I’m going to interrupt today’s regularly scheduled Steampunk post to speak of something I hope you find interesting.
Right now I’m working on a non-Steampunk story (*gasp* Oh, the blasphemy!) I’ve been classifying it as Urban Fantasy.
But the other day I realized that I was wrong.
It’s not Urban Fantasy, but Elfpunk.
Yes, Elfpunk is a real genre, not something I made up while bored.
How is this different from Urban Fantasy?
Elfpunk dosen’t have Werewolves and Vampires thrown into the mix. But there might be dragons…
There are also no made-up creatures. Sorry. That would pop it back into Urban Fantasy.
The biggest difference between Urban Fantasy and Elfpunk is that Elfpunk only uses Faerie creatures. But they don’t have to be of the Celtic persuasion, they can be Norse, Japanese, Slavic…the options are endless. The creatures stay as close to the original mythos as possible and any differences are explained as part of the world building. That means when writing Elfpunk you have to do your research thoroughly. (Though you should be doing your reserach anyway.)
But how is Elfpunk different from books with Faeries in it?
Ah, that’s where the “punk” comes into play. There are some very good, accurate, and well researched stories out there using Faeries that aren’t Elfpunk. Elfpunk isn’t always full-on dystopian like cyberpunk, but there’s often themes of rebellion, of fighting against society and challenging social norms. These stories can get dark and gritty.
The term “Elfpunk” got popular in the 1980s and 1990’s when there were some great “rock and roll elf” stories on the market. One of my favorites is Gael Baudino’s Gossamer Axe
Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks is also “Classic Elfpunk.”
Elfpunk doesn’t necessarily have to even be in this world. Because cutthroat world of elves and other Faerie creatures Michael Swanwick created so closely mirrors our own, and it’s rather dark and gritty themes and concepts The Iron Dragon’s Daughter could also be Elfpunk. (I am so glad they’re reprinting this.)
So there you go, that’s Elfpunk. Let’s just say I’m having a very good time with this WIP…