Bio Punk

Punk Punk with Organic Technology and Bio-Augmentation, usually centered around genetic engineering and biotechnology. Expect to see a lot of Organic Technology, sculpted physiques and Petting Zoo People walking around... or hopping, swimming, flying, slithering, etc. Many buildings and ships will be grown, and a general Womb Level aesthetic will usually prevail. Issues examined may include Designer Babies, What Measure Is a Non-Human?, what is human, various aspects of ecology and effects of modified crops/animals/bacteria. And you'll see Aesops (particularly Green Aesops about creating what you can't control), both real and Fantastic.

It should be noted that the line between Bio Punk and Cyber Punk is very thin, and the majority of cyberpunk stories will contain some limited Bio Punk elements. The line between Bio Punk and Post-Cyberpunk is sometimes even thinner, with Post-Cyberpunk sharing many more elements with Biopunk in addition to not using as many Cyberpunk elements as its precursor due to being a Fuzzy concept.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In AKIRA they are working on creating telepaths.
  • Appears frequently in Tsutomu Nihei's works, especially Bio Mega.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: A thorough deconstruction of the Humongous Mecha genre, except all the humongous mecha are actually alternate forms of life to humanity that share the same, alien, origin.
  • Elfen Lied revolves around the Diclonius, a mutant species created by genetic manipulation, and how they're treated by humans in society
  • The technology of the North in Xam'd: Lost Memories consists of this, including the titular Xamd.
  • Gunnm features this in Venus, where everything is biological: furniture, vehicles and clothes. All of them are genetically enginereed, and based on human DNA.
  • REDLINE features this when we are introduced to Roboworld, many of it's weapons feature Organic Technology
  • Pokémon: The First Movie revolves around the creation of Mewtwo, an artificial Pokemon created by reverse-engineering the Legendary Pokemon Mew. It doesn't turn out well; his story provides the page quote for Gone Horribly Right.
    "We dreamed of creating the world's strongest Pokémon... and we succeeded."
  • In the Haruhi Suzumiya universe, Asahina implies that future technology will evolve along these lines.
  • Guilty Crown has shades of this.
  • Ilegenes Kokuyou No Kiseki is bio punk with a dash of Dystopia.
  • Karneval is bio punk crossed with Urban Fantasy.
  • Guyver, partly because of being an Darker and Edgier Homage/Deconstruction of Tokusatsu shows like Kamen Rider, falls pretty well into the Bio Punk niche (every single bit of advanced tech surrounding the Guyvers and their enemies are at least in-part biotechnology, if not entirely biotech).
  • Genocyber is a pulpy (in more ways than one) take on a lot of the more squicky themes from AKIRA. The second story arc features a Womb Level to boot.
  • The setting of Toriko dabbles in this, with Toriko and the rest of the Four Kings getting their power from having been injected with special Gourmet Cells, and a division of IGO dedicated to cloning and reviving extinct animals.

    Comic Books 
  • The comic book series Elephantmen deals with human-animal hybrids created in a war between Africa and China, and their struggle to reintegrate into society being essentially former child soldiers.
  • The X-Men series and its spinoffs trade pretty heavily in biopunk themes.
  • Finder fits into this very well, being set in an After the End scenario where a biotech-based civilisation collapsed, but many of its products, being self-reproducing living things, are still around.
  • In SCI-Spy apparently genetic modification with animals/aliens whatever is so mainstream that being a normal Joe attracts prejudice.
  • In Prophet, most of the Earth Empire's technology is a mix of biological/technological weaponry, not to mention the veritable army of genetically modified Clone Soldiers.
  • This is the core of the technology in the future colony setting of Adam Warren's Titans: Scissors, Paper, Stone, with a smattering of Cyber Punk (like the ubiquitous neural jacks and Prosthetic Lass herself), but the biotech is the main emphasis, even forming the basis of the future slang used.

