Well, I learned something new today. About an entirely new genre of punk science fiction, only a few years old, called . And though I've considered myself a faithful bearer of the spirit since at least 1992, even through the post-cyberpunk years, suddenly I discover I've departed from it and now hit all the solarpunk notes.

Here's a good introduction:

· · Web · 0 · 8 · 10

Basically, the nihilism and capitalist tyranny of the universe has become our status quo, and not just social but ecological devastation has ensued. The 1980s cyberpunks were largely content to show the devastated future, largely as a style exercise, a punk future noir. Now that it's our present, the task of punk sf is envision how to destroy this.

This is where comes in. Its purpose is to show a way out of the capitalist dystopia we're trapped in.

The starting point of is optimism. It's a rebellion of hope against despair. It refuses to give in to the seemingly inevitable apocalypse.

Punk sf entails social struggle. This is the struggle of ordinary people, indeed the masses, against the current technocratic capitalist dystopia foreshadowed by .

Its technology is sustainable, unlike capitalism's disposable tech that inevitably becomes pollution itself, and based in a sustainable society, inevitably socialist.

Now here's where I come in. I started planning Chaos Angel as a webmanga at 's 1992 peak. I thought I'd kept true to the cyberpunk spirit all this time. After what I learned today, I discovered I was wrong. My purpose was to destroy the superhero universe. What Spanner's monkeywrench destroys when it hits the third eye of Steve Jobs' "great and powerful" god-manifestation turns out to be cyberpunk itself. There's evidence in earlier chapters I'm really writing .

It's in the subplot of Willa's bike journey in In The Works. She rides first to her enemy Gov. Brinkman's corporate capital, then back home through a Tacoma being rebuilt by its people on not just New Urbanist but principles. This subplot encodes a full-blown rejection and refutation of itself, and I didn't know it when I wrote it. Even her lifelong "Nacktkultur" advocacy (since the '80s, no less), inseparable from her unshakeable belief in radical socialism, fits.

And now I know what I'm really doing when I have throw his plasma disruptor at the risen Steve Jobs in the climax of Spanner In The Works, the "Spanner Incident". Steve Jobs *is* . The monkeywrench is literally Sergei Eisenstein's "cine-fist". Chapter 39 of Spanner In The Works has the same significance as Chapter 1 of The Diamond Age: cyberpunk is hereby cancelled.

Starting with Rock City Blues, Chaos Angel Spanner then turns full .

Of course, my approach to in Chaos Angel , like my previous style, will emphasize the "punk", specifically a wild glampunk "Stylism". It's as much against dreary traditional punk rock (especially hardcore) as cyberpunk sf. It focusses on an outcast(e) subculture called the Rockers. It embeds entire poems, some wildly "beatpunk", some dreamily neo-Romantic. My touchstones are rebellion (really, revolution) and vision. Book 5's called Revolution Rock for a reason.

And @InvaderXan's short thread on and Art Nouveau convinced me that I can even bring Art Nouveau into the mix while still keeping true to my Modernist roots. In fact, Grail Keeper Ariel is already a perfect Art Nouveau character (by way of CLAMP) and the least character in Chaos Angel .

So I discovered today I'm not actually doing cyberpunk but destroying it, and I've really been doing solarpunk before it was even named. Now I need to let the realization settle in.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!