Hi guys I just found out about this site and I have to admit I've always found Dieselpunk’s retro-futuristic aesthetics very appealing but I never knew there was a name for it!
I’m trying to learn more about Dieselpunk through the articles on this site but I still have a few questions related to DP as a genre (stories, movies, etc.)
In a Dieselpunk story, what would be considered the "must have" elements? I don’t mean the obvious period aesthetics, but things like archetypal characters, villains, society, settings, etc.
Are there any Dieselpunk short story anthologies you recommend? I’ve come across tons of Steampunk anthologies and novels but I’ve only seen a few in the Dieselpunk genre.
Others might know of Dieselpunk short stories anthologies but to the best of my knowledge there aren't any yet.
HOWEVER, the publishing house Twit Publishing is in the last stages of preparing to publish exactly that. Check out their site. Twit Publishing house is a small private publisher. I've met the owners several times and they're very cool guys who are into both personally into Steampunk and Dieselpunk.
Broken Time Blues is a branded dieselpunk anthology. There aren't too many others, because dieselpunk as a term isn't market-friendly yet. However, we do our best to collect the best books we can personally vouch for in the Dieselpunks shop.
If you're looking for tropes, there are quite a few > http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DieselPunk
The whole idea is to bring the spirit of the 1920s - 1940s and blend it with something contemporary. Many people do this with their world-building by pumping over-the-top pulp & noir elements into everyday life, but just be aware that a trope is also a stereotype. The tropes don't define dieselpunk as much as they've been overused so much that they've become recognizable in derivative fiction.
My best advice is always to tell the story you want to tell. If it's a good story, it won't matter what the setting or genre is. Those are just clothes on top of the skeleton and muscles you've already built. To start with a genre is to pidgeonhole yourself into copying what we've already read.
Larry and Tome: Thanks for the reply and recommendations, I'll make sure to check them out!
Tome: That tvtropes link is very informative, that was exactly what I was looking for! I had this idea for a story set in an alternate 1930s with a few elements considered "dieselpunk"(I wasn’t aware of the term). That's why I asked about general story elements or tropes, not to be cliché but to familiarize myself more with the genre and try to push my idea more into the dieslpunk arena, but I agree with you about originality being more important than setting. BTW, I’m no writer just an aspiring one. :) Thanks for the help!
Welcome aboard, Skybaron! Stop by the Writer's Group for some good discussions and advice as well.
Hello Skybaron. I'm in the same boat with recently discover the dieselpunk culture, and in a similar manner I'd been adding dieselpunk element in my writing without realizing there was a name for it. I called the tone of the story 'dystopian noir' as it was set in the future but was styled like the old noir films. Fortunately I ran into an artist here named Stefan who introduced me to dieselpunk.
I haven't read too many works that can be called dieselpunk, though Scott Westerfield wrote a YA series called Leviathan that was actually pretty good.
There's some good Dieselpunk out there from large pubs sold under the "Steampunk" genre, such as The Company Man and Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett or The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer. These all have very Diesel-era feels and technologies such as noir elements, suits & fedoras, flying cars, skyscrapers, robots, deco-like design references, etc. Right now, though "Steampunk" sells, even when it's Dieselpunk!