    Fan Works 
  • Most fanfictions that used science fiction category (like the BioShock series of fanfics and its crossovers) will use several elements from this punk for plot or backstory reasons.
  • Plague Inc, available through Steam Workshop, offers mods in line with this genre: creating viruses that can make you a Splicer from the Bioshock series, turning uninfected humans into various monsters, or aimed at wiping out any remaining uninfected or unmodified humans.
  • Some fanfic author named ChadR-2014 seems devoted or loving this Punk in some of his Fanfics, that even few of his fanfics that Cybermatics are ether banned or non-existed at all causing somewhat of heavily enforced with No Transhumanism Allowed trope on Cybermatics.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • Monster Blood Tattoo seems to cross this genre with Steam Punk and a healthy dose of nightmares.
  • Night's Dawn, a trilogy of well-researched Space Opera novels by Peter F. Hamilton.
  • In the Courts of the Crimson Kings, a sci-fi novel by S.M. Stirling set on John Carter of Mars-type world made plausible with Bio Punk technology given to the Martians by Ancient Astronauts.
  • Jeff VanderMeer's Ambergris stories, especially the newest novel Finch are Urban Fantasy Bio Punk, or perhaps Spore Punk, with the Graycaps' fungus-based high technology that almost passes for magic, as far as the humans are concerned.
    • Hell, in Finch we even get fungus-cyborgs in the form of the Partials.
  • China Miéville's Bas-Lag Cycle, though closer to Dungeon Punk, has elements of this with the ReMade: bio-thaumaturges can warp flesh, bone and biology to heal, remake a being as something new, or (far, far more often) to punish.
  • The books Oryx and Crake and The Dry Flood by Margaret Atwood are set in the near future, and features many many bio-engineered animals, most notably pigs who can grow human organs for use in transplants.
  • The Maximum Ride series skirt this genre, with the protagonists being genetically engineered bird people that were created by immoral scientists in order to find the secrets of immortality.
  • S. Andrew Swann's Moreau Series is a perfect example. The protagonist is Nohar Rajasthan; a Half Tiger/Half Human Private Investigator in a world where hybrid "Moreaus" (As in "The Island of Doctor Moreau") are confined to ghettos as second class citizens. The series also has genetically improved humans, called "Franks" as in Frankenstein, and aliens.
  • Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress, along with the attendant novels in the trilogy.
  • The Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld has fabricated Beasties created after Darwin discovered the "Threads Of Life". Also uses LEGO Genetics.
  • The foundations of biopunk were arguably laid down as early as 1818, with the release of Shelley's Frankenstein — which means that biopunk was among the first science fiction ever published.
  • Another proto-biopunk tale that significantly predates the discovery of DNA is The Island of Doctor Moreau.
  • The West of Eden series by Harry Harrison is set in an Alternate History where dinosaurs never went extinct and the Earth is dominated by the reptilian Yilanè, who use specially bred creatures as everything from microscopes to submarines.
  • Brave New World centers around cloning, genetic manipulation and their impact on society. Arguably the Trope Codifier.
  • Eve and Adam is about a girl (Eve) who tries to genetically engineer the perfect boy (Adam). Said boy comes to life about halfway through the novel. Also, Eve herself is genetically engineered, to have healing powers.
  • Vladimir Vasilyev's Wolfish Nature duology takes place in an Alternate History where humans evolved from dogs instead of apes. For unexplained reasons, dog-humans became masters of genetic engineering and focused all scientific efforts on this area instead of developing "dead" technology. By the 20th century, all devices, buildings, and even common things like paper are grown instead of manufactured and require regular sustenance (when was the last time you fed your house or computer?). All our familiar dog breeds are still there, despite a good number of them being the result of human breeding programs in Real Life. This is also explained by the early days of genetic engineering, when plenty of Mad Scientists hid in their castles (yes, this happened in the Middle Ages) and tried to mess with dog-human DNA to improve their clans. "Dead" technology is a fairly recent development, as some inventions are better at their job than their "selectoid" (i.e. grown devices) counterparts, computers being the most obvious example. One of the greatest triumphs of genetic engineering is the so-called Bio-Correction, which took place hundreds of years ago and removed the "wolf gene" from every dog-human, removing their ability to kill without remorse. Anyone who even manages to kill another person is either insane or will go crazy and/or commit suicide. The Bio-Correction (which is a big lie of the Clap Your Hands If You Believe variety) results in a world with no wars, where murder is an extreme rarity, but where espionage has been elevated to an art form, and spies are the only ones specifically trained to kill without going crazy afterwards. Interestingly, the author chooses to focus on the "espionage" part, simply using the Bio Punk as a setting.
  • Slimer, which involves genetically turning a great white shark into a shapeshifting unstoppable killing machine.
  • Gene Wars covers the life of a guy named Evan from making genetically engineered amoebas when he was eight, to dying as essentially the last ordinary human.
  • Mira Grant's Parasitology revolves around a genetically engineered tapeworm designed to keep people healthy that winds up integrating itself into people's brains and setting off a Zombie Apocalypse. Her Newsflesh trilogy, about what civilization would be like after a Zombie Apocalypse if it didn't collapse also counts.
  • Shit Narnia in John Dies at the End, which is an alternate Earth where technology branched off into this in the mid 19th century. It's also where Eldritch Abomination and Big Bad Korrok was born.
  • Genetic augmentations are abundant in The Nexus Series, for both combat and cosmetic purposes. Just don't go around using them in the US...
  • Nikko in Linda Nagata's The Bohr Maker is genetically engineered to survive in the vacuum of space. Likewise the police dogs of the Commonwealth are a mixture of bio-engineering and cybernetic augmentation.
  • The Relic, which is about a Tragic Monster that Was Once a Man going on a rampage in a museum.
  • The Windup Girl is set in a future, post-peak oil Thailand where calories are the most important resource and genetically-engineered organisms, including man-made plagues, are common.
  • Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley, is set in the far future on a planet where descendants of Muslim colonists have schismed into two warring countries. Since this world is arid, water intensive animal husbandry isn't used. Instead insects have been engineered to be the main source of protein and the level of genetic engineering is so advanced, the insects have become replacements for electronic equipment. Also there are humans who have evolved on this world with the ability to control these insects via pheromones. The war between the two countries also makes extensive use of biological warfare, it's reached a point where the population has to regularly be checked and operated on for cancerous growths.
  • Genetic and ecological engineering play major roles in Paul Mc Auley's The Q Uiet War and indeed in most of his later work.
  • In Mark Hodder's Burton & Swinburne stories, everyday technology has been advanced by the Technologist caste with the two main branches being the steampunk Engineers and the biotech Eugenicists. Among the Eugenicists' standard innovations have been the specially bred dogs and parakeets used for sending messages, giant swans that tow people on kites, draft horses capable of hauling house-sized weights, and the broom cat - a shaggy cat that slides across the floor trapping dirt in its fur which it then eats. The Eugenicists have also developed transplanting brains and life extension treatments.
  • There was once an obscure novel whose title and author have been lost in which the solar system has been heavily terraformed and constructed lifeforms, or cyborgs created from such, are the majority of technology in the story. The story opens with a woman leaving her bioengineered house wearing a living cloak descended from a fox, using a cyborg tractor to work a field before coming home to find her house is dead, along with its occupants. The system is connected not just by an extended internet, but a second one that holds the minds of people who have voluntarily been absorbed into its terminals, due to a law which forbids people living too long (lest they go insane in a very literal sense) in order that the person, now integrated into a matrix along with all the other departed minds, can still be with us even though not alive. One of the protagonists has bio-engineered children. One of them follows him as he leaves to follow a lead across the system, and when they steal a prison bioship, it becomes indignant that suddenly it has to provide a dessert through its icky delivery tubes. One moon even has cities mostly grown out of huge trees. The climax is a battle with a faction who wish to take over the system and go truly off the scale with the biotech.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Babylon 5, Bio-Tech is the purview of the most advanced races. The Vorlon and Shadow ships are stated to be bio-ships, and it's hinted through their aesthetics, similar to those of the Vorlons and Shadows, that so are the other First One ships. To raise the tech level of their client races (Minbari for the Vorlons and Drakh for the Shadow) they grant them bio-tech (mostly ships armor). It's also heavily implied in the last episode of season 4 that bio-tech is also the future of human technology as a human from AD 1000000 is shown boarding a bio-ship right before the Sun goes Nova.
  • Dollhouse is all about messing with the human brain.
  • Farscape features heaps of organic technology (from the Translator Microbes to the Living Ships), and quite a few plots revolve around genetic manipulation.
  • Kamen Rider Amazons, a web show loosely based on one of the Showa Era heroes, features monsters and Riders as a result of a biological lab experiment gone horribly wrong. A far cry from the supernatural mystics and ancient Mayan science of the original.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: Helheim fruits alter the eater's DNA, converting them into an Inves. While it proves a Deadly Upgrade for most people, in Kouta and Kaito's cases, exposure to the Forbidden Fruit and a virus carried by the Inves (respectively) ultimately led to Kouta's upgrade into a human-looking Overlord and Kaito's transformation, triggered by his devouring a Helheim fruit, into a monster Overlord form called Lord Baron.
  • Orphan Black, a series about human cloning and genetic modification and the ethical consequences thereof. Most pronounced with the Neolutionists, a faction who believe strongly in humanity using technology to take control of its own evolution, and who play a major role in the ominous Dyad Institute. Also contains lots of icky medical research and biotech like cyborg maggots implanted in people's cheeks.

