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#1
Old 11-11-2010, 09:28 PM
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Other "punks" besides steampunk and cyberpunk

How many other "punk" alternate-history scenarios are there besides cyberpunk (the original) and steampunk?

Wikipedia's article on cyberpunk derivatives includes atompunk, dieselpunk, clockpunk, biopunk, and atompunk. All of these essentially refer to scenarios where advanced technology has been developed using the technology referred to in the name, far more advanced than the technology that actually was developed in each case. It takes the specific concept to a much greater scale. Pretty much all "punk" scenarios involve gigantic contraptions and unique systems of transportation and communication.

There's nothing "punk" about any of them, really - that name, which came from "cyberpunk," seems to have stuck despite not having much to do with the things to which it refers. I guess the original 'cyberpunk' fiction centered around vaguely punk-rock type people in a futuristic setting, i.e. the people on the fringes of society or operating in some underground capacity. But the later variations don't necessarily involve this at all.

Also, are there examples of these various scenarios being used in movies or video games before the whole 'punk' labeling even existed? Or being used by people who didn't necessarily know what they were?
#2
Old 11-11-2010, 09:51 PM
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The element "punk" in the name of science fiction subgenres doesn't have much to do anymore with the term as derived from "punk rock" or the 1950's idea of a punk as a minor criminal/rebel. In the term "cyberpunk," the idea was to have characters who rebelled against society while being hip to the ideas of the computer age. Note that cyberpunk was never intended to be a kind of alternate history. Somebody then decided that adding "punk" to a word meant just "a subgenre of science fiction, probably having something to do with alternate history," and thus people starting making up names like "steampunk," "atompunk," "clockpunk," etc.

The only one of these that has really caught on is "steampunk." My observation at science fiction conventions though is that the people (usually fairly young ones) who claim to be interested in steampunk aren't really interested in alternate history or even science fiction. They just like to dress up in Victorian clothes.

Last edited by Wendell Wagner; 11-11-2010 at 09:52 PM.
#3
Old 11-11-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
There's nothing "punk" about any of them, really - that name, which came from "cyberpunk," seems to have stuck despite not having much to do with the things to which it refers. I guess the original 'cyberpunk' fiction centered around vaguely punk-rock type people in a futuristic setting, i.e. the people on the fringes of society or operating in some underground capacity. But the later variations don't necessarily involve this at all.
Your guesses at the history here are reasonably close to the truth. It's debatable how "punk" any of the literature was. William Gibson's Neuromancer is one of the earliest and "punkiest" of the lot.
#4
Old 11-11-2010, 11:55 PM
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Daft Punk?
#5
Old 11-12-2010, 12:04 AM
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Early steampunk, written as an anti-Edisonaide was fairly darn punk. But it grew to incorporate more pulpy things that weren't deconstructions of the genre.

Goth-punk, which is, well, gothic but with more metal to it, is a known variant.
#6
Old 11-12-2010, 12:34 AM
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I’ve occasionally heard ‘splatterpunk’ used to refer to cool (or wanna-be cool, at least) over-the-top action/horror or action/horror/comedy. Not common, but it seemed a ‘real’ term, not a marketing-based one.

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#7
Old 11-12-2010, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
Wikipedia's article on cyberpunk derivatives includes atompunk, dieselpunk, clockpunk, biopunk, and atompunk.
If you really want to have some fun, scroll through the talk and history pages. There used to be a much much much longer list, which overzealous or rational wiki editors whittled away with a thousand paper cuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
There's nothing "punk" about any of them, really - that name, which came from "cyberpunk," seems to have stuck despite not having much to do with the things to which it refers.
Yeah, "punk" in this case, is the same as the "gate" in "Watergate". The original "punk" in "cyberpunk" *was* actually a bit punk. But "punk" was repurposed to mean "an adventure with the cultural and/or chronological and/or artistic/design trappings of a specific stage of technology, but given an exaggerated sci-fi expansion". It's still punk, but instead of being about punkish characters, like the original genre, it now refers to the 'punkification' of the technology and period rather than the characters.

