Squidpunk–the New Movement

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.


  1. 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. :(


  2. 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?

  3. 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.


  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. InquiringOctopus says

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


  1. […] 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(“”); } […]

  2. […] 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 […]