Punk it all. (I should have made this my blog name. I really like it and it has a lovely ring to it. New tag line!)
Steampunk is a sub-genre of Science Fiction that has surged through deep ocean of obscurity into mainstream popularity with movies, books, and television shows that have brought the genre to the light. Steampunk is most often described as Neo-Victorianism with the desire to craft things through Victorian era eyes, making lots of things that are steam powered. However, this article isn’t about Steampunk but those sub-genres under the sub-genre called Steampunk. (Side note: at this time of the article being written, these sub-genres are in the limbo of being official and unofficial.)
Clockpunk – Best example of clockpunk is the newest Three Musketeers, made in 2011. Honestly though, you have to give the newest Three Musketeers credit for being a beautiful movie, at least visually, even if you didn’t particularly care for it. This punk genre is all about Renaissance-era technology and science based on pre-modern design. Basically, Clockpunk focuses on pre-industrial revolution inventions, i.e. those that run off of the sun, water or spring powered gears. It can be slightly difficult for new comers to see what the difference is between Steampunk and Clockpunk. The era difference (Renaissance vs Victorian) is one of the best distinguishers and whether or how something is being powered is another.
Dieselpunk – Have you by chance seen Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow or Iron Sky? Perhaps you have played BioShock and BioShock 2? These movies and games are examples of what Dieselpunk is. Dieselpunk is a punk genre that is mainly set between the period of World War 1 and World War II. This genre uses film-noir, pin-ups, art deco, and pulp magazines of the time with retro-futuristic technology to make for an interesting time period. If it goes boom, mechanically wise you pyromaniacs, than it belongs in Dieselpunk.
Atompunk – Fallout. If you are a gamer and you have not played Fallout, you really need to. Anyways, back to the subject at hand. The Fallout series is one of the best examples in/on the market that gives us a spectacular view of what Atompunk is all about. This genre’s time period is between 1945 and 1965. Atompunk takes a look at the Atomic Age, the Jet Age, the Space Race and many more to make for an 1950’s punk genre.
Mythpunk – Let’s stick with the introduction of waving something in front of you that gives you an example of what the hell I am talking about. Stardust by Neil Gainman (also a movie) is one of the best examples I can think of Mythpunk. Also one that comes to mind is Hellboy 2, the movie (So beautiful. I loved the automaton army). It is a genre that takes classic fairy-tale and adds a spin to them. You are basically adding technology to these classic tales that we all know and grew up with.
Have I covered all the punks? Probably not, I didn’t cover Cyberpunk (technically it is not a sub-genre of Steampunk though) and perhaps I should have and may do that later. There are also punk sub-genres that deal with literature which I have no covered. Really, the sub-genres that can fall under Steampunk are as limitless as our imagination. I am sure that there are some purists out there cringing in horror but for me, this punk genre is all about having fun and exploring our own creativity. Who cares if the bustle you made is two inches shorter than what most Victorian woman would have worn? The last time I checked we are doing Steampunk and not SCA. Have fun and enjoy your creations. Let’s punk it all!