Time-Period Punk Genres

The inspiration for them was cyberpunk, a genre about people who live on the borderline of reputable society but who use that society’s advanced technology: “High tech. Low life. ” What is Cyberpunk? | Neon Dystopia defines it:

Cyberpunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that features advanced science and technology in an urban, dystopian future.  On one side you have powerful mega-corporations and private security forces, and on the other you have the dark and gritty underworld of illegal trade, gangs, drugs, and vice.  In between all of this is politics, corruption, and social upheaval.

Cyberpunk – Wikipedia quotes Lawrence Person’s definition:

Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.

It inspired steampunk, and that in turn inspired lots of other timepunks or periodpunks. These may be viewed as high-tech mundane fiction or hard science fiction set in the appropriate periods.

  • Stonepunk, featuring Stone Age technology, like The Flintstones or Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series.
  • Bronzepunk, featuring Bronze Age technology, like the Pharaonic Egyptian Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, and the Minoans and Mycenaeans of the eastern Mediterranean.
  • Sandalpunk, classicpunk, or ironpunk features Iron Age technology, like the classical Greco-Roman world.
  • Castlepunk, candlepunk, middlepunk, plaguepunk, or dungeon punk features late medieval technology.
  • Clockpunk features Renaissance technology, clocks and all.
  • Steampunk features 19th-cy. technology, complete with lots of steam engines. It is inspired by the Industrial-Revolution, Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian periods of England, and was the first of the alternate-punk genres to appear.
  • Dieselpunk features early 20th-cy. technology, complete with lots of diesel engines.
  • Atomicpunk is a takeoff of the 1950’s and the development of nuclear technology back then. Versions in which the Nazis survived are called Nazipunk and blitzpunk.
  • Transistorpunk or psychedelicpunk are takeoffs of the 1960’s and its technology and styles.
  • Spacepunk often includes “sword and space” and “retrofuturism” (what people from several decades ago imagined the future to be like).

Cyberpunk itself has spawned an offshoot called post-cyberpunk, which typically has a more-optimistic and less-alienated style, and also genres like biopunk with lots of biotechnology and nanopunk with lots of nanotechnology.

There are such related genres as

  • Mythpunk, with lots of mythological and folklore themes, archetypes, etc.
  • Elfpunk, featuring elves, fairies, dragons, etc. in a modern urban setting.
  • Mannerspunk, featuring elaborate social hierarchies and complex traditions in a fantasy setting.

Finally, there is splatterpunk, a horror version.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: