worth of fashions. The same deal goes for the literary genre … you just aren’t limited to late 19th century British writing styles!
In the Steampunk Literary Genre:
- Their settings are industrial
- They tend to mimic Victorian literary style and language
- Many incorporate ‘fantasy’ elements like magic
- Mash-ups are a popular literary device
- They involve scientific innovation as a major plot point
- There will be a major character who is a scientist or inventor
- They tend to utilize Victorian notables as characters (Queen Victoria)
- They may ‘borrow’ characters and settings from Victorian and Edwardian fiction (Sherlock Holmes)