First off, I wish to thank you for this fun and informative forum I'm an Atom Punk, but I also like diesel punk. To me, the Transitional Period between Steam Punk and Diesel was from 1910-1920, Diesel Punk was 1920-1945, with a transitional period of 1939-1957 to Atom Punk.
Atom Punk would have been from 1945-1993[The year the Soviet Union dissolved]. One way to tell between two in style of presentation. Diesel Punk tends to be more angular and massive, whereas Atom Punk is more streamlined. Example[s]: A M-1 Garand rifle is diesel punk, whereas an M-14 rifle is Atom Punk. Likewise, a 1911A1 .45 pistol is diesel punk, whereas a Beretta 951 9mm pistol is Atom Punk. A B.A.R. is diesel punk, but an M240 is atom punk. An AK-47 is diesel punk but a Ruger Mini-14 is atom punk.
Here's a list of some atom punk-themed video games:
War of the Monsters
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Destroy All Humans
Fallout: New Vegas
Here are some diesel punk themed videogames:
Medal of Honor: European Assault
Call of Duty
Resistance: Fall of Man
Call of Duty of World at War
Here are some Atom punk themed movies:
Godzilla, King of Monsters(1955)
Varan the Unbelievable(1962)
You only live twice
Warlords of the 21st Century(1983)
Here are some Diesel Punk Themed Movies:
The Roaring 20s(1939)
Here are some Atom Punk TV shows
Voyage to the bottom of the sea[1964-1969]
The Man from UNCLE[1964-1969]
Here are some diesel punk themed TV shows:
Does anybody have any examples of Atom punk music or Diesel Punk music? I'm intrigued!
No Xbox games? Seriously one sided list.
You should focus on the science and technology, not on the dates. Also, how could you not mention Wolfenstein? There are a few boardgames which might also fit, such as Tannhäuser and some of the Arkham Asylum games.
There are a few songs by Rammstein which sound like they would fit well into a dieselpunk universe. Reise, Reise and Mutter for example. The lyrics themselves have nothing to do with that though. There are probably some songs in the "White Power" kind of genre that would work, but I'm keeping my distance from them.
Good synopsis overall! And glad to see you share my "transitional periods" view.
I will say that the statement "Diesel Punk tends to be more angular and massive, whereas Atom Punk is more streamlined" is rather misleading, as Dieselpunk, being Art Deco and Streamline Moderne based, is by its nature streamlined. A better statement might be something like "Dieselpunk aestetics are based more on sharp yet flowing minimalist, quasi-organic forms while atompunk aestetics tend towards a scientific, mathematical-based purity." Though in the case of firearms your statement holds some accuracy.
Another awesome game that always gets ignored is TimeShift. It's dieselpunk and really fun.
I'm a fan of '80s style 'atompunk'. Which is literally punk in a post-nuclear / dystopian environment, especially The Road Warrior and all its descendents (Dead End Drive-In, Hardware, etc.).
Dystopian '80s films are a special pet genre of mine. The mid-'70s is when punk emerged, and soon became cyberpunk, leading to the gritty scenarios of KW Jeter's Dr. Adder and John Walter Williams' Hardwired. We can look back on these works now and call them atompunk as well, as they had a focus on nuclear warfare and a post-apocalyptic environment that, say, William Gibson didn't.
Fallout is a special case for gaming but has relatives in cinema. The Fallout series are ingenious satires of '50s culture as viewed through Totally '80s Road Warrior-esque dystopianism -- drawing parallels, either consciously or not, between the two. Fallout's atompunk fantasyland seems inspired by '80s films like Streets of Fire and Escape From New York, which themselves were '50s youth-gone-wild gang films, modernized for a gritty '80s 'punk' environment.
The focus on youth / gang culture as social structure (as opposed to anarchy or an oppressive fascist government that are, in the films, the only alternatives) remains a sort of constant between all of them. This particular mix of subgenres is also a reflection of urban dystopian films from prior decades -- Taxi Driver, Death Wish etc. that culminated in 1979's The Warriors (a mix of dystopian fantasy and retro gang film that can easily be seen as Fallout's grandfather).
I don't see the relation to 'punk' or postmodernism in many of the OP's choices so I'd be intrigued to know your rationalization for them.
What the OP touches on, and what I think is most important about 'atompunk', is that the Cold War underlies the entire period of history and informs fictional representations of it. That '50s and '80s gang films are similar is no coincidence when you consider the social atmosphere of the McCarthyist '50s and the Reaganite '80s. The main overall difference was that '80s films are much more cynical. The filmmakers were themselves more punk-like, i.e. not part of the mainstream Hollywood establishment that produced Rebel Without a Cause. The option of 'going legit' for the punk characters isn't so much feature of '80s punk movies because the 'establishment' is either oppressive or totally absent.
