I'm a Science-fiction Romance writer. I look at History (which repeats itself) also current events, and I wonder What If...?
Not that I write it, yet, but Steampunk is where the writer changes one invention from the time of the industrial revolution, such as H.G. Wells's "The Time Machine". That was the "age of steam", hence steam punk.
More recently, there is "cyber punk" which I suppose relates to choices made in Silicon Valley in the 1980s. One of the hallmarks of punk writing is that it explores the road not traveled and the consequences of a different decision whether made by a scientist, a businessman, or a politician (I assume).
I'm using "gunk" punk because if steam is what the Nineteenth Century machines are remembered for, then gunk might be what petroleum-driven cars leave behind. Or maybe I've been watching too many STP commercials.
This is a car made by my husband, with his own hands and the help of a few people he contracted with privately. He burned his hands on hot clay, he came home with his eyebrows covered in dust from sanding... he lost 10lbs from all the exercise. This photo was taken at SEMA by Jonathon Ramsey for Autoblog.com http://tinyurl.com/5kv9jf
So, what if... in the 1940s American didn't have a manufacturing industry and depended on Germany and Japan? I'd probably be blogging in German, right?
History is being made right now, that's why I'm laying claim to "gunk punk" (unless someone has already thought of it, or someone has a better name). Peter M DeLorenzo of autoextremist.com
http://www.autoextremist.com/current/ may have done so, but he doesn't write fiction as far as I know. He has a jaw dropping rant going on.
Peter is also selling an alarming book (non-fiction) titled "The United States of Toyota."
Alarming cover art.
I am now imagining myself as a writer in, say 2020 (hindsight pun!) looking back on the third week of November 2008 when Congress made a catastrophic vote NOT to make a loan to the last American car companies.
It's a "Mad Max" world now. Or perhaps it's Mary Doria Russell's "The Sparrow" world with a touch of "1984". The Jesuits and the Japanese rule. We have an Emperor. And a Pope. And a third Minister of some sort, because good things come in threes.
Onstar speaks to us in Japanese in our cars. We cannot turn it off. They got Murdoch, too. And Comcast. All our Direct TV has Japanese subtitles. We cannot turn it off. Big Brother looks a lot like Vladimir Putin with Botox to get rid of the ugly Western crease in his eyelids. He tells us what to think.
America is bankrupt. When the world bank foreclosed, one of the creditors took Hawaii, another took the island of Manhattan, another took the Great Lakes for the water. No one wanted Detroit... I could go on. In a grim way, this is rather fun.
Maybe my imagination is overactive. I hope so! I was having trouble fitting any kind of Romance into my budding novel of milieu.
My point is, pay attention to the information that is available, and store it up for future reference. (Thank goodness for flashdrive!). There's a massive dissonance right now between the truth and what people are saying in the media.
If interested in GM's version of car myth vs fact visit http://gmfactsandfiction.com/