The Biopunk Reader

20Dec/102

Statement of Intent



This blog will be about biopunk--squishy, breathing, breeding, bleeding biopunk. Like cyberpunk that came before it, biopunk tackles themes of dehumanization, non-human intelligence, post-humanism, and human exploitation. But instead of wrapping its dystopian future in computer chips, high tech prosthetics, and virtual reality, biopunk literally gets gutsier. Biopunk sees a future in which humans are changed not from the outside-in, but from the inside-out. Forget cyberspace and cybernetics; "bioengineering" is biopunk's buzzword. Gene-hacking, splicing, wetware.

This blog is a travel log. Ten years ago, I discovered the word "biopunk" and fell in love--but never made it past the first kiss. Now, I'm going on a journey to map this little-explored subgenre, and I am dragging the Internet with me. Here there be dragons. Also, gen-engineered flying snakes, mutant winged frogs, and scaled dogs that breathe fire.

This blog will be open-minded. Biopunk is a broader subgenre than its cousin 'punks. It can take place in the near future or the improbable past. It can come clothed as cyberpunk or steampunk, horror or general fiction. If lines exist, they are hazy and vague at best; feel free to color outside of them.

This blog will encourage community. A genre is only as real and immediate as the people who define it--and we define it through play, coversation, debate, and discovery. Speak up, speak out. Ask questions. Leave comments. Guest blog, share art, tell stories--interested? Email me at christinedanse@gmail.com.

Thank you for climbing on board. Welcome, and enjoy the trip!

--Christine

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  1. I look forward to hearing more about biopunk. Sounds like an interesting genre. I’m already exploring some elements of biopunk in my latest novel without ever realizing that it was a movement unto itself. The novel is primarily steampunk but has an element of moulding living beings through the use of the same forces which allow the creation of fantastic machines.

    • Mark,

      Sounds fun!

      Biopunk is usually associated with futuristic cyberpunk-like settings, but I really like the idea of biopunk set in the past. I’m reading Westerfeld’s Leviathan right now. It’s technically a steampunk, but I’d throw it into a biopunk pile in a heartbeat. Genetically engineered beasts that take the place of cars and machines of war? Certainly!

      I think we can use more steampunky biopunk, for sure. :)

      –Christine


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