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STRANGEST SCI-FI, Punk and Vampires

Just when you think you've heard it all...


By Violet Wisdom


Sci-Fi comes in many different forms. Books, movies, comics, video games and worldbuilding table games. Of the IMDB top 10 ranked sci-fi movies of 2023, most are outer space themed, a few AI/robot themed and of course the must have future dystopian.


Did you know that there are a slew of subgenres within the sci-fi world? Did you also know that a few of those are WAY out there? Whether you’re looking for a good read, a good flick or about to try your hand at some story telling of your own, this strange list should get you thinking.


SPECULATIVE FICTION


This is a general term for a fictional story that blends reality and fantasy. The fantasy part can be completely drawn from very real science though not currently in use. For example, the Canadian murder mystery Murdoch Mysteries is primarily based on an inspector who uses technology to create inventions used to solve crimes not quite fully realized in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The basic concepts may have been known but not well enough to make night vision goggles and lie detector machines.



SUB GENRE, ALTERNATE HISTORY:


This genre found a short lived fad a few years back by entertaining us with a bunch of but what ifs. What if the Roman and Ottoman Empires never ended? What if the Americas didn’t get discovered until 1900? What if we lost WWII? Unlike Quantum Leap and Back to the Future, alternate history doesn’t go back in time to change the future. Instead the reader or viewer is told a story set in a world where those empires remain or America has just been discovered.



SCI-FI PUNK


Technically considered a part of the Speculative Fiction Genre, punk refers to being punkish. Just like the lines in Punk Rock Girl by The Dead Milkmen;

“We went to the Philly Pizza Company and ordered some hot tea

The waitress said, “Well no, we only have it iced”

So we jumped up on the table and shouted, “Anarchy””


Like that. Edgy. Individualistic. Defiant. Now add a dash of science and technology. You know, like steam…



STEAMPUNK:


Have you ever seen The Wild, Wild West show? I’m not talking about the 1999 movie, which is actually a movie based on the show. The television show aired between 1965 and 1969. Considered a western, the show is chock full of crazy technology that definitely hadn’t been discovered yet and was very Star Trekky. Here’s the thing about the late 1880s, technological innovation was exploding, and it was powered by steam. Somehow this morphed into a fictional sci-fi genre and finally into an odd nerdy fad for teenagers in the 2000s. If you are really into this or feel it a callin’, there are several steampunk costume stores still around to get you looking the part. There is also a yearly Big River Steampunk Festival in Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. This year's festival will be from August 30-Sept 2. If steam isn’t your thing the genre has cousins, cyberpunk, dieselpunk, biopunk and clock. NO! I am not making this up, couldn’t if I tried. Moving on to…



ALIEN VAMPIRES AND PUNK ANGELS:


This feels very cinematic and very AI. If you aren’t already exhausted at this point of this blog, click here for a great article by the Sydney Morning Herald about those pesky alien vampires and adorable punk angels.  






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