Vanilla is a product of Lussumo:Documentation and Support.
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I am becoming annoyed by the current glut of Steampunk that is being foisted on the SF-reading public via the likes of Tor.com and io9.It's not that I actively dislike steampunk, and indeed I have fond memories of the likes of K. W. Jeter's "Infernal Devices", Tim Powers' "The Anubis Gates", the works of James Blaylock, and other features of the 1980s steampunk scene. I don't have that much to say against the aesthetic and costumery other than, gosh, that must be rather hot and hard to perambulate in. (I will confess to being a big fan of Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius.) It's just that there's too damn much of it about right now, and furthermore, it's in danger of vanishing up its own arse due to second artist effect. (The first artist sees a landscape and paints what they see; the second artist sees the first artist's work and paints that, instead of a real landscape.)
I do think steampunk suffers from second artist.
Shit, what doesn't?
To my mind, the second artist effect occurs when the second artist sees a painted landscape and paints from it without looking at the original landscape. That gets very abstract in the case of steampunk, but the general idea remains, I think. Has the author of the derivative work actually "seen" the ideas which inspire the aesthetic?