What began in the late 1980s as an underground community of science fiction and fantasy aficionados with a fetish for Victoriana now pervades almost every aspect of popular culture from music and movies to comics and computer games. Written by one of the godfathers of steampunk, this cultural history includes exclusive interviews with key figures including Cherie Priest, Mark Hodder, Kris Kukski, Chaz Kemp, Professor Elemental, and Abney Park. This account demonstrates that steampunk is much more than a retro-futuristic fashion statement or a subgenre of science fiction. On the surface its adherents profess a penchant for neo-Victorian fashion, fanciful clockwork accessories, and have a desire to live in an alternative reality inhabited by airships and eccentric inventions. But the literature, art, music, and movies of this burgeoning community offer a radical and irreverent reimagining of society the way it might have evolved had history taken a sharp detour prior to the industrial revolution giving us a world without electricity, the infernal (sic) combustion engine, and the technology that we take for granted today. The world of steampunk as explored here is the elegant gas lit world of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, of Michael Moorcock and their literary antecedents for whom the digital age never dawned.