Posts Tagged ‘Elfpunk’

Happy Thursday (or should I say “Friday Eve.”)  Alright, so you know how I love things that end in “punk” — Steampunk, Elfpunk, Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal…

Well, today we welcome author Jess C. Scoot who writes Cyberpunk Elves.  She’s going to tell us a bit about Cyberpunk.

Jess C. Scott identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on a YA “seven deadly sins” series, as well as The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy.

Pondering “Cyberpunk”

by Jess C. Scott

BOOK SUMMARY: A thieving duo’s world turns upside down when an Elven rogue uncovers the heinous dealings of a megacorporation.

My upcoming publication is an urban fantasy project titled, The Other Side of Life [Book #1 in the (Cyberpunk) Elven Trilogy].

I admit that I was running around in the beginning, blabbing (to close friends only) about how I was going to embark on a project featuring “cyberpunk elves.”

I was familiar with one of the core definitions of cyberpunk—its focus on “high tech and low life.” I was aware of the visual imagery and stylized, super-urban settings too.

Along the way (about halfway through editing the third draft—I am currently on my fourth round of revision, and might go right up to 6 or 7 before I’m satisfied), I started to wonder more about the soul of cyberpunk. I watched the cyberpunk anime series Serial Experiments Lain some years ago when I was 16 (I’m now 24). While it wasn’t my favorite anime of all time (that’d be the historical/adventure-themed Rurouni Kenshin), I distinctly remembered the feel of Lain.

Cyberpunk elves make great concept art for games and films (multi-sensory mediums). But I had to ponder on it a little bit more, since I was working on a book (and the book cover, but that was just a side issue). I didn’t want to run along with cool-sounding labels, at the expense of the actual treatment of the plot and characters. And I didn’t want the characters/plot elements to be too clichéd (both the urban fantasy and cyberpunk aspects).

So apart from some of the more obvious cyberpunk traits, such as the elves’ tech proficiency, and status as self-identified social outcasts within their Elven world—I aimed to capture “cyberpunk” via the actual interaction between the characters (amongst humans, elves, as well as elves and humans).

It’s that whole interplay between the influence of technology on the human/social aspect, and the individual’s struggle for an awareness of how he/she has been impacted by technology, which I have been focusing on (a tie-in with the love story in the plot).

The following excerpt (Nin is the Elven rogue/leader) captures some of this:

“That’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real.” Nin interlocked his fingers, and stretched out his arms. “Real love, real friends, real body parts…”

While I enjoy the many elements of cyberpunk, it is the deeper, reflective aspects of the genre which engage and intrigue me the most—where one doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not; where one cannot tell good from evil; where one experiences an overwhelming feeling of profound shock at the realization of something significant/important. Hence the title of this post: “Pondering ‘Cyberpunk’.”

Also, I enjoy the challenge of distilling that into a simple storytelling style that’s spiritual without being preachy.

Which reminds me of a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

–Jess C. Scott


P.S. Jess is offering a free PDF copy of the novel to early reviewers (open to readers worldwide)! More details @ http://elventrilogy.wordpress.com/

Website: www.jesscscott.com
Book Site: http://www.elventrilogy.wordpress.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jesscscott

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jesscscott

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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.

Elfpunk takes Elves and the other creatures of Faerie and throws them into a contemporary story. These stories are often dark and gritty and may feature rock bands, car racing, or motorcycles.

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.”

I adored Mercedes Lackey’s Elfpunk books, including the SERRAted Edge and the Bedlam’s Bard series never knowing they were Elfpunk (or even UF, they were just really fun to read.)

Holly Black’s Tithe is a more modern example of Elfpunk. Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely could also be considered 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…

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We all know Steampunkers party like it’s 1899.  That it’s a steam-powered world of airships, cogs, clockwork, crazy inventions, and brass goggles with plenty of room for air pirates, brass robots, and corset-and-bustle-wearing vampire hunters. 

But what’s beyond Steampunk?

Here are a few things I’ve found, though many seem to overlap.  This is by no means a definitive or exhaustive list:

Biopunk— Features those who are a product of biological experimentation, usually against the backdrop of a totalitarian government or megacorproations who are abusing science for personal gain or social control.

Clockpunk—A world where steam technology has been replaced by intricate clockwork designs. 

Cyberpunk—Near-future earth with super-high technology and the breakdown of social order, usually with dystopian/anarchist /rebellion themes featuring conflict between humans and robots/cyborgs/megacorporations. 

Cyberprep-Cyberpunk featuring a leisure-driven, happy society instead of a gritty one where technology and body modifications are used for recreation and pleasure.

Dieselpunk—The world just beyond steampunk where gas has replaced steam, steal replaced brass, it’s a world of flappers, gangsters—the roaring twenties though noir/dystopian goggles (I’ve also seen it called Oilpunk).

Gasolinepunk—The 1960’s hotrod era taken to the max.

Monsterpunk—Mechanical and steampunk elements mixed together in a monster world (or one powered by monsters).    Monster Commute is a good example: http://www.monstercommute.com

Oilpunk/Petrolpunk/Petropunk—An idealized version of an oil-based society.  Think floating cities with giant rocket engines.

Sailpunk—Where new technologies take on a nautical aesthetic, such as in the movie Treasure Planet.

 Do you have anything to add?  Elfpunk (those great rock & roll and car-racing Elf stories that take place in our world.)  Post-Cyberpunk(Cyberpunk minus the dystopia)…

Any of these genres spark any ideas (or new genres to explore)?

 I’d love to hear your ideas.   Unfortunately, I can’t find any more art deco tiaras, but I have found some cute tiny ones.  So one lucky poster will win a baby tiara and a bag of productivity pixy dust. 

 Have a great week everyone.  Check back on Friday for the winner!

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