I first became aware of cyberpunk in my sophomore year of high school with “Neuromancer” (William Gibson’s own “Citizen Kane”), and I immediately took to it. This was 1990-91, and at that time it was the most subversive and electric thing I’d ever experienced. This was the future, I felt. It was grim and ugly but full of interesting premises.

Who knew that it would lead to videos of monkeys sniffing their butts and millions of little twerps texting each other using awful grammar?

But I digress…

Soon after I discovered cyberpunk, Gibson and Bruce Sterling wrote “The Difference Engine”, which would introduce the world to steampunk. This was cool too: an extension of the Jules Verne-H.G. Wells interest I had when younger (and continue to have).

After that, I heard about splatterpunk… I’m not a fan.

Then, a few years ago, when reading about steampunk online, I discovered that the “-punks” were everywhere.

Biopunk, clockpunk, elfpunk, bronzepunk, atomicpunk… even something called stonepunk, which immediately calls to my mind “The Flintstones”. Who knew the modern stone-age family was the bleeding-edge of science-fiction?

I was ok with the first few, but now it’s getting out of hand.

AND… now they’ve gone too far by touching my beloved pulp with dieselpunk.

Now before I launch into a geektastic rant, let me go on record as saying that anything that brings the pulp-era back is a good thing in my book. It was a dark time for the human race, and yet the adventures were somehow brimming with optimism. Even in issues of The Shadow, Operator 5, and The Spider magazines (the darkest of the pulps), we were given the hope that good would triumph over all evil. Quite frankly, we need that kind of dreams-come-true optimism now.

But dieselpunk? Why? Why anything-punk?

I dunno… it seems like there’s too much genrefication these days. I’ve got mixed feelings about it: on one hand, there’s all these unique styles of sci-fi out there now, rife with new ideas. On the other hand, they’re instantly labeled and packaged, and with the most unwieldy titles. It’s almost as though we need to name something as soon as it comes along, to give it instant familiarity and assuage the fear of the new.

Then again, that’s modern society for you… consumerpunk all the way.

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm  Comments (1)  

Captain America, Manga, And Rubber Ears/ Post No. 109

(Before I begin, I want to mention that this is post #109, which somehow has become kind of a lucky number for me. So excuse the length of the rant below…)

I was reading an article about Marvel comics in Fortune magazine the other day, and it stated that Marvel is currently working on movies based on “characters not as easily recognized by today’s kids” as X-Men and Spider-Man. Two of the examples they list is Thor and Captain America.

OK, I can understand Thor maybe, but CAPTAIN FRIGGIN’ AMERICA!! ARE YOU SHITTING ME?!

The guys a legend, an icon, a symbol for all that’s still good and right in America, and it’s potential to be great. He just DIED not long ago, for Pete’s sake! You little bastards don’t know Captain America?!Gosh!!


Published in: on July 19, 2007 at 12:30 pm  Comments (3)  

Just When I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In

I held out as long as I could, because I still have 497 old XBox and GameCube games I still haven’t finished.

But due to Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII, Bioshock, and Saboteur, I have to say it:

Gosh!!I’m ready to want a next-generation console.

Ugh, I feel dirty.

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 1:59 pm  Comments (3)  

Moving On…

Well, I finished the “Sky Captain” novelization. Meh… It was okay, not good, not bad. Kinda heavy on metaphor and simile in some really odd, awkward places. My biggest problem with the book is a tiny, nitpicker’s complaint: the phrase “collectible pulp magazines”. They weren’t collectible at that time, they were made to be read once, then discarded. I guess that’s part of their appeal to me: they were throwaway amusement, and we only recently have begun to recognize their contributions to popular culture. I refuse to acknowledge that “collectible” phrase, even if it takes place in a “Sky Captain Alternate Universe”.


Okay, I’m calmer now. It’s just a book, Dummy. Get over it…

Anyway, I got my latest issue of “High Adventure” yesterday, but before I go blasting off with retro sci-fi, I’m reading the Shadow novel “Malmordo” (orig. published 07/46). It’s been sitting on my shelf for a long time, so it’s about time I gave it a spin. I usually don’t like the later Shadow stories; editorial choices and the radio program’s influence kind of neutered the character by then. The sweet spot for me is in the first 4 or 5 years of the magazine, when he was just plain weird. Judging from the atmosphere-heavy first chapter,though, it looks like I’m in for a good ride.

Work’s getting to be a bitch, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel (however temporary it may be):


(Am I gloating, just a litte?)