Greetings! I've discussed many punk genres on my blog, including steampunk, cyberpunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, and others. Some of these genres have a long history of publications while others are quite sketchy. What about stonepunk? It's a punk genre that takes place in the Stone Age, primarily focusing on early man and their social issues. Can a punk genre really exist during the Stone Age? I believe it can, so keep reading to find out more information.
Overall, it's better if you don't make the situation too complex. The actual Stone Age lasted for 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE. We saw multiple evolutions of mankind through this time period, including the Neanderthals, Co-Magnon, and other predecessors. Technology was very limited with tools that were made out of stones, trees, bones, animal skins, etc. However, rocks can be surprisingly good resources. Early man used their tools to create clothes, weapons, fire, baskets, and more. A lot of modern people might not realize it, but their early ancestors were efficient hunters and artisans who lived in organized clans. So, there's a decent foundation for the stonepunk genre. This punk genre takes the lifestyles, technology, and conflicts of early man and adds something else to the mix, such as anachronisms, modern social issues, fantasy or sci-fi elements, and more.
Naturally, it's easier to make the genre clear with some examples. Unfortunately, stonepunk is a relatively new genre that doesn't have a long list of notable work. With that said, my favorite example is probably a video game called Horizon Zero Dawn. The game actually takes place during a future Stone Age where mankind reverted to early technology after falling victim to an apocalyptic event. These retro futuristic humans live in tribes, use primitive weapons, and dress like “cave people" while they battle robot dinosaurs and mammals. Like many punk stories, a spirited young lady is the protagonist.
I'm also fond of a book series called Earth's Children. Some of you might be familiar with the first book; The Clan of the Cave Bear. It's a really long series that follows the lifetime of a Cro-Magnon woman named Ayla. She was adopted by a Neanderthal clan, but she doesn't fit into their social structure very well. Their leader views her as a threat because she's naturally more advanced than the people in his race. The series covers many social issues, including cultural identity, rape, abortion, misogyny, religion, feminism, and more. Earth's Children doesn't have a lot of fantasy elements, but is covers many contemporary issues through the perspective of early man.
10,ooo BC is a fantasy-adventure film that fits the stonepunk profile. I don't think it's a great movie, but some people will probably enjoy it. This movie throws together multiple time periods with a bunch of anachronisms. It literally pits cave people against ancient Egyptians from Antiquity. In fact, this film appears to take place during a fictional time period that combines elements from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Antiquity. It uses technology from all of these time periods and even some modern elements. Apparently, all of this chaos is happening in 10,000 BC. I think the concept is loony enough to fit in the stonepunk genre.
A game titled Far Cry Primal probably counts as well. Many of you are probably familiar with the Far Cry games. This one is a spinoff that takes place during the Stone Age. By the way, it also takes place during 10,000 BC. Essentially, a Cro-Magnon tribe undergoes major conflicts with a cannibalistic Neanderthal clan. It's incredibly violent and brash, like many punk works. Basically, this game shows the evolution of mankind through different tribes. Later, the protagonist encounters a more advanced tribe who are on the cusp of Bronze Age technology. It's worth mentioning that all of these examples feature a major rebellion.
We'll probably see more stonepunk works in the near future. I'm sure it's bound to happen at some point. What do think about punk fiction that's set in the Stone Age? Do you find it cool or simply ridiculous? Leave your honest opinions in the comment section. I'm going to leave some links to references and resources. Thanks a lot for reading my latest research topic and we'll see each other again soon. Have a good week!
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