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Pop culture fiction

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chris Fox’s Dark Lord Bert, an example of a pop culture fiction.

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][3] Stories in this genre are focused solely on using popular culture references.[4]

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Emily Dickinson said over a century ago, that there is no frigate like a book to take us lands away, and it's true. When we pick up a book, turn on the TV, or watch a movie, We're carried away down the currents of story into a world of imagination. And when we land, on a shore that is both new and familiar, something strange happens. Stepping on to the shore, we're changed. We don't retrace the footsteps of the authors or characters we followed here: no. Instead we walk a mile in their shoes. Researchers in psychology, neuroscience, child development, and biology are finally starting to gain quantifiable scientific evidence showing what writers and readers have always known: That stories have a unique ability to change a person's point of view. Scholars are discovering evidence that stories shape culture and that much of what we believe about life comes not from fact but from fiction, that our ideas of class, marriage, and even gender are relatively new, and that many ideologies which held fast for centuries were revised within the 18th century, and re-drafted in the pages of the early novel. Imagine a world where class, and not hard work, decide a person's worth. A world where women are simply men's more untamed copy. A world where marriage for love is a novel notion. Well, that was the world in which Samuel Richardson's Pamela first appeared. Richardson's love story starred a poor, serving-class heroine who is both morally superior and smarter than her upper-class suitor. The book, challenging a slew of traditions, caused quite a ruckus. There was more press for Pamela than for Parliament. It spawned intense debate and several counter-novels. Still, for all those who couldn't accept Pamela, others were eager for this new fictional world. This best-seller, and all its literary heirs, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and yes, even Twilight, Have continuously shared the same tale, and taught similar lessons which are now conventional and commonplace. Similarly, novels have helped shape the minds of thought leaders across history. Some scholars say that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is highly indebted to the plots he read and loved. His theory privileges intelligence, swiftness, and adaptability to change- all core characteristics in a hero. Whether you're reading Harry Potter or Great Expectations, you're reading the kind of plot that inspired Darwin. Yet recent studies show that his theory might not be the whole story, our sense of being a hero- one man, or one woman, or even one species taking on the challenges of the world might be wrong. Instead of being hard-wired for competition, for being the solitary heroes in our own story, we might instead be members of a shared quest. More Hobbit than Harry. Sometimes, of course, the shoes we've been walking in can get plain worn out. After all, we haven't walked just one mile in Jane Austen or Mark Twain's shoes, we've walked about a hundred trillion miles in them. This isn't to say that we can't read and enjoy the classics, we should travel with Dickens, let Pip teach us what to expect from ourselves, have a talk with Austen and Elizabeth about our prides and prejudices. We should float with Twain down the Mississippi, and have Jim show us what it means to be good. But on our journey, we should also keep in mind that the terrain has changed. We'll start shopping around for boots that were made for walking into a new era. Take, for instance, Katniss Everdeen and her battle with the Capitol. Can Hunger Games lead us into thinking about capitalism in a new way? Can it teach us a lesson about why the individual should not put herself before the group? Will Uglies reflect the dangers of pursuing a perfect body and letting the media define what is beautiful? Will Seekers trod a path beyond global warming? Will the life and death struggles of Toklo, Kallik, Lusa, and the other bears chart a course for understanding animals and our place in their world? Only the future will tell which stories will engage our imagination, which tales of make-believe we'll make tomorrow, but the good news is this: There are new stories to venture in every day. New tales that promise to influence, to create, and to spark change. Stories that you might even write yourself. So I guess the final question is this: what story will you try on next?


Some works in the genre use pop culture 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 (sometimes even relying on well-known and/or obscure pop culture references as humor as in the case of the cult TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000).[1][5][6][7][8] Pop culture fiction doesn't just reference one or two titles, but works under this genre reference several titles across different genres and media.[9][4]

Many types of postmodern works and modern-day homage, metafiction, satires and parodies fall under this category.[1][4] But unlike more typically comedic satires and parodies, pop culture fiction contains depth and serious themes, with many even garnering critical acclaim.[9] Many stories inspired by games and geek culture have also been examples.[10] According to author Gary Westfahl, works under this genre demand an "aura of immaturity, of incompleteness, while projecting no pretenses."[11]

