• So what is this?: Well like the title suggests this is initial planning faze for a timeline I've had in the back of my head for nearly a year now.

    What's it about?: The main theme is about alternate technological development and how the earlier development of certain technologies would effect society. Both for the better, such as earlier breakthroughs in medicine and the worse, with the colonial powers having a bigger technological advantage.

    Alongside various periods mirror to one degree or another both how they viewed the future in OTL and the retro future punk interpretations of modern day. Though most of the technology will be more or possible with RL physics and material sciences. Having been spawned from an old AHC about an actual wild-wild-west.

    (So don't expect any sentient steampunk robots firing nuclear eye beams at a space kaiju.... as cool as that would be! :biggrin: )

    What can we expect?: Well this timeline will lean a bit more towards the Rule Of Cool, with steampunk biker outlaws in the Twilight of the Old West. For a general comparison where what-madness is this? timeline is a surrealist dystopia with heavy Lovecraftian undertones. This timeline will lean more towards retrofuturism and Two Fisted Tales, at first. Before it gradually moves to more more modern tone as the decades pass in universe. (Though expect plenty nods to the crazier events in history [looking at you Emu War) and references of everything from Frankenstein to Ghost in the Shell)

    Expect the world going from this.

    To this
    Steampunk in General
  • The Steampunk genre first appearing in William Gibson's The Difference Engine in 1990, as a subset of the cyberpunk genre. Where more modern issues and technological innovations are typically applied to the time period of the 19th century. Usually being centered around Victorian England and the British Empire or occasionally with the CattlePunk subgenre the Wild West. Though in retrospect the science fiction novels of the period, such as those by HG Wells and Jules Verne can be considered steampunk. Alongside the likes of the

    In general steampunk can range from airships and Steam wagon's being common place in Victorian London. To the British Empire launching a full scale invasion of Mars with steampunk nuclear powered starships. Fighting War of the Worlds Martians with giant steam powered mech's with Tesla-esque lighting guns. [1]

    Now the question is what butterflies would be necessary to ensure that the later half of the 19th century at least, is as steampunk as possible. Without it going full on ASB and keeping the technology at least plausible. I said the later half since it would take time for whatever Point of Divergence is responsible to take full form and it would take time for various technologies to fully develop.

    Also we got to remember what games like Civilization and popular media would have you believe. Technology DOES NOT advance in straight pre determined levels of development. Many innovations were possible decades even centuries before they were actually invented and some discoveries were by accident. Afterall tribes in Africa were able to skip from from the stone age directly to the Iron Age. While in the New World the Aztecs a people who were still heavily stone Age and with no pack animal, were able to build one of the most sophisticated cities on Earth. To the point that the Spanish Conquistadors, a people with gunpowder weaponry, advanced metallurgy and trans oceanic ships were in awe of it when they first laid eyes on it. Same for the Inca who were able to build a sprawling empire, spanning the western coast of South America with a sophisticated road network and bureaucracy.

    Some possible pieces of Steampunk technology that are actually possible.
    1. Steam Cars: The first drivable Steam car was actually built in late 18th century France by the inventor Nicolas Joseph_Cugnot. Though sadly it didn't really go anywhere with the outbreak of the French Revolution. Though they wouldn't become popular until the start of 20th century with the development of the Steam wagon. Even after the rise of the Internal Combustion Engine you still saw the steam car being manufactured by the likes Doble. Some of who's designs proved surprisingly sophisticated. There was even a renewed interest in 1968 with several prototype cars.
    2. Airships: A no brainer for any steampunk setting, with the 19th century having been fascinated by lighter than air flight. A number of airship designs were drawn up (some more practical than others) in this time period. One of the more noticeable of which were those by the American Inventor rufus-porter and his proposed idea for an internal frame made from spruce. Interestingly enough the Schütte-Lanze_airships of Imperial Germany did use plywood frames over aluminum alloys. Which would be cheaper with O TL 19th century metallurgy.
    3. Mechanical Computers: The first mechanism computer was actually built in the form of the Antikythera mechanism. While in the Victorian Era the British Mathematician Charles Babbage did construct both the Difference & Analytical Engine's, though sadly neither were completed. You could even theoretically have some type of proto internet or intranet with the use of telegraph networks.
    4. Radio: While Radio wasn't invented till near the end of the 19th century. The idea of wireless communications was experimented with long before then. With Crystal radio's being relatively easy to manufacture.
    5. Steam Planes: While we're all familiar with the internal combustion airplanes there were a number of attempted steam planes. With even the inventor of the machine gun Hiram Stevens Maxim coming up with his own design. Though the most successful design was actually from the 1930's. With the construction of the Besler Steam Plane using technology from the Doble steam car company.

    [1] Awesome but EXTREMELY ASB