[[quoteright:316:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/orphans-tale.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:316:Curiouser and curiouser...]]

->''"Sei had never been comfortable in the presence of books. Their natural state was to be shut, closed, to grin pagily from shelves, laughing at her, promising so much and delivering such meanness, such thinness. They displayed only men and women with dead eyes and rituals of living she could not understand. When closed, books gave impressions of perfection. They did not need her."''
-->--'''Cathrynne M. Valente''', ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}''

->''"We raise and raze our city like the strangest house of cards..."''
-->-- '''S.J. Tucker''', "We are Shangri-La"

[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythpunk#Other_proposed_derivatives Mythpunk]] refers to "a subgenre of mythic fiction" in which classical folklore and faerie tales get hyperpoetic postmodern makeovers. Coined by author Creator/CatherynneMValente, the term describes ''[[http://yuki-onna.livejournal.com/263738.html a brand of speculative fiction which starts in folklore and myth and adds elements of postmodern fantastic techniques: urban fantasy, confessional poetry, non-linear storytelling, linguistic calisthenics, worldbuilding, and academic fantasy.]]''

Characterized by [[AwesomeAnachronisticApparel baroque multicultural fashion]], [[EveryoneIsBi alternative/ queer sexuality]], [[AdaptationExpansion bizarre retellings]] of [[TwiceToldTale familiar faerie tales]], [[ImHavingSoulPains pervasive anxiety]], [[BigNo fear of inevitable change]], [[MindScrew elaborate symbolism]] and [[{{Deconstruction}} radical reinterpretation]], mythpunk is a cross-media movement. Although largely defined through literary works like Andrea Jones's ''Hook & Jill'', Francesca Lia Block's Literature/WeetzieBat series and Catherynne Valente's ''Literature/TheOrphansTales'', the mythpunk aesthetic occasionally manifests in music (The Decemberists), film (''Pan's Labyrinth''), jewelry and other media forms.

Although this (sub)genre shares many elements with UrbanFantasy, mythpunk stories tend to avoid [[ThreeActStructure linear or obvious story structures]], [[PurpleProse simple prose]] and [[ClicheStorm easily-discernible character archetypes]]. You may find talking dance shoes or carnivorous zebra-satyrs in a mythpunk tale, but [[{{Wangst}} lovesick vampires]] are right out!

(The name "mythpunk" also refers to a ''fiction blog''; see below for details.)

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!!Tropes:

* AdaptationExpansion: Common in such stores.
* ArabianNightsDays: Middle-Eastern influences (or outright) homage is common.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Common in narrative, not as much among characters.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Monsters are often gentle, even heroic, and almost always misunderstood... yet still monsters.
** Also humans could be the ''[[HumansAreTheRealMonsters real]]'' [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters monsters]].
* CloudCuckoolander: Many mythpunk characters are decidedly, often wonderfully and occasionally frighteningly eccentric.
* CrypticConversation: Characters often speak in riddles, stories or baroque metaphors, often to the annoyance of other characters.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Almost a foundation for this genre.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Faerieland often isn't a nice place to be...
* DownTheRabbitHole: Sometimes used to link the setting with the "real world".
* EveryoneIsBi: Sexuality and gender are often rather... um, fluid.
* FairyTale: The foundation for this genre.
** FracturedFairyTale: And macabre buildings are raised over it.
* FramingDevice: Many mythpunk stories involve tales-within-tales.
* {{Grimmification}}: Especially notable in Block's works, but typical overall.
* LyricalDissonance: Beauty and misery are close companions in this genre.
* MindScrew: Almost by default, this genre presents almost everything in surreal terms, sometimes to excess.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: The genre's "linguistic calisthenics" can occasionally get rather thick.
* NightmareFuel: Disturbing, even horrific, imagery are used deliberately in-universe as a hallmark of these tales.
* OurFairiesAreDifferent: Mythpunk authors hew closer to TheFairFolk than to Disneyfied pixies.
* OurMonstersAreDifferent: A staple of Valente's work.
* PurpleProse: Often on the borderline and occasionally over the edge.
* SteamPunk: Often overlaps with mythpunk, especially in its Victorianna trappings.
* TalkingAnimal: As in traditional folklore, mythpunk animals are quite chatty.
* ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs: In-universe, the "punk" element of mythpunk often comes from the rampant [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolism]] and [[TheWalrusWasPaul surreal atmosphere]].
* {{Twice Told Tale}}s: Many mythpunk stories have origins in older tales.
* UrbanFantasy: Usually the starting-point of an adventure that gets stranger as it goes along.
* WorldBuilding: Mythpunk stories often feature [[CultureChopSuey polycultural]] stews of elaborate degree.

