Dilute-gas Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) have evolved into a powerful tool to model complex phenomena from diverse fields including condensed matter physics, quantum optics, quantum information, nonlinear dynamics, etc. Such quantum analog simulations are currently attracting great interest due to the rich toolbox available for the manipulation of BECs. In the context of simulating condensed matter phenomena, one apparent difficulty is that the atoms in a BEC are charge neutral, while for condensed matter phenomena the interaction of charged particles with electric or magnetic fields often plays a key role. This difficulty can be overcome by engineering artificial gauge fields in BECs, which also allow for the implementation of spin-orbit coupling. In this talk I will present techniques that we are using for the generation of artificial gauge fields and spin-orbit coupling. I will highlight key results obtained by applying these techniques to problems from condensed-matter physics and nonlinear dynamics. For example, we have generated dispersion relations featuring a roton-like minimum and a region of negative effective mass, leading to peculiar quantum hydrodynamic behavior.