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Pop culture fiction

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pop culture fiction is a genre of fiction where stories are written intentionally to be filled with references from other works and media.[1][2] Stories in this genre focused solely on using popular culture references. Some use these references to elicit nostalgia among its consumers, while other examples have the whole setting and universe themselves built upon and revolves around pop cultural references.[1][3][4]

Many types of modern-day homage, metafiction, and parodies fall under this category.[1] According to author Gary Westfahl, works under this genre demand an "aura of immaturity, of incompleteness, while projecting no pretenses."[5] Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho became one of the earliest examples of this genre with its endless use of brands and criticism on business and consumerism.[2] Another recent example is Ernest Cline's Ready Player One which extensively use 80s pop culture as its themes.

Other prominent examples include Warren Ellis' Planetary, a superhero comic that pays homage to genre and fiction, Seth McFarlane's Family Guy which predominantly use references for gags and satire, and Louis Bulaong's Escapist Dream, a novel that genre-busts popular geek culture and topics into one virtual reality story.[1] Another old example was the critically acclaimed film Who Framed Roger Rabbit that pays homage to American animation, and included a scene where Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny interacted. Outside of Western media, works such as Hayate The Combat Butler and Gin Tama have also become famous examples.[1]

This genre should not be confused with Pop culture non-fiction, which are researches, encyclopedias, and other academic works focused on the study and analysis of pop culture, rather than stories centered around pop culture references.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kidd, Dustin. Pop Culture Freaks: Identity, Mass Media, and Society. Routledge; 2nd Edition (July 10, 2018). pp. 143-145. ISBN 978-0813350875. Excerpt
  2. ^ a b Pickard, Kevin. "Should Fiction Be Timeless? Pop Culture References in Contemporary Novels". Electric Lit. January 19, 2016
  3. ^ Alexander, Jonathan. The Uses and Abuses of Pop Culture in Ready Player One and Grandmother's Gold (July 7, 2020)
  4. ^ Martin, Emily. "CAN'T GET ENOUGH RP1? TRY THESE 25 BOOKS LIKE READY PLAYER ONE". Book Riot. April 3, 2018
  5. ^ Westfahl, Gary. Science Fiction, Children's Literature, and Popular Culture: Coming of Age in Fantasyland. Praeger; 1st Edition (April 30, 2000). pp. xi-xii. ISBN 978-0313308475
  6. ^ Malatesta, Mark. "Pop Culture Definition – Complete List of Book Genres". Book Genre. February 10, 2019
  7. ^ What is “Pop Culture Narrative Nonfiction”?

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This page was last edited on 23 September 2020, at 13:46
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