If your looking to dabble in an alternative subculture, I wouldn’t recommend the Steampunk community. If you are anything like me, Steampunk started out as an interest and my interest grew until it absorbed all my ‘free’ time. It’s taken over all my other hobbies, and a large part of my writing career. I started by wading in the shallows, and now I am too deep to ever find my way out.
It started so innocuously. I like Jules Verne. I like H G Wells. I had read ‘A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!’ and enjoyed it immensely. I had made friends with this lovely gentleman, Ged Maybury, on Facebook, and was reading updated snippets of his novel online. I was very taken with his style, and started hunting down more of this steam punk, in literature and online. The more I saw of it, the better I liked it.
The aesthetic was very appealing. Who couldn’t like the Neo-Victorian and Neo-Edwardian glamour? I had always loved reading science reference books, the history of science & technology, and Science Fiction, and the Steampunk was a melding of all three of my interests. Then I bought my first pair of goggles, and we can safely assume I was a goner at that point.
Since then, I’ve watched some marvellous movies, and some dreadful ones, with Steampunk themes and genres markers. I’ve read Steampunk-genre books. I’ve attempted to modify secondhand clothes into a Steampunk wardrobe. I’ve taken part in Steampunk-themed events. Meanwhile, friends have been made, fun has been had, and I’ve experimented with the restrictions of the Steampunk literary genre and learnt a great deal.
So … before you dip your toe, be warned. Steampunk is less of a hobby and more of a lifestyle.