From its early beginnings in the 1980 s, Steampunk has evolved from a little-known sub-genre of science fiction into a cultural phenomenon. As a literary tradition, it pays homage to the worlds envisioned by writers like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, where anachronistic machines shape human destiny in steam-powered visions of alternate realities. As a design aesthetic, it is heavily influenced by surrealism and cyberpunk. Steampunk combines the historical with the futuristic, mingling straight-laced Victorian-era sensibilities with space-age technology. Think red velvet curtains and mahogany paneling and then add a heavy sprinkling of spy gadgets and time travel.