Squidpunk–the New Movement

Jeff VanderMeer • October 15th, 2007 @ 1:03 pm • Culture

Given the rise of squidpunk, we’re proud to announce the following:

SQUIDPUNK: The Anthology
A 300,000-word anthology from Bloomsbury in 2009 featuring squidpunk stories, essays, and interviews. In addition to my work, there will be fiction by Stephen Baxter, Peter Watts, Mike Moorcock, and Caitlin Kiernan. (More on this to follow.) John Coulthart will be creating the design and cover from his collection of twenty-five thousand squid images. Bloomsbury will be notified about their role in all of this sometime in the next month.

Fiction that unlike New Weird, Steampunk, or Slipstream, is at its core not only about squid, but about the symbolism of squid as color-changing, highly-mobile, alien-looking, intelligent ocean-goers. As a powerful ecosystem indicator, the squid is a potent symbol for environmental rejuvenation. Squidpunk is almost exclusively set at sea and must contain some reference to either cephalopods or to anything that thematically relates to squid, in terms of world iconography and tropes. Squidpunk is never escapist or whimsical. It is always serious and edgy. This combination of a hard punk aesthetic with the fluid propulsion system common to the squid has produced a unique literary hybrid beloved by Mundanes and Surrealists alike.

29 Responses to “Squidpunk–the New Movement”

  1. Alex D M says:

    If movements were my kink, I’d hit that.

  2. Rick Klaw says:

    If this was April 1 and it was anyone but you, I’d think this was a joke.. sadly, it’s not.. is it??

  3. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    As soon as Bloomsbury is notified that they will be publishing our antho, and I set up the whole squidpunk paradigm, we’re a go. I also have to make sure people start writing squidpunk and that the writers I’ve name-checked are told to start sending in their already-accepted pieces to our antho ASAP. Oh–and Coulthart will need to be told to acquire s 25k squid image collection.

    But, mostly, it’ll be aimed at squid, so it’s going to be published in squidlish, actually on a strobing squid. Humans will need a snorkel and all of that to “read” the book–but, also they’ll have to learn squidlish.

    I think all of this might be an indication that whatever I’m coming down with is the flu. :(


  4. Ennis Drake says:

    As a lover anything punk . . . I’m all over this! Are you accepting submissions? I’ve had a concept I’ve been toying with for months about the psychological stresses of living in a marine habitat (which I was basing on NASA’s mock lunar habitat in the Gulf of Mexico). If the antho is open, what kind of deadline would I be looking at, and where would I send something if I was able to produce it in time?

  5. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Dear Friends: This post was meant as a joke. How could it be anything other than a joke? No matter. I still love you all.


  6. Steve B says:

    The _Wayne’s World_ quote “Fiiished in!” seems apropos here.

  7. neilwilliamson says:

    Because you type with such a straight face, Jeff.

    You’re the boy who cried squid! after all.

  8. Corey Redekop says:

    I’m from northern Manitoba, and I’m interested in starting up an anthology of Chipmunkpunk. Any takers?

  9. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Corey–I’m in. Just as soon as I finish my squidpunk retelling of the Odyssey and my squirrelmonkeypunk arboreal adventure serial.


  10. Corey Redekop says:

    Great. I’ll pencil you in after my exploration into the relgious socio-economic ramifications of Monkpunk, my weight-obsessed novel Chunkpunk, and, of course, the discoteria-themed Funkpunk.

  11. Jayme Lynn Blaschke says:

    Two words: KRAKEN SWARM!

    Do not trifle with me, sir.

  12. Stefan Hayden says:

    this is so awesomely bad!

  13. Stefan Hayden » Squidpunk Manifesto says:

    [...] Jeff VanderMeer has published what must surly be the official and definitive Squidpunk Manifesto. I look forward to see who takes this joke the farthest. Posted October 15th, 2007 in web | Link | if (ShowGoogleAd == 1) { document.write(“”); } [...]

  14. Matt Staggs says:

    Oh, but what about the New Squid?

  15. John Coulthart says:

    Steady on, I think I’ve only got about 12,000 squid images. I’ll have to raid the Encyclopaedia Squidanica at this rate.

  16. Rachel Abrams says:

    “The Calamari Caper” ?..

  17. pauljessup says:

    Oh yeah? Well I take your movement and raise it to the next level! Sushi Punk!

  18. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    That said, I am now thinking about doing a Squidpunk pop culture book, if I can convince Chronicle or Taschen or somebody to do it.

  19. Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Any hope of getting Bruce Schneier in on this?

  20. Jaq Greenspon says:


    Been hearing about for some time from various friends (Jay Lake, Kari O’Connor) but now you’ve gone and convinced me I need to read you first hand. Brilliant idea for an antho and if you ever get Bloomsbury on board, I’d love to send you a submission.

  21. Noadi says:

    I for one wholeheartedly think you should do this book and should you expect to be flooded by me begging to do art for it.

  22. Jumpdrives and Cantrips » Blog Archive » Yay! Return of Tidbits! says:

    [...] Amy Long, an artist who created crocheted and knitted tentacle-like pieces for her MFA thesis exhibit. See a slideshow on her Flickr site. To me the pieces look a little like genitalia, but so do lots of tentacle-like things… (via io9). Brings a whole new meaning to squidpunk. [...]

  23. Squidpunk : Megan Powell . Net says:

    [...] can think of no more fitting way to kick off Squid Week ‘08 than with Jeff VanderMeer’s Squidpunk Manifesto: Fiction that unlike New Weird, Steampunk, or Slipstream, is at its core not only about squid, but [...]

  24. Randy says:

    I fully encourage you to pursue this trend, as I am dying to see hipsters strutting around in pointy squid hats and tentacle-scarves, mocking up nautical themed gadgetry and objects like computer mice that appear to work on fluid propulsion. Of course, if you confront them on the pretentiousness of it all, they will merely squirt a cloud of aerosolized ink at you and run away.

    Also, I think that squids have been under-represented in fantasy fiction, trailing only slightly behind African American protagonists and slightly ahead of naked mole rats.

    My own alternate -punk trends were published on Fantasy Magazine, but none of them are as frighteningly believable as yours.

  25. Odd Lots – Jeff Duntemann’s Contrapositive Diary says:

    [...] head down to the closest Greek restaurant, order some calimari, and curl up with an anthology of squidpunk. Damitall, when are we gonna see glyptodontpunk? I'll show you escapist and [...]

  26. InquiringOctopus says:

    God dammit, I googled “Squidpunk” to make sure no one else had started this movement specifically so I could!

  27. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    There’s also http://www.squidpunk.com

  28. Lane says:

    I can say some of your audience will come back to see your next writing.

  29. TB says:

    Arthur C. Clarke wrote “The Shining Ones” a long time ago. Nothing new under the sun…

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