Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Don't Fake the Steamfunk

As you'll recall, the -punk suffix means "modern fiction written to emulate the science fiction written in the past".  It has nothing to do with Richard Hell.  The -funk suffix in the same context means "see above, only with black folk".

Some of it is straightforward new pulp or fill-in-the-blank-punk with black characters.  Some deal with social issues of the time period, unlike mainstream steampunk which tends to idealize the past, but from what I've seen politics takes a back seat to action and entertainment.

Some authors mix in fantasy elements from both Africa and the American south, or use historical and folk characters like Harriet Tubman and John Henry.

A related genre is Sword and Soul - think Conan, but set in a mythical Africa of the past.

Some names to look for - Charles R. Saunders, Milton Davis, Balogun Ojetade, and Valjeanne Jeffers

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