Says Charlie Stross: "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.)"
The rest of the article is here: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/10/the-hard-edge-of-empire.html
What do we think? Has our genre crossed over into the mimicry of the second artist effect? Is that why it's growing in popularity?