|Cover Artist, Chuck Bazaar|
STEAMPUNK, CYBERPUNK, BIOPUNK, and many other types of ‘punk’ derivatives have become popular sub-genres of speculative fiction. What classifies them as ‘punk’ are a number of literary devices that include:
1). Setting: specific technologies associated with particular ‘ages’, ‘societies’ and/or time frames (both the past or future) - eg. the Victorian Age often defines Steampunk (but not always). Nanotech experiments of the future may define Biopunk, (but again, not always).
2). Tone: a sense of novelty, or being on the cutting edge of that particular technology, within its time frame.
3). Style: language and/or a narrative style specific to that particular technology, reflective of the time, and/or writers of that time.
4). Characterization: wide open. Characters can reflect their time and the concerns of their place in that time, or be transplants from another time and/or genre.
Sub-genres include, but are not limited to: Atompunk, Biopunk, Clockpunk, Cyberpunk, Decopunk, Dieselpunk, Dreampunk, Mythpunk, Nanopunk, Steampunk, Stonepunk, and others. For further definitions, this Wikipedia link on Cyberpunk Derivatives may prove helpful.
AS OF SEPTEMBER 1st to OCTOBER 15th , 2014, WE ARE SEEKING THE BEST OF WHAT EACH ‘PUNK’ SUB-GENRE HAS TO OFFER . We will be looking for top stories that represent their particular punk sub-genre. Furthermore, we are looking not only for the best, but what is new, what hasn’t been ‘punked’ before. Originality is the name of the game. If you have a piece that explores the themes and technology of a new era and/or society, we want to see it. Chuck Wendig on his blog Terrible Minds offers us a very tongue-in-cheek view. (If you can pull off humour, why not?) We’re happy to consider everything 'punk', from the serious to the ridiculous. Surprise, delight, and amaze us!
Word maximum: 6,000 words. Please accompany your submission with ‘PUNK THEME ISSUE’ in the subject line. Estimated publishing/issue date: Spring, 2015. We will be posting about this on On Spec’s new and updated website shortly. Check out the website for full submission guidelines. And finally, please hold off on sending us your manuscripts until the submission window. (Anything sent to us before September 1st will be deleted.) Even we editors need a summer break!
We are excited about this new theme issue. (Personally, I can't wait to see what you send us!)