Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Is Sci-Fi and/or fantasy a requirement to call something Dieselpunk?

Hey there guys & gals!
We had a great discussion on the Diesel Powered Podcast about Sci-Fi and Fantasy in Dieselpunk. Boss Larry Amyett asked the question whether it is a required element of the genre?

We'd love to get your feedback! Take a listen to the episode and let us know what you think!


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How is it overthinking or complicated? All I said was how steampunk is and how it and Dieselpunk have the same basic layout.

I would say King Kong is Dieselpunk(genre), BUT, it doesn't have the technology advancment that gives it the "punk". So instead it's Dieselpulp because it is closer to pulp which also has dinosuars and whatnot.

Honestly, I LOVE anything before the 2000s. 90s, 80s, 70s(not as much), 60s, 50s, 40s, ect. But Diesel just has my favorite style and genres like Noir, WW2, and pulp.

Second is Atompunk, because the Cold War and all the amazing tv shows of that era. I still want atompunk to be bigger, or to at least have it willingly mix with rockabilly so it can grow bigger. To continue going off tangent, I'm surprised how much bigger rockabilly is getting. I think the youngsters are adopting it as the new "hipster" or "gothic" or something. Kids these days...(I'm 21 lol)
Oh, so the steampunks refer to their fantasy genre as "gaslamp fantasy" so they, too, split fantasy from science fiction, all while "umbrella"ing it with the steampunk name. So, yeah. I think it applies to us as well.

The term gaslamp fantasy is really just from the comic Girl Genius.

So? No matter who coined it, the steampunks use the term to discribe their fantasy genre. So what I'm saying is that Dieselpunks need the same thing, IF there isn't already one.

Is there a reason not to use the word Fantasy? Why divide everything up into such small packets?


Let me ask you all this then: Why call it Dieselpunk and not just plain "sci-fi"? Why not call any body of work that is purely from imagination "Fiction"? Because the name of the genre tells the person who is being told the word what it is to a precise point, so then they don't have to go,

"Is there magic?"

"Is it scary?"

"Is there romance in there?"

"What's the style?"

"I don't like *insert type of era here*. Does it involve that?"

It's just like the names of an animal. Sure you can call it a cat, but to get a better idea of what kind of cat, that's why they have names like Ragdoll and Persian and Siamese.

Seriously, this is very basic knowledge, chaps. I would never think I would have to explain something like that.

I just feel there needs to be a distinct difference to warrant a new name. Which era it is in doesn't seem quite enough.

I also feel dieselpunk, steampunk, clockpunk etc is the same thing, and that using different names for it is silly. However as this thread shows, I seem to be in a minority.

Now wait just a minute there, Pilgrim. (LOL) A few of us Westerners might just take a bit of righteous offense at being lumped in exclusively with them there Cog-Boys. I might point out that most of them B-movie type Alien and Mutant critters most often tend to pop up out here in the 'sticks' long before you city-slickers ever (if ever) even catch a clue that they are even out and about. Always have, and pretty much seems, always will. Of course, we also tend to put paid to them too truly annoying ones on our own, or simply learn to live-and-let-live with them ones that ain't so-much-so, so I reckon we can't hold you all too accountable for your overall lack of wisdom on the topic. Still, no matter the era, Steam, Diesel, or Atomic we Westerners often tend to be Earth's front-line defenders whether we like or not. A darn good thing we tend to be better 'equipped' for the job.

I might also add that John Carter may have started his adventures on the Red Planet back in the early days of the west, but his later accounts were often recorded by meetings with descendants further up the time-stream. = So not just Steam either.

And, as I recall (though never much of a fan), Tarzan himself had a couple of brushes with Nazi villains over the years. = Not exclusively Steam either. 

And, by-the-by, us Westerners STILL own and operate more DIESEL driven vehicles than any other part of the nation. ;-) 

Erwin "Blacky" Blackthorn said:

Dan: Actually, yes, that was my idea of what Dieselpulp was. It just won't have stuff like "John Carter from Mars" or the westerns or the "Tarzan" stuff, because those are more Steampunk(or Steampennydreadful lol).

Atterton: That's why they're called subgenres. To distinct what Era it is portraying. We already have Urban Fantasy for fantasy in a modern day setting. Like I said, when the genre name is more specific, then the person listening can get the idea of what you're talking about.

Dan: Sorry there, Tex. I love rifleman and all the John Wayne flicks, so don't think I look down on westerns. I was just saying that in those times, all westerns took place in the late 1800s after or during the civil war. So they were technically steampunk for not having much vehicles to drive around in and a lot of steam powered trains to rob from.
I always thought Tarzan was in the 1800s too, so it was that sense I was refering to. Sorry if it wasn't, and good to know he fought nazis lol As well as John Carter. I always thought he was in the 1800s because of the civil war thing. But you know whay I mean, right? There were Diesel Era titles that took place in a steampunk setting, so I was saying that whichever ones they were, those don't count.
And I know all about westerns and mutant critters. Tremors is probably my favorite monster movie series ;)
I agree with Atterton that the multiple sub genres seem silly.

As for Tarzan and John Carter - I could (and have) include them as DieselPUNK because they ARE diesel era - with this qualification: do they meet the 4 criteria?
1) Contemporary in origin (contemporary to the era or since).
2) Have the visual aesthetics of the era
3) Sci-fi/fantasy/alt tech/alt history - Tarzan could qualify as fantasy.
4) Punk - counter cultural ideals/attitudes/characters.

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