Let’s all be punks!

I've been toying with where to pigeonhole The Yak Guy Project when I finally finish it. It occurred to me there are a whole bunch of new categories that I might explore.

It all started with cyberpunk. It soon branched out into some of these other genres:

  • Steampunk
  • Dieselpunk
  • Biopunk
  • Clockpunk
  • Splatterpunk
  • Elfpunk
  • Magepunk
  • Wizardpunk
  • Atompunk

It seems to me the common denominator is punk. A big part of this is because everyone likes to make up new words. It's like a word for a celebrity couple, like Benifer or Kimye. In other words, it doesn't mean squat. Oh, and it also all seems to involve one of the speculative genres.


Let's pretend there is something to all this for a moment. These things involve alternate realities. Heck, I could get into that. I write stuff like that. They generally involve whatever fictional world being under complete control of the first half of the term. Steampunk = Steam, get it.


The punk part usually means that some fringe person or group doesn't agree with the status quo. They go on to face the villain using their mastery of the same technology everyone else has.


All in all it isn't a bad way of telling a story. I just don't love the terms. They tell me something about the era, and give me an idea of what to expect though. Dieselpunk means I expect a specific era in time, say from WWI to about the birth of the atomic age, after that it's atompunk.


Maybe my novel will spawn a whole new genre, yakpunk. In fact, I can see a whole bunch of new genres in my future, providing they don't already exist:


Monsterpunk – Frankenstein, darn.

Robotpunk – I Robot.



Alright, let me try again:

  • Flintpunk – a stone age political thriller involving tribes and species.
  • Bowpunk – angsty young archers storm the castle.
  • Rocketpunk – may already exist.
  • Bronzepunk – Are we not entertained?
  • Punkpunk – a late 20th century setting with lots of music.
  • Circuspunk – crazed clowns are overthrown by freaks riding circus elephants.
  • Crudepunk – the oil industry battles the EPA over leases and nature preserves.
  • Ritalinpunk – just, no.
  • NASCARpunk – self explanatory.
  • Junkpunk – everyone lives in a junkyard and government scavengers are taking all the best junk.
  • Spelunkpunk – everyone lives in caves, and access to daylight is denied. Thank god for some wild eyed youths.
  • Cowpunk – westerns with oppressive controls in place.
  • Romancepunk – despite an oppressive regime, love conquers all.
  • Heropunk – everyone is a hero. A group of outcast youths become villains to balance the scales.
  • 50shadespunk – everyone is a sex weirdo, but a group of friendship ring wearing virgins stand up for their rights.
Okay, enough. What do you think about genres? What about genres that are too specific? Do you think fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and even horror are enough?

  • Authorpunk – in a world where everyone is an author (Somebody help me. Send beer.)
  • Artillerypunk – (I'm not kidding, send beer.)
  • Siliconebarbiepunk – (Maybe something stronger)


Filed under Writing

47 responses to “Let’s all be punks!

  1. I am SO genre biased. I really am. I pride myself on being open-minded, but the amount of time I spend reading and the length of my TBR dictate choices must be made.
    I’ve got two kids obsessed with steampunk, but the rest of it’s pretty lost on me.
    I roared at “Are we not entertained?” Fabulous! 😀 Much LOL down the list, I’m sending you imaginary whisky without the e.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When you get down to it, it’s all John Shirley’s fault. Many years ago he was in a Punk band, and he was also a science fiction writer. His work was kind of edgy, kind of New Wave revival (“City Come A Walkin'” is probably his most famous). I’m pretty sure that it was he who first started using the word “Cyberpunk” to describe the kind of SF he wrote.

    Then other guys started being described by that term, and two of them were William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, who decided to get together and write an Alternate History novel called “The Difference Engine.” It was set in early 19th Century Europe and used the idea that gear-based calculating machines brought about the computer revolution in that era. Since it was involved steam-powered technology and was written by Cyberpunk authors, the book was called “Steampunk”.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This made me laugh out loud. Let’s just go with Boyacpunk – edgey speculative fiction written by C S Boyack 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The number of main genres is sufficient, as there are lots of great subgenres to enhance the classification of our works; Yakpunk would fit in there, Craig. 🙂
    I love the idea of Boyackpunk – a great categorisation! Let’s invent a middle layer between main genres and subgenres – the perfect spot for BOYACKpunk. I just started dreaming of a shirt with ‘Confessing Boyackpunk addict – luckily there is no cure.’ on it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Solarpunk amd hydropunk? Didn’t realize there was more beyond Steampunk and Cyberpunk. Seems excessive after that, but I guess I understand Magepunk. I’m a genre author with fantasy and dystopia, so I’m fine with the overall idea. It does seem to be getting nuts with too much refinement. It’s like majoring in writing haiku about snow on Everest. Far too exact and specific. Soon every author will be their own genre. Lloydpunk and Windemerepunk it will be. Plus side is we all get the number 1 spot of an Amazon list.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. LOL! I’ll read just about anything, punk or otherwise. That whiskey must of been some good stuff… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. carmens007

    Oh, I’m not sure if you intended or not this post to be funny, but I laughed out loud reading the categories you so cleverly created. Junkpunk is awesome, among others. Authorpunm is great. Oh, you’ll make Shakespeare jealous, trust me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Too many punks for sure! 😛 Seriously, I think Apepunk is definitely is a kosher genre, but Terry Pratchett did it so well (with his wizardly Librarian turned into an Orang-utan in a near-apocalyptic accident) nobody else can compare… 🙂
    I’m embarking into Arthurian territory so I’m leaning towards Wyrdpunk myself just now – nice bit of word-messin’ goin’ on there too so you can take it in several directions… 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very clever, Craig. Enjoyed this one. Springbreakpunk will be a genre about continuous humorous antics of beer-crazed stupid people who should not be allowed in public. (Shoot me now)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ali Isaac

    Hilarious! Lets just skip to the beer… I think its needed!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hahahahahaha!!!! Love your definitions.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cryptopunk!!! Count me and the Mothman in, LOL.

    This has to be one of your most entertaining posts. My favorite was Circuspunk.

    When it comes to genre categories in general, yeah a few of them are getting out of hand. Although it could be that writers are producing more works that don’t fit standard categories. I think that has to do with the rise of indie and small press authors. We’re not limited to the whims of the Big 5.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. All these punks, lol. I think fantasy, horror, romance etc. are enough, but hey, if you like one of these, go ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sign me up for the Witchpunk.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Writing Links 3/20/17 – Where Genres Collide

  16. I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard in a while. My dogs are looking at me like I’m nuts.

    I think I’m partial to Yakpunk, with Junkpunk and Spelunkpunk close runners up. I think I’ll pass on 50Shadespunk, though.

    Great stuff, here, Craig.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Spelunkpunk wins for being the most fun to say … as long as you don’t say it too many times.

    I don’t think you can be the founding father of flintpunk, that might have to go to whoever wrote Clan of the Cave Bear.

    Liked by 1 person

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