What if the cataclysmic end of the dinosaur’s reign never happened? Conversely, what if some benevolent beings came by in time to evacuate them? On the one hand, intelligent reptiles may have evolved to compete and converse with us. On the other hand conquerors from another world might attack from the saddles of their domesticated Tyrannosaurus Rex.
These wild examples of steampunk’s allure only scratch the surface of impossibilities made possible with the tiniest nudge in our timeline. Imagining exotic alternatives frees and opens our minds to new concepts and offers an ‘outside, looking in’ perspective on our own reality.
And also look back at all the times scientists and learned men had to recant their so-called truths. How many men bore the label ‘heretic’ for wild beliefs about the earth, our solar system, and the origins of man? Maybe we’re one exciting discovery away from finding a hidden civilization within our grasp or under our very noses.
My favorite ‘what-if’ I save for last; the adventures hidden from history. It’s not that events unfolded differently, it’s not an imagined alternate history; it’s the kind of story born of secrets and conspiracies kept from the annuls of history for our own benefit, or someone cabal’s nefarious gain. These are the reasonably believable, hardly improvable tales of narrowly averted disasters and their unknown heroes.
Doctor Who delves into this common lovely thread between his series and the steampunk genre, that and a dozen other reasons keep me enthralled.
I love these types enticing adventures, waiting to be discovered, lurking in the shadows of our more ordinary lives. That last bit, most of all tickles my fancy, my life colliding with discovery and adventure; our world turned upside down by events hidden in plain sight.
So let your imagination expand and your heart soar… and check the shadows for T-Rex cavalry.