Hi, guys! I hope you enjoyed the interview with Tobias. At the moment, I want to have a discussion about a genre of science fiction that's a bit similar to steampunk. How many of you heard of atompunk? I doubt you know anything about it. This is a much newer and less popular subgenre of science fiction. Cyberpunk helped create several spinoff genres, including steampunk and others. Let's take a look at atompunk and perhaps, you'll learn to enjoy it.
Atompunk is closely related to steampunk. Both of the genres are retro futuristic. Basically, atompunk stories takes place in an alternate version of the past with highly advanced technology. Such stories can also take place in a distant future with archaic elements. Most of the time, atompunk plots take place during an alternate version of the Cold War. The environment tends to be flamboyant with robots, advanced nuclear technology, streamlined architecture, hover cars, ray guns, interdimensional traveling, and all kinds of elements from science fiction.
The term called raygun gothic is frequently synonymous with atompunk. However, I think the two genres are a little bit different from each other. I would say atompunk is a darker and usually more post-apocalyptic version of raygun gothic. In fact, atompunk might be a subgenre of raygun gothic. I know this can sound confusing, but building universes usually opens huge cans of worms. Atompunk settings are usually an example of nuclear power gone horrible wrong. In a way, atompunk shows the dangers of nuclear technology and why we need to be careful about it.
Arguably, the most well known atompunk series is probably the Fallout video game franchise. It takes place centuries in the future, but everything looks like the American Cold War period. The fashion and architecture looks very much like the 1960s. Robots are commonplace and weapons are frighteningly powerful. For some reason, everything runs on nuclear energy. Televisions, microwaves, cars, phones, and all other forms of technology are radioactive. I guess nobody warned the characters about the long term use of atomic power. One day, countries waged war on each other and hailed nukes in every direction. The end results were catastrophic and the entire world was reduced to a nuclear wasteland. Thanks for breaking the world, everybody. The game is actually really cool. There are several human settlements and some of the advanced artificial intelligence can be very helpful. Radiation led to the creation of several mutant animals and zombie-like humans called feral ghouls. Needless to say, the environment in Fallout is a nightmare.
What can we learn from this nuclear apocalypse? Firstly, atomic power isn't a toy and it should be used appropriately. It can also be deadly in the wrong hands. Nuclear energy is very powerful and it would be tempting for countries to use it as a weapon. Unfortunately, this happens in real life. We already saw the great and terrible power of the atomic bomb. I hope we won't see it again during our lifetime, but atompunk really plays on our fears. Both steampunk and atompunk tend to be twisted morality tales.
Some films and books that take place in contemporary settings can also be labeled as atompunk. The Chernobyl Diaries is a horror film that features a grotesque species of mutants who evolved from the nuclear fallout in Chernobyl.
The latest Godzilla movie also features the dangers of nuclear power. The film includes several monsters that actually devour radioactive waste as a food source. Sounds pretty gross.
This post should give you a basic idea of atompunk. Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be okay. It's a genre of science fiction and that's a good thing. If you want to know more about atompunk, I'm going to list a couple online resources.
I hope you found the post interesting. Do we have any experts on atompunk out there? If so, please educate us. You guys are welcomed to leave comments or questions. That's all for now and I hope everyone has a good start to the week.
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