Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dieselpunk Lexicon Part 10: Decopunk

"No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney." -  Al Smith, American statesman, Governor of New York, Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928

Dieselpunk has always had a dark reputation. One of its creators, Lewis Pollak, described it as being dirtier and grittier than Steampunk. But not all Dieselpunk is dark.

Decopunk is a brighter, more positive member of the Dieselpunk family. In an recent article at the Barnes & Noble web site titled Why "Decopunk" Deserves to Be Bigger than Steampunk, Sam Reader wrote,

"Drawing from the sleek, streamlined, futuristic aesthetic of the art deco movement, decopunk takes the glitz and glamor of the Roaring ’20s in science-fictional directions, frequently sprinkling in glittering elements of the weird and pulp fiction of the era."

Decopunk Movie "The Great Gatsby" (2013) Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Recently there have been rumblings on the internet describing decopunk as being a full-fledged genre-punk (Reader’s article is one example). However, those who would make such claims are mistaken because it’s not a genre-punk of its own. Decopunk source material is the 1920s, which as I mentioned in a prior blog post is one of the decades that provides source material for Dieselpunk. Wikipedia is correct when it defines decopunk as a subset of dieselpunk.

You can slice sashimi until it resembles fugu but it's still raw fish. ‘Decopunk’ is but simply a thin slice of Dieselpunk.

Decopunk Fiction, Radiance: The Novel by Catherynne M Valente

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Liked everything you said, reading your posts newer to older so I will have to wait until some references are clear.

Is concurrent eras the only criteria you use in defining when a something is a subgenre or a full genre of it's own?