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In The Splinter symbiotic and living weapons aren't all that uncommon.
  • Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution includes drugs that release psionic power in individuals with the genetic potential for it, to say nothing of all of the lab-made monstrosities in the game.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The Lords of Madness source book includes a "Fleshwarper" prestige class, designed for creating this sort of thing in a Heroic Fantasy setting.
  • Shadowrun offers Bioware, genetically modified cultured tissue that can be implanted in characters to provide many of the same benefits of the more traditional Cyberware.
  • Cyberpunk has similar stuff, albeit -at least in the rulebook- in considerably less numbers than Cyberware and like the latter cost Humanity Points.
  • The GURPS supplement "Bio-Tech" is all about Biopunk.
    • The Transhuman Space setting has Bio Punk elements, including bioroids (biological androids), bioshells (biological bodies controlled by AIs or ghosts), parahumans and genetically-engineered oddities such as pharm goats (goats that produce drugs in their milk). 4th Edition Bio-Tech is heavily informed by Transhuman Space, which in turn was based on the vignettes in 3rd Edition Bio-Tech.
  • Eclipse Phase is Post Cyber Punk, but most of the modifications available are biological in nature, and bio-morphs (bodies which are fundamentally organic— but still often weird) are culturally preferred over Synth-Morphs (robot bodies— derogatorily called the "Clanking Masses") or Pods (half-synth, half-biological bodies, the name comes from the derogatory "Pod-People," a riff on how the biological parts of the bodies are grown). For an example of the sort of bio-mods you can get in this game, see the Sex Switch— which switches your sex at will— or the Skinflex— which allows you to make major cosmetic alterations to yourself in around ten minutes.
    • Also, the bio-engineered space-whales that live in the corona of the sun.
  • The aesthetic of the Simic Combine is something reminiscent of this, although not to the same extent as some of the other examples on the page. They are, in essence, to Bio Punk what their cousins, the Izzet League is to Steam Punk.
    • Phyrexia as a whole is also partly focused on this, though actual technology and metal, oil and severe Body Horror make it verge on conventional Cyberpunk
  • Rifts:
    • The Coalition State of Lone Star worries the other states as they create anthropomorphic animals and employ them around their labs and other secure facilities, however the other states do approve of their output of Dog Pack Mutants, which fill out the lower ranks of the Coalition miltary;
    • Atlantis has Bio-wizardry, which can use imprisoned magical creatures to power [[Magitek Techno-wizard devices]], and create superpower-granting parasites and symbiotes, up to large-scale replacement of body parts with such symbiotes, creating a "bio-borg";
    • The Lemuria'' book shows the Lemurians making their sea homes with Organic Technology, along with armour and weapons.
  • Splicers has an AI decide to take over the world and turn every piece of metal against humanity. The surviving free humans re-engineer their entire civilisation around the use of Organic Technology, replacing with bio-engineered organisms their weapons, Powered Armor, AFVs, warships, aircraft and Humongous Mecha.

