One comment on “The Diesel Powered Podcast – Is Dieselpunk Retrofuturism? Roundtable 75

  1. Agree with Larry – I nearly fell off my chair when I heard Charles defining Indiana Jones as retro-futurism! If that is, then almost anything that has “an element of wonder” is, which makes the definition effectively meaningless. I know that you guys thought Larry was being pedantic, but words have to have fixed meanings, otherwise they don’t mean anything.

    Charles is right that sci-fi and fantasy have to have both wonder and believability, but just because a film has wonder, doesn’t make it futurism. If you want to define ‘retro-futurism’ as meaning something other than a combination of ‘retro’ and ‘futurism’ then why not use another word? Perhaps ‘wonderment’…

    This discussion was quite an eye-opener for me, as I have always thought that ‘retro-futurism’ was pretty well defined as “a vision of the future that people of the past might have had, but didn’t.” So Flash Gordon produced in the 1940s is not retro-futurism (it is just futurism, as seen at that time) but if you made that show for the first time now, then it would be.

    For me, dieselpunk is first and foremost an aesthetic and so not all dieselpunk is retro-futurism and not all retro-futurism is dieselpunk – but dieselpunk can (and often does) have retro-futuristic elements.

    Great conversation though!! Thanks!!!

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