A Whole Lot Of Punks
You’ve heard of Steampunk right? If you visit this blog or see any of my posts on various blogs you’ve definitely seen the term pretty often. But why Steampunk? What the heck is Steampunk? What an odd label right? The thing is there are a lot of other “punks” in the world just under the radar that you may not know about.
I often have to explain what Steampunk is to readers. This isn’t a problem, I quite enjoy it but what happens when you introduce a bunch of other punks into the world of literature and movies? Here is a handy break down of the punks that are around you.
Steampunk: Think Victorian setting with advanced technology in clockwork, steam engineering, alchemy and science. I often tell people when describing my steampunk novel, Thomas Riley, that it’s like Victorian Indiana Jones with gadgets and sky pirates.
Dieselpunk: Setting anywhere in the early to mid 1900s where gas and diesel powered machines are the main focus. It’s like Batman meets noir spy and action movies. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to be in the past. Many Dieselpunks regard the Mad Max movies as the holy grail of the genre.
Stitchpunk: This is a one of the newer punks. Coined by the director of the Tim Burton Film “9″, Stitchpunk is little sewn creatures or living dolls that utilize technology far beyond their current time frame. (Wherever that may be.)
Neo Punk: More of a style than a genre. Neo Punks are essentially preppy punks that enjoy more toned down and produced music and style than the punks with mohawks and Sex Pistols tee-shirts. While you probably won’t see an obvious Neo Punk book, there is certainly Neo Punks that exist in literature.
Splatterpunk: Ultra violent horror genre that includes slasher movies, and authors like Clive Barker when he’s feeling gory. This nasty little genre taps into people’s interest in being completely grossed out by a lot of blood and guts. Have you seen Saw?
Clockpunk: The baby brother of Steampunk, Clockpunk replaces the steam power of steampunk with tightly wound springs and cogs.
Cyberpunk: This one is easy. Tron. Everyone that was alive in the 80s saw Ron right? Well, you’re about to get another dose of it as they’re remaking the movie right now. Cyberpunk can take place in current times or it can be in the future. Think computers but with technology gone rogue and possibly trying to take over the world… Come to think of it AI is pretty Cyberpunk.
There are a bunch of others that I’ve just discovered when writing this blog. Greenpunk, Elfpunk, Nanopunk, Mythpunk, Mannerpunk… the list gores on and on. The point is, by adding “punk” after the end of a word, what (we) are doing is saying that we’re changing the definition of the first word. We’re using the first word as the main descriptor, by adding punk at the end we’re changing that whatever that word means by adding fiction to it. Confused?
Let’s try this:
Splatter = gruesome, Bloody, Horror + Punk = Wildly gruesome, over the top breaking the status quo of traditional horror.
Steam = Steam technology, Victorian times, adventure + Punk = crazy technology, inventions that never existed, gender and race equality, breaking the status quo of Victorian times.
Diesel = Gas powered, oil, machines, hydraulics + Punk = Huge flying, digging floating machines that never could have existed. Breaking the status quo of what we think of with fossil fuel machinery.
Nick Valentino is the author of the Steampunk adventure novel, Thomas Riley, and the short story series, The Young Alchemists. Since the Echelon Press website is currently under repair you can get Thomas Riley HERE.