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • BioShock combines Bio Punk with Diesel Punk, excepted third game with real Steam Punk.
    • Yep. But they're cheating because 99% of their antigravity is Quantum Physics
  • Ciem 2 combines Bio Punk with Cyber Punk and Spy Punk. And a sprinkling of The War on Terror just for the heck of it. So in some chapters, Dirbine feels like a (mutable) Crapsack Town.
    • There are ships, airplanes, cars and so on, but there seems to be not a single weapon.
  • The Harmony path in Civilization: Beyond Earth is a path of technological development centering around genetic manipulation of both humans and aliens, nano-machines, and cloning. Harmony technology involves a lot of bioluminescence and organic curves. Just look at the development of their tanks, their gunboats and their footsoldiers.
  • Escape Velocity Nova feature the human race of the Polaris, who grow star ships and space stations of organic material.
  • Evolva gives this feeling.
  • Final Fantasy VII has numerous examples of bioengineered Super Soldiers.
  • Fracture presents a world where the East and West coasts of the USA are split over biotech use. On the Pacific coast, gene modification and grown biotech is embraced as the key to humanity's survival in the post-climate change world, while on the Atlantic coast, it's banned and cybernetics is the go-to future tech.
  • Spiderweb Software's Geneforge is this meets Dungeon Punk. The majority of people use Organic Magitek, which is exclusively produced by The Magocracy whose members are called Shapers. The process usually involves heavily modifying existing animals, plants and fungi. Oddly for a Bio Punk world (or any kind of Punk Punk as dark as Geneforge), the system enforced by Shaper control starts out between 'real life Democracy' and 'Post-Cyberpunk' in how bad it is despite being an Oligarchy; the one good trait they possess as a group is recognising the responsibility behind the power to create life (they have all the right protocols to quarantine an island like it was an SCP while remaining as humane as the real life CDC or WHO), and the main character is always a Shaper themselves working within the system as best they can... and then as the Shaper's creations go steadily out of control over the series, causing everything to get worse instead of better.
  • The Guilty Gear setting has this as part of its backstory with the creation of the titular Gears, genetically and magically engineered living weapons that were eventually hijacked and controlled into revolting, leading to The Crusades. Even in the present, where most of the Gears have been wiped out, there are still some that continue to pop up and cause trouble. In fact, protagonist Sol Badguy is both one of the original creators of the Gears and the original Prototype Gear.
  • The [PROTOTYPE] series.
  • Quake IV, especially the Stroggification process.
  • The Resident Evil series is all about a man-made zombie outbreak by Megacorp to terrorist group Umbrella Corporation, and also a few genetically engineered mutants created by same group. This is seen only in the first three games and the sixth game which returns to the genre.

