Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cyberpunk and its derivatives

I was contemplating submitting a short story to a recent call and was surprised to see in the listing: acceptable genres ____punk (steam-, diesel-, cyber-, etc).  I knew about cyberpunk and steampunk, but dieselpunk?

This prompted a trip to Wikipedia where I found out that my punk knowledge was sadly behind the times.  These days there is:
  • Cyberpunk - encompassing a technologically advanced dystopia and the loners who inhabit it
  • Steampunk - a sort of Jules Verne, victoriana, steam-powered technological world
  • Dieselpunk (or Decopunk) - set between WWI and WWII, it embraces the Art Deco aesthetic and includes pulp magazines, film noir, and movie serials
  • Biopunk - biotechnology on the rampage - not as many computers as cyberpunk, more genetic enhancements
  • Nanopunk - similar to Biopunk but with nano machines
  • Splatterpunk - a horror genre with...well, lots of splattering
  • Stonepunk - Stone Age technological wonders, in other words, they use the materials of the stone age to make technology we'd see today - like the technology you see in the Flintstones
  • Clockpunk - similar to Steampunk but relying on more clockwork instead of steam and set in the Middle Ages
  • Teslapunk - similar to Steampunk but set in the 19th and early 20th centuries when Nikola Tesla was alive
  • Atompunk - predigital 20th century when the early space race and communism were the big news of the day
  • Nowpunk - contemporary hacking adventures
  • Elfpunk - fairies and elves transplanted from mythology into urban fantasy settings
  • Mythpunk - mythological creatures plus postmodern fantasy elements
Of course, I don't see mine.  My story is probably going to land somewhere between Steampunk and Teslapunk. I like to think of it as Wild Wild West punk after the old television series and the outrageous technology they had surfacing in the Old West.  After all, what's better than Steampunk and Cowboys?

(photo by SoulStealer.co.uk)

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