29 Punk Genres

So I started to do some research on genres that I have yet to read. I noticed a lot of subgenres end in punk. So I fell down a rabbit-hole of information. These genres often explore unique, speculative worlds with distinct technological and cultural aesthetics.

  1. Cyberpunk – Focuses on high-tech, dystopian futures, often involving hacking, AI, and cybernetics. Example: Neuromancer by William Gibson, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  2. Steampunk – Blends science fiction with 19th-century steam-powered technology and Victorian aesthetics. Example: The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Soulless by Gail Carriger, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  3. Dieselpunk – Features a retro-futuristic setting influenced by the aesthetics of the interwar period, often blending the art deco and noir styles. Example: Bioshock video game series, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (noir with diesel punk elements), Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (blends dieselpunk elements in space), Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia
  4. Biopunk – Centers around biotechnology and genetic engineering in a dystopian setting. Example: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, The Xenogenesis Trilogy by Octavia Butler, Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (blends biopunk and cyberpunk)
  5. Clockpunk – Revolves around clockwork mechanisms and Renaissance technology. Example: The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt, Mainspring by Jay Lake, Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter, Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti
  6. Atompunk – Inspired by the atomic age, particularly the 1940s-1960s, with a focus on nuclear technology and Cold War themes. Example: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway, Rocket to the Morgue by Anthony Boucher, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  7. Solarpunk – Envisions optimistic futures emphasizing sustainable energy and ecological harmony. Example: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Wieland, Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach, The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (blends solarpunk elements), Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Wieland
  8. Teslapunk – Centers on a world where the work of Nikola Tesla and similar inventors is prevalent, often featuring electricity-based technologies. Example: The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder., Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway, The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling (blends teslapunk and steampunk), Tesla and Twain by L. Neil Smith
  9. Stonepunk – Imagines prehistoric settings with advanced technology made from stone and organic materials. Example: The Flintstones (cartoon series), The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (not strictly stonepunk but fits the prehistoric setting), Helliconia Spring by Brian W. Aldiss (blends stonepunk elements), The Inheritors by William Golding (blends stonepunk elements)
  10. Mythpunk – Combines myth, folklore, and fairy tales with postmodern and subversive elements. Example: The Orphan’s Tales series by Catherynne M. Valente, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Innamorati by Midori Snyder, The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente
  11. Cyberprep – Envisions a high-tech future but with a more optimistic and utopian perspective than cyberpunk. Example: Metrophage by Richard Kadrey, The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (blends cyberprep and steampunk), The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Some more genres (Rare):

1. Nanopunk

  • Focuses on the use and impact of nanotechnology.
    • Example: Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
    • Example: Blood Music by Greg Bear

2. Splatterpunk

  • A subgenre of horror that emphasizes graphic, gory, and transgressive content.
    • Example: The Books of Blood by Clive Barker
    • Example: The Light at the End by John Skipp and Craig Spector

3. Greenpunk

  • Envisions sustainable, eco-friendly futures with advanced technology and environmental harmony.
    • Example: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (also fits biopunk)
    • Example: The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

4. Elfpunk

  • Incorporates traditional fantasy elements like elves and fairies into modern urban settings.
    • Example: War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
    • Example: The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black

5. Steamfunk

  • A subgenre that combines steampunk aesthetics with African or African-American culture and history.
    • Example: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman by Balogun Ojetade
    • Example: From Here to Timbuktu by Milton J. Davis

6. Desertpunk

  • Often set in post-apocalyptic desert landscapes, focusing on survival and harsh conditions.
    • Example: Dune by Frank Herbert (blends elements of desertpunk)
    • Example: Mad Max: Fury Road by George Miller (novelization by Nico Lathouris and Mark Sexton)

7. Woodpunk

  • Emphasizes wood and organic materials in a pre-industrial, often medieval or renaissance, setting.
    • Example: Green Rider by Kristen Britain
    • Example: The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

8. Silkpunk

  • A blend of science fiction and fantasy inspired by East Asian antiquity and technology.
    • Example: The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
    • Example: The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

9. Cattlepunk

  • Set in the American Old West, often blending Western genre elements with fantastical or sci-fi elements.
    • Example: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
    • Example: Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher

10. Bronzepunk

  • Focuses on ancient civilizations, such as those from the Bronze Age, and imagines advanced technology and culture in those settings.
    • Example: The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Example: River of Gods by Ian McDonald (elements of bronzepunk)

11. Sandalpunk

  • Similar to bronzepunk but specifically set in ancient Greek or Roman times with advanced technology.
    • Example: The Just City by Jo Walton
    • Example: Ilium by Dan Simmons

12. Raypunk

  • Inspired by mid-20th-century pulp science fiction, with a focus on ray guns, space operas, and retro-futuristic technology.
    • Example: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
    • Example: The Skylark of Space by E.E. “Doc” Smith

13. Decopunk

  • A variation of dieselpunk with a focus on the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne styles of the 1920s to 1950s.
    • Example: Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Example: The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis (elements of decopunk)

14. Nowpunk

  • Focuses on events taking place in the contemporary world or the very near future.
    • Example: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
    • Example: Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

15. Transistorpunk

  • Centers on mid-20th-century technology, particularly
  • the era of the transistor and early computers.
    • Example: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
    • Example: The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner

16. Witchpunk

A subgenre that blends elements of traditional witchcraft and magic with punk aesthetics and themes. This genre often features rebellious witches, magical anarchy, and a blend of modern and fantastical elements.

  • Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson
  • Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
  • The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (comic series)
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (blends urban fantasy and witchpunk elements)
  • The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

17. Oceanpunk

Oceanpunk deals with deep-sea exploration, often with high-tech diving suits or submarines. 

  • The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

18. Hopepunk

Hopepunk is a relatively new literary genre and subculture that emphasizes themes of optimism, resilience, and the inherent goodness of humanity. It contrasts with darker, dystopian genres by focusing on characters who fight for positive change, often in the face of significant adversity. Hopepunk stories typically celebrate community, cooperation, and the belief that kindness and hope are powerful forms of resistance.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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