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The answer to the question lies in the roots of the Punk Punk meta-genre. The sf of the late 1980s, later termed \'\'cyberpunk\'\' was seen as ultra-realistic in its predictions, e.g. space habitats and continued Cold War. Less than a decade later, cyberpunk was completely left behind sociologically and still unattained technologically. Unlike some other trends in sf however, it still resonated with speculative fiction fans and so didn\'t become entirely extinct. The natural continuation of cyberpunk is to keep writing successful tech + failing society fiction in the same vein, but instead of being wrong about the 1990s/2000s milieu only, it can be wrong about other eras and contexts. In contrast to cyberpunk, steampunk is a deliberately and explicitly anachronistic genre, but it is still true to the spirit of a meta-genre that is more or less defined by those two extremes. Some of the other *punk sub-genres bridge that gap (especially dieselpunk), and others extrapolate even further (like clockpunk and even more extreme, sandalpunk).