Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction literature that uses the aesthetics and technology from 19th-century industrial times. At its core, it maintains the idea that science and technology never developed beyond steam-powered energy. Steampunk can take place either in present day or in the 19th century.
The term steampunk originates from the 1980s as a variant of cyberpunk, though some literature written in the 1960s and 1970s is now considered influential to the genre. Science fiction author K.W. Jeter first used the word steampunk as a way to categorize works by not only himself, but also James Blaylock and Tim Powers.