Last edited by jackdavinci; 11-12-2010 at 02:08 AM.
#8
Old 11-12-2010, 02:13 AM
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In terms of actual stories, wikipedia is pretty good at only allowing actual things you can cite. Although maybe tvtropes is more permissive.

But maybe you want *potential* punks. So make two lists: one of all technological categories (solar, geothermal, atomic, Newton, stone age, etc), and one of all period specific design aesthetics (50s diner, tiki, shiny steel and rivits, art deco, etc) - extra points if they coincide - and you have a potential "punk" genre.

Last edited by jackdavinci; 11-12-2010 at 02:14 AM.
#9
Old 11-12-2010, 02:49 AM
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I would totally love to read a tikipunk story.
#10
Old 11-12-2010, 03:02 AM
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Cassettepunk - alternate history where optical data technology was never developed and so cassette tape became the default medium for any kind of information processing.
#11
Old 11-12-2010, 03:28 AM
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Taco Punk, siestas, panchos and sombreros, maybe some bandolieros.
#12
Old 11-12-2010, 04:12 AM
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Wait, I've got an idea: "Punk punk" -- in a world where a bespectacled closeted gay man croons about crocodiles and a sea captain plays keyboards in accompaniment to a young lady mooning about muskrats, out of nowhere a group of hardcore young urban misfits will have none of it, instead picking up their guitars and shouting out in favor of anarchy and against the bloody Queen. Some die from heroin overdoses.

Can you imagine?

Last edited by Koxinga; 11-12-2010 at 04:14 AM.
#13
Old 11-12-2010, 05:38 AM
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If you dare to go there, here is the TvTropes site for Punk Punk, listing every ____ punk genre you can imagine.
#14
Old 11-12-2010, 06:25 AM
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I don't see Elfpunk on that list, although it is buried in the longer list it links to. Prime example being The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Swanwick.

Last edited by MrDibble; 11-12-2010 at 06:26 AM.
#15
Old 11-12-2010, 06:43 AM
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Right-wing reactionary (Europa-style !) faaascist® punk ; a few of its emblems : Circled M and "Punk with a diploma".
#16
Old 11-12-2010, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
Cassettepunk - alternate history where optical data technology was never developed and so cassette tape became the default medium for any kind of information processing.
On that theory Red Dwarf counts, since it's set in the far future (even before the accident that wipes out the ship's crew) and yet all the data appears to be stored on microcassettes and VHS tapes.
#17
Old 11-12-2010, 07:10 AM
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I thought of a (hopefully) original one.

Capepunk.

When superhero narrative is subverted and presented in a realistic setting often with extreme sex and violence: anything by Ennis, Miller, Millar, Moore, Brubaker, Ellis. A perfect exmple would be Ennis' "The Boys".
#18
Old 11-12-2010, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Sr Siete View Post
I thought of a (hopefully) original one.

Capepunk.

When superhero narrative is subverted and presented in a realistic setting often with extreme sex and violence: anything by Ennis, Miller, Millar, Moore, Brubaker, Ellis. A perfect exmple would be Ennis' "The Boys".
For a non-comic but still very funny deconstruction of the Superhero Genre, I can't recommend Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible highly enough. Well worth reading, IMHO.
#19
Old 11-12-2010, 07:22 AM
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And, slightly off topic as it's not alternate history, there was splatterpunk, coined to describe the violent horror writing of the late 80s/early 90s.
#20
Old 11-12-2010, 07:23 AM
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There's cowpunk, but that was a short-lived musical trend rather than a literary or cinematic genre.

People like k.d. lang used to be put in that category, with other alternative, WAY-out-of-Nashville country music artists.
#21
Old 11-12-2010, 07:28 AM
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If we're not careful, mediaeval fantasy will end up known as swordpunk.
#22
Old 11-12-2010, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
If we're not careful, mediaeval fantasy will end up known as swordpunk.
I've heard Roman/Greek fantasy described as "Sandalpunk" with a straight face before, FWIW.
#23
Old 11-12-2010, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Miller View Post
I would totally love to read a tikipunk story.
Shit. And I'm already half-way through NaNoWriMo; too late to jump tracks...

