I love steampunk of course but it seems like that’s the only era that gets retrofuturistic makeovers in fiction. The Victorian era is interesting but when we have the whole scope of history in front of us, I feel like we should expand our imaginations!

  1. Byzantine!punk: after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire began its ascension and expansion. Byzantine art, culture, and aesthetics are fascinating & underrepresented in worldbuilding!
  2. Moorish!punk: Al-Andalus was a glittering center of light and learning in Medieval Europe; the Moors ruled the Iberian Peninsula & imparted their architectural style that gave us wonders like the Alhambra. A Moorish version of Europe, of the future, is something I would read countless books about tbh.
  3. Venetian!punk: submerged cities, canals, an empire built on trade, saints, cathedrals, and more. Like “Casanova” (the Heath Ledger movie I can’t help but love) but with retrofuturistic innovations…so much possibility here!
  4. Baroque!punk: after the Renaissance transformed Europe, after the Protestant Reformation began, Baroque emerged as an emotional style of art, architecture, drama, and culture that attempted to stem the stern tide of Protestantism. Bernini is one of the most well-known Baroque sculptors…that aesthetic would be fascinating to explore in a fantasy setting!!
  5. Impressionism!punk: granted I’m not quite sure how you’d world build with this, but the dreamy, near-abstract aesthetics of Impressionism deserve more attention in fantasy

What sort of aesthetics or historical periods would you like to see more of in fantasy?



  1. I’m stupidly obsessed with the 14 to 1600s in England – I would love a fantasy book written about my favourite queen, Elizabeth Woodville (wife of King Edward IV) as she was accused of being a witch & I would love to see an experienced fantasy writer really bring that rumour to life!


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