!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/DantalianNoShoka'' does it in-universe: storybooks have powers that can be drawn into RealLife, and it's the job of the main characters to stop such effects before they harm people. [[AntiHero Some of them]] are more willing to ShootTheDog than others.
* ''Manga/KagihimeMonogatari'' also does it in-universe: the main character is an avid reader and [[FanFic amateur writer]], so he's more than pleased to find out that fairy tales begin to play in real life... initially, anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics]]
* An apparent progenitor of this subgenre can be found in Neil Gaiman's ''[[ComicBook/TheSandman Sandman]]'' series, especially the "Season of Mists" story arc and the tales "Ramadan" and "Dream of 1000 Cats."
* Alan Moore's series ''ComicBook/{{Promethea}}'' is mythpunk from end to end.
* ComicBook/{{Hellboy}} has shades of this, combining fictional [[EldritchAbomination cosmic horrors]] with real-world mythological figures like BabaYaga and Hecate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film (Live Action or Animated)]]
* Tim Burton's 2010 version of ''Film/AliceInWonderland'' treads this territory with gusto.
** Of course, it can be argued that the original ''Alice in Wonderland'' was mythpunk in creepy training pants...
** It can also be argued that neither one of them are, since they don't use "elements of postmodern fantastic techniques". Although you could consider the 1800's-parts of the story from the perspective of the main character, it still follows traditional fantasy.
* Although the film predates the term, the 1980 film ''Film/TheCompanyOfWolves'' displays this genre in all its best and most excessive elements.
* ''Film/MirrorMask''. Totally... although it displays a bit more levity than many stories in this style.
* Americans thought that ''Film/PansLabyrinth'' (El Labertino del Fauno) was a nice little fairy tale. [[NightmareFuel The "R" rating should have clued them in...]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Most of the elements involved in this genre can be found in the writings of Creator/AngelaCarter, most obviously ''Literature/TheBloodyChamber,'' ''Literature/NightsAtTheCircus'', and ''The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman''.
* Andrea Jones's novel ''Hook & Jill'' features a poetically perverse [[ComingOfAgeStory Coming of Age]] tale. In it, Wendy Darling starts growing up and wanting someone a bit more... ''serious''... than an increasingly callous Peter Pan...
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Brom Gerald Brom's]] novel ''The Child Thief'' is a nightmarish take on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pan Peter Pan]]. It begins with a kid running from drug dealers and just gets progressively weirder from there. And for extra spice, it adds [[EverythingsDeaderWithZombies zombies]], too!
* Valente's ''Literature/TheOrphansTales'' features most of the tropes above, wrapped in a [[RecursiveReality Recursive Narrative]] drawn heavily from [[Literature/ArabianNights Arabian]], [[Creator/HansChristianAndersen Danish]] and [[http://russian-crafts.com/russian-folk-tales.html Russian]] fairy tales. Plus {{pirate}}s!
** Sei's saga in ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}'' features some [[CoolTrain amazing visions of locomotive mythology]].
*** November's saga = ''Brrrrrrr..." or perhaps that should be [[EverythingsWorseWithBees ''Buzzzzzzz...]]''
* As a promotional tour for her novel ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}'', Catherynne M. Valente toured several cities by train (mirroring the locomotive and city themes throughout the book). During that tour, Valente, her fans and various collaborators staged readings, shows and musical performances, often in costume.
** Fans and performers were often painted with "tattoos" that recalled the mystical map-tattoos that appear on people who have been to Palimpsest. Several of them have gone on to make those tattoos permanent.
*** The [[http://orphanstales.com/ajanabh/ Ajanabah]] setting from the ''Orphan's Tales'' series has been spun off into artwork, jewelry, fire-spinning shows, costumes, and several albums.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesca_Lia_Block Francesca Lia Block's]] novels and short stories practically vibrate with this style, most especially those in her Primavera series and the collection ''The Rose and the Beast''.
* The ''Jabberwocky'' series of anthologies published by Prime Books
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has some examples. Most of them predate the term ''mythpunk''.
** ''The Curse of Peladon'' and ''The Monster of Peladon'' both take place on a Federation planet with Roman and Medieval elements, and a castle with a king or queen. One of the characters in the second story is a satyr for no particular reason.
** ''The Androids of Tara'' is a futuristic retelling of ''The Prisoner of Zenda'' with electric flashing swords! Also includes castles, kings and robots!
** ''The Myth Makers'' takes place in Troy.
** ''The Underwater Menace'' has The Doctor and his companions taken prisoner by the survivors of Atlantis.
** ''The Mind Robber'' takes place in ''The Land of Fiction''.
** ''The Deadly Assassin, The Invasion of Time'', and particularly ''The Five Doctors'' portray the Time Lords in a slightly Romanesque culture.
** ''Battlefield'' is a sequel to the King Arthur legend.
** ''The Fires of Pompeii''
** ''The Pandorica Opens'' and ''The Big Bang'' [[labelnote:Spoiler--click to reveal]]Autons disguised as Romans, a Cyberman in the TempleOfDoom, [[SealedEvilinacan Pandora's Box]], Stonehenge, and a Fez![[/labelnote]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/TheDecemberists' 2009 release ''The Hazards of Love'' - a concept album based around the tale of a woman, her shape-changer lover, and his Forest Queen mother - is the epitome of this genre in action.
* Indie musician [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.J._Tucker S.J. Tucker]] has released, as of 2010, three albums based on Valente's work, toured with her to support ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}'', and sometimes performs in costume as characters from Valente's work. The first two albums in this series - ''For the Girl in the Garden'' and ''Solace and Sorrow'' are based upon the first two Orphan's Tales novels; the third, ''Quartered'', is based on ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}''.
* With the 2009 album '':ankoko butoh:'', the band [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith_and_the_Muse Faith and the Muse]] moved from its original [[{{Goth}} Gothic Rock]] sound to a more mythpunk aesthetic, including elaborate visuals, dancers, Asian cultural elements, and baroque theatrics.
* Music/YukiKajiura tends to evoke this sensibility in her intensely spiritual lyrics filled with abnormal psychology and references to hands, eyes, kisses, forests, circuses, and moons.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheDreaming'' and ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' can be played this way. Nothing force Storytellers to adopt RealLife fairy tales to his or her game, though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* The writer of the webcomic ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'', Ursula Vernon, obviously knows a lot of comparative mythology, much of it apparently gained from doing research for a degree in anthropology, as shown by the story's mix of a variety of mostly Asian sources, but including influences from around the world, including in one memorable case a modification of a myth told by the children of Cuban refugees in Miami, as well as some Vernon made up on her own.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Blog/{{Mythpunk}} is a blog featuring mythologized stories of historical characters along with dinosaurs, zombies, and the like.
[[/folder]]
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