    Web Originals 
  • The Chronicles Of Taras combines this with Diesel Punk. 50's style noir technology, Action Girl and Wrench Wench Characters, every killing tool is an Improvised Weapon, and horrifying Biotech creations.
  • Genocide Man: Open-source biotechnology enabled terrorists to create tailored plagues and genetic "deviants" designed as human weapons. In response the UN formed the Genocide Project whose augmented geneticist-soldiers are sanctioned to exterminate deviancies and holders of hazardous ideas, down to the last man, woman, and child.
  • Where to even begin in Awful Hospital? Here, keratin is used as money and wood. The shells of vitamin capsules are used as houses. You don't want to know what they make life rafts out of...

    Western Animation 
  • Ćon Flux inhabits a world where self-modification is the new makeup.
  • Batman Beyond has strong elements of this with the splicers and Kobra cult who are heavily into genetic manipulation.

    Real Life 
  • Not really a huge concern as of yet, but western culture is well on the precipice of this being an actual thing in the not-too-distant future, with technologies such as the creation of organic body parts in labs being already being developed, and the U.K. being the first nation to legalize the creation of babies from the DNA of three separate parents.
    • Already, cloning is being carried out with animals on small levels, there are surgical transsexual operations and body modifications with used from animal parts which few subcultures are adopting with punk and plastic surgery, which touches on some of this punk.
    • Looking forward, nanotechnology has gotten a huge boost by integrating with microscopic organisms, and there have been other breakthroughs, like a prototypical memory storage device utilizing salmon DNA.
      • This type of technology get even its own Punk Punk in OtherWiki when ether Cybermatics or Bio-Augmentations are limited or banned put still retain somewhat of Biopunk elements.
    • A company named Monsanto is working hard to make this a reality in food for years since mid-20 century.
      • It is worth noting that Monsanto is quite controversial in mostly all cultures, and this is not necessarily a good thing.
    • GloFish, genetically engineered, brightly colored zebra danios that glow under U.V. light, have been legal to purchase as pets throughout the U.S. since 2003.
  • One can say this is Older Than Dirt, since agriculture depends upon the use of artificially created species. This is especially true for modern-day agriculture.
  • Today, a number of substances (insulin for example) are fabricated using genetically engineered organisms, usually bacteria.
  • Raelism, a religious group founded in the early 1970's by former French racecar driver Claude Vorilhon. One of their dogmas involves using cloning and mind-transfers as a way of achieving immortality.
    • Vorilhon actually created a corporation to research cloning, claiming at one point to have successfully cloned a human child. Considering the source, actual evidence is not forthcoming.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Biopunk