Mad Max is dieselpunk, not steampunk. That’s important.

You might not think the distinction matters, but understanding the difference will make you love Fury Road even more.

Steampunk focuses on the aesthetic of the mid-late 19th century. It imagines that the technology of the age advanced into the future, but the aesthetic and cultural markers stayed more or less the same.

The core of the steampunk concept is that the world of the future still runs on steam power: steam-powered ships, airships, vehicles, and trains. It’s a sustainable resource, and it gives the steampunk universe the freedom to experiment with alternate technologies (or magical ones, if you’re into that). The steampunk world is an expansive world, growing and exciting, full of cogs and clocks and light and electricity.

Dieselpunk, on the other hand, fixates on the early 20th century, particularly the 1920s–1940s. Dieselpunk society is powered entirely by diesel. In the dieselpunk world, technology may yield power, but it comes at a cost.

In dieselpunk, the energy of pre-war art deco and its emergent technology comes head to head with the weary cynicism of a world made bleak by World War II. Dieselpunk emphasizes war and weaponry where steampunk emphasizes peace and technological invention. Dieselpunk is gritty and grimy where steampunk is clean. Dieselpunk emphasizes artillery, steel, and iron. In essence, steampunk is gold and brass; dieselpunk is silver and chrome.

A dieselpunk society is one in a state of depletion. Which brings us, of course, to Mad Max: Fury Road.

Normally, dieselpunk societies evolve from an anachronistic point in history, but the world of Mad Max has eroded there instead. The only cars that can survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland are older cars made of steel and muscle.

Those metals aren’t signifiers of evolution or technology, but of decay and enslavement. Max is put in an iron mask, and the wives are put in steel belts. The core resources that are fueling their culture are also killing them. And so deep is the Warboys’ dedication to Immortan Joe’s dieselpunk aesthetic that before they die, they spray their mouths with chrome.

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OMG you guys/gals! Guess who’s in this week’s Republic Lifestyle?? Sorry I don’t have a good scanner and my phone camera’s crappy, but here’s a transcript of the writeup:


Avatar Korra discusses integration plans for the Spirit World and the infrastructure of Republic City with Future Industries CEO Asami Sato. The relationship between the world spiritual leader and the scion of the late industrial tycoon Hiroshi Sato has resulted in a harmonious and productive partnership that has so far been advantageous in keeping Republic City and its neighboring states economically and politically stable. Some say it’s a relationship with strategic implications, but those close to the couple will attest that it’s one that’s founded on genuine kinship, love and trust. 

Ok, I clearly don’t live in this reality anymore! And LOL “love and trust” my ass, I’m not the best writer, sorry. Haha! Why are they talking business in a hangar? Because I say meeting rooms are boring and I want to draw airplanes and engines! Jokes aside, I added the full image without text in case anyone wants it. And a vertical crop if you wanna use it for your phone heh.


1933 Hot Rod Powered by 510-inch big-block Ford

Think there weren’t hot rodders around in the late 1800s? Just check out those horse-drawn carriages: big ’n’ little wheels, pinstriped panels, lacquer paint, and leather upholstery are all design characteristics that could be found back in the day. (Did you know Studebaker started out by making covered wagons back in 1852?) And of course by the late 1800s several companies had figured out they could add a steam engine to their carriage, which would lay the groundwork for what would eventually become the automobile.

Steam power was all the rage before the turn of the last century, but what would today’s hot rodders have built if they were around back then? That concept is what makes the basis for an art movement popular today called Steampunk. Incorporating aspects of industrial machinery and steam-powered devices (think: springs, gears, levers, gauges with arrows, riveted steel or aluminum, relief valves, and a fair share of bumps and bulges), the Steampunk of today is about as far away as you can get from the look of those smoothy hot rods that were the fad back in the late 1900s. (Read the original article)

Via Hot Rod 

Every Timepunk/Punkpunk Genre I Could Find, 2014

These are not definitions or in-depth in any way. I describe each with associations and imagery, as I’ve found these to be useful shorthand for explaining to total strangers and newbies.

Inclusion on the list was a bit loose, but since there are whole threads out there devoted to making up genre names, I tried to make sure each punk term was actually used in at least a couple of works or discussions.

I think some of the terms that survived are still in-jokes. Pretty sure “nowpunk” is an in-joke.

So far I haven’t found specialized terms referring to Indian or Middle Eastern steampunk, even though they are a thing, so they’re not on the list by themselves. Feel free to propose names.

2015 EDIT:

I’ve published an updated list with better categorization and several new terms!

Tour Eiffel, 1900

Le Moulin Rouge, 1900

Jardin du Luxembourg, 1895

Place Vendôme, 1871

Rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, 1871

Arc de Triomphe, 1909

Quai de Conti, 1900

La Seine. Notre-Dame, 1930

Place de l’Opéra, 1940

June 23, 1940, the day after Germany established occupation of France, Hitler made a lightning trip to Paris. His two hour tour of the capital included Notre Dame, Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe and, as seen here, the Opera.

Le Grand Palais, 1944

Hôtel-de-Ville, 1944

Two friends celebrate the liberation of Paris at Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, in August 1944.

Notre Dame, 1944

A joyful Liberation scene on August 25, 1944.

Julien Knez brings the past to the future by placing photos of Paris from the 19th and 20th centuries against their modern-day counterparts to reflect on how much the city has changed, yet still remains familiar.”

via Did You Know 


Type 89 Kai 2 Particle Beam

Manufactured by Rokuoh-Sha’s occult investigation hardware branch between 1933 and 1944 to match the advances of the Thule-Gesellschaft in paranormal defense prior to World War 2.
35mm 120MeV hydrogen ions beam.

People don’t often think about the underworld front of WW2.