#10: Atompunk, Dieselpunk, Steampunk, and Cyberpunk With Musician Paul Shapera

Paul Shapera is a musician whose New Albion and Tales of Lost Hollow albums span atompunk, dieselpunk, cyberpunk, steampunk, and more!

So no matter what you fancy, this episode probably has something for you!

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Show Notes: What You’ll Find in Episode 10

Personal Update

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This week, I traveled to New Orleans on business. While there, I found a few spare minutes to open my outline (which I use as a double-check more than a planning tool) for the “Super-saga” I’m writing–Norse mythology meets Regency era with steampunk, mannerpunk, and urban fantasy.

Peacock Lavine Logo Series BannerI get into my experience with that in more detail in the episode, but if you’re interested in beta reading this Super-saga Peacock Lavine and the Aetherian Fates of Nott, I’d love that! You can sign up here.

Interview With Steampunk Musician Paul Shapera

We get into fascinating territory, including Paul’s relatively uncommon four-act storytelling structure rather than the more traditional three-act or five-act storyline, and how this relates to “Escher’s Loops” (yes, as in, the illustrator).

Paul also describes the sound of each punk era, including instruments and thematic inspirations.

And since the concept of “rock opera” can be elusive, he also shares his preferred term for his kind of storytelling: pulp opera.

Yup, Paul’s pretty much the coolest. Here’s a list of questions I asked him:

  • In this show, we discuss “the punks”, and today we’re talking about steampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, and possibly cyberpunk. Since everyone has their own take on these terms, how do you define these realms or genres you create in?
  • For anyone who has not yet jumped in with your New Albion world as well as your other albums, can you give us an overview and share what listeners can expect?
  • So why opera? What is it about this format that calls to you or that makes it the right form for stories you want to tell?


This is just a small sample! Paul’s site: www.mochalab.bandcamp.com.

  • I know it’s a basic question, but it’s one fellow creators are likely curious about: can you take us through your creative process?
  • I’ve noticed some of your operas are in four acts. As someone working on novels and written stories, I’m used to three or five acts, and I think many listeners probably are as well. Can you describe the four-act structure or what you like about it?
  • What insight do you have for creators carrying a storyline into different eras of time, or across different punk genres like steampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, and cyberpunk?
  • As we record this at the beginning of 2018, what does the future of these punk genres look like from your perspective? What would you like to see from these movements?

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