You have planted a dangerous seed there, Miller.
#24
Old 11-12-2010, 09:03 AM
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I am officially a cyberprep author -- and I have the button to prove it. Others involved Esther Friesner, Susan Swartz, John M. Ford, Judith Tarr, and (honorary -- he has a button but was not one of the founding members) William Gibson.
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#25
Old 11-12-2010, 09:06 AM
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Cthulhupunk
#26
Old 11-12-2010, 10:42 AM
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For the record, William Gibson didn't coin cyberpunk. He coined "cyberspace," in the 1982 story "Burning Chrome."
Quote:
I knew every chip in Bobby's simulator by heart; it looked like your workaday Ono-Sendai VII, the "Cyberspace Seven."
Cyberpunk was used the next year as a title of a story by Bruce Bethke.

Steampunk appears in 1987, in a letter that K. W. Jeter wrote to Locus, sort of the trade magazine of science fiction, in 1987.
Quote:
Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing. as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of that era; like "steampunk," perhaps.
Quotes from Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction.
#27
Old 11-22-2010, 07:50 AM
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There's also Khyberpunk.
#28
Old 11-22-2010, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MegaBee View Post
Cthulhupunk
There was a Gurps Cthulhupunk book. And Cyberpunk's fanzine Interface ran an issue devoted to Cthulhupunk (GMed one of the scenarios, Cthulhu and punk really do mix well).

P.S: Sr Siete, "Capepunk", never heard of it before, but you're spot on. It would actually be one of the few instances in which punk really describes the mood rather than an alternate science environment.
#29
Old 11-22-2010, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by An Gadaí View Post
There's also Khyberpunk.
Does Effinger's "When Gravity Fails" qualifies as Khyberpunk (I understand Khyberpunk to be more exotic and 3rdWorldish)? It used t be considered a classic Cyberpunk novel (and one of my fav SF novels anyway, really wonder why no one has tried to put it into film).
#30
Old 12-29-2013, 04:35 AM
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Hav a

Simply referring to a genre as "*punk" is demeaning to all genres, especially if the idea has grown beyond what the common person is readily able to comprehend. In the words of the infamous Glenn Hetrick, "Don't do Steampunk because everyone does it wrong!". I happen to agree, if we exploit every genre by giving it a new "*punk" term, then we ruin all literature. What Glenn meant was that we should concentrate on the historical aspect of steampunk and not on the purely speculative, because not every far fetched idea may qualify as steampunk simply because it concerns the same time period. Stop trying to ruin Everything! :P
#31
Old 12-29-2013, 04:49 AM
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And then there's zombiepunk, of course.
#32
Old 12-29-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Appl3Dappl3 View Post
Simply referring to a genre as "*punk" is demeaning to all genres, especially if the idea has grown beyond what the common person is readily able to comprehend. In the words of the infamous Glenn Hetrick, "Don't do Steampunk because everyone does it wrong!". I happen to agree, if we exploit every genre by giving it a new "*punk" term, then we ruin all literature. What Glenn meant was that we should concentrate on the historical aspect of steampunk and not on the purely speculative, because not every far fetched idea may qualify as steampunk simply because it concerns the same time period. Stop trying to ruin Everything! :P
They also say this about applying -gate to every political scandal. It either will stop with time (Sputnik > beatnik > peacenik > neatnik and not too much after) or it will live forever. Not a thing you say can affect it.

The imitations don't hurt the originals either. Readers remember what they want to remember. Besides, that quote by Hetrick is idiotic. Everybody does the future wrong, and nobody ever says they should stop.*

*Well, I do sometimes. But mostly to myself as I mutter in my beard.
#33
Old 12-29-2013, 12:21 PM
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The Flintstones is either set in the past and is Stonepunk, or else is set in the future and is Genepunk.
#34
Old 12-29-2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
My observation at science fiction conventions though is that the people (usually fairly young ones) who claim to be interested in steampunk aren't really interested in alternate history or even science fiction. They just like to dress up in Victorian clothes.
Don't be ridiculous!

You also have to glue gears onto it.
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