The musical styles of the decades that you are including in your definition are really quite diverse. For example, the period between 1939 and 1945 was basically The Big Band era-and I guess, in a way, it really a kind of "punk" in its own way, because the musicians certainly considered they were doing their own "thing" a good twenty years or more before that phrase became part of the lexicon. I think most of them considered themselves jazz musicians-and jazz has always had a rather subversive reputation. Of course, since most of the time they were playing was right in the middle of the last world war, their music was, in the terms of the government, supportive. The most "anti-war" they possibly got was writing some songs that expressed the sadness of loved ones being apart, or the loss of a loved one in the war, such as "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me," "I'll Be Seeing You," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," and many others. For the most part, though, the music was meant to keep the morale up of the population, so we had things like "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company C," and "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition."
From the end of the war to the advent of rock and roll, in 1952, most of the popular songs were anything but thought provoking-and far, far from rebellious in any shape, form or fashion. The reason for this, IMO, is that its the end of the war era, and the public is war weary. The war was won, and the country-as a whole-considered itself on the "upswing," and the music the public wanted to hear was mellow, to say the least. This was the era of Jo Stafford, with her song,"Shrimpboats," Patti Page's "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window," and the most mellow fellow ever, Nat King Cole.
Of course, there were waves still among the calm. It was the movie, Blackboard Jungle, which was a movie about a teacher trying to teach kids in an environment where his class is disrupted by some serious juvenile delinquents. The movie, of course, included the song, "Rock Around The Clock" as its main theme. Reports from the time state that the movie influenced some of its young audience to emulate the violence in the movie, both in the US and the UK. In fact, the movie was banned at first in the UK, when it was refused a "cinema certificate."
Interestingly enough, rock and roll music wasn't any more raucous than the Big Band music had been-and some of the dances from that era certainly were more frenetic than "plain ole' rock and roll" However, I think that a young Frank Sinatra was perhaps the most subversive presence from that era(and the amazing thing is that he actually was, behind the scenes)for his effect on his young female fans, but certainly not from his appearance in his typical suit and bow tie. It was the usually sneering visages of the likes of Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley that gave rock its air of rebellious indifference and implied intimidation and disdain for any authority outside of " its own."
Actually, for several decades, the "younger" generation had had its own styles and "trends." Not until the fifties, though, did there seem to be such a focus on the activities of the younger generation. Some have theorized that it was because the fifties were when the Baby Boom generation entered its teen years, and because its size, and the particular era they came of age in, with all the technological advances, especially in the communications media, with tv becoming an "eye" for the general public to view the world from, and vice versa.
IMO, this is the first time that I think that the idea that we generally apply to "punk" starts to take shape. There have always been pockets of society that thumbed their noses at convention, but none so pervasive as this-or at least that managed to assert itself so that it was more than a blip on the screen of history.
I was born in the middle of the fifties. By the time that I was old enough to start to have some memory of "stuff" it was more like 1959/60. I was a "space cadet" pretty much from the start, and my first tv show that I loved, besides all the "kiddie" fare at the time, was My Favorite Martian. I loved The Jetsons, for sure, but I also liked The Flinstones. So.this brings me to the fact that I really think there should be a further distinction-or at least a subgenre-which applies to how the Space Race affected culture, because it certainly did. The late fifties/early sixties was also where technology started to move toward transistorized electronics-the first "solid state" systems that were for public consumption.
So, there was a definite change of direction in musical style. My sister was quite a few years older than I was, so she was in her early teens at this point of my life, so I have a pretty good memory of where music was at the time. Though there were still many late fifty artists holding on, the music was moving first toward the folk era-which did have some political expression, though it was still mellow in the way that the music from the early fifties I mentioned earlier. We then had the advent of Surfer music, which also had a thread of rebellion running through it, though it was more in terms of hanging around the beach and hanging ten when you should be doing something more constructive. This was also the era of "silly" songs, like "Purple People Eater," about a rather frightening, but inane space alien, "The Bird Is The Word," and "Papa Oom Mow Mow," which were just humorous takes on current pop culture.
However, some of this music used the most modern technology available to try and simulate "space age" music. Probably the most famous of these is the song, "Telstar," by the British group. The Tornadoes, which was named after the first American communications satellite placed in orbit.
I have to admit, these early sixty records are what I think about when I think about atomic punk, or "space punk" if one wants to compartmentalize things more.
Out of Limits by The Marketts
Penetration(yes, I know how it sounds, but it was a surfing term, at the time)by the Pyramids
Of course, the Beatles were just on the horizon, and though their manager was smart enough to know he had to "package" them in a way that they would just seem like nice British young men. So, he did, and they were accepted, and changed the musical direction yet again during another phase of the atomic punk era.
It's interesting how the idea is still in the collective consciousness. There is this group I stumbled upon, who do this style of music very well, whose name, is appropriately, Atomic Mosquitoes.