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.[12][13]


Notable pop culture fiction books

List of pop culture fiction authors

Notable pop culture fiction films

List of pop culture fiction filmmakers

List of pop culture fiction in comic format

List of pop culture fiction in television

See also

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kidd, Dustin. Pop Culture Freaks: Identity, Mass Media, and Society. Routledge; 2nd Edition (Updated: August 2020). pp. 143–145. ISBN 978-0813350875. Excerpt
  2. ^ a b Pickard, Kevin (19 January 2016). "Should Fiction Be Timeless? Pop Culture References in Contemporary Novels". Electric Lit. January 19, 2016
  3. ^ Editorial. "Popular Culture in Literature". Enotes. May 5, 2015
  4. ^ a b c d e Sweden, Stephen R. (12 November 2022). "Pop Culture in Literature: Styles, Themes, and Genres". New York University.
  5. ^ a b Alexander, Jonathan. The Uses and Abuses of Pop Culture in Ready Player One and Grandmother's Gold (July 7, 2020)
  6. ^ a b Martin, Emily (3 April 2018). "CAN'T GET ENOUGH RP1? TRY THESE 25 BOOKS LIKE READY PLAYER ONE". Book Riot. April 3, 2018
  7. ^ Jubas, Kaela (16 March 2015). "Profs explore what pop culture fiction teaches us about health care". University of Calgary. March 24, 2017
  8. ^ a b Returning 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' was a pre-Internet web series - Austin American-Statesman
  9. ^ a b c d e Mountain, John (23 August 2023). "The 5 Best Pop Culture Fiction". Substack. August 23, 2023
  10. ^ a b Almond, John (8 July 2021). "The Dark Lord Bert: A Quirky Video Game Literature". Gonevis. July 8, 2021
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Malatesta, Mark (10 February 2019). "Pop Culture Definition – Complete List of Book Genres". Book Genre. February 10, 2019
  13. ^ What is “Pop Culture Narrative Nonfiction”?
  14. ^ a b c d e f g The 10 Best Movies That Are Full of Pop Culture References - Page 2 - Taste of Cinema
  15. ^ Hannigan, Carl. "Otaku Girl (Book Review): Where Memes and Literature Mix". Voice Media Group. July 1, 2021
  16. ^ Zutter, Natalie (23 July 2022). "The Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Books About Pop Culture Fandom". Den of Geek. August 23, 2023
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The 10 Best Movies That Are Full of Pop Culture References - Taste of Cinema
  18. ^ a b c 10 Mel Brooks Jokes Modern Audiences Wouldn't Understand
  19. ^ a b How 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' Influenced Film By Satirizing It - The Atlantic
  20. ^ Drawn That Way: 10 Behind The Scenes Facts About Who Framed Roger Rabbit - CBR
  21. ^ a b Clerks: 10 Ways It Established Kevin Smith's Style|ScreenRant
  22. ^ Pulp Fiction at 20: How a phenomenon was born - BBC Culture
  23. ^ Double Down: Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn Take Another Swing With 'Made' - Screens - The Austin Chronicle
  24. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (July 23, 2014). "'Galaxy Quest': The Oral History". MTV Networks (Viacom International Inc.). Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  25. ^ Ted movie review & film summary (2012)|Roger Ebert
  26. ^ Every Piece of IP That Appears in Space Jam: A New Legacy|GQ
  27. ^ Price, Joe (May 20, 2022). "Listen to Post Malone's Theme Song for New 'Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers' Movie". Complex Networks. Archived from the original on May 22, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  28. ^ Mccall, Kevin (2023-09-21). "'Once Upon a Studio' Trailer Celebrates 100 Years of Disney Magic". Collider. Retrieved 2023-09-21.
  29. ^ Steele, Bruce C. (October 10, 2023). "Meet the Characters of Disney Animation's Once Upon a Studio". D23. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  30. ^ Croll, Ben (June 11, 2023). "Annecy Opens on Note of Artistic Defiance as Disney Premieres Centenary Short Once Upon a Studio". Variety. Archived from the original on June 22, 2023.
  31. ^ Polowy, Kevin (2023-11-15). "As Disney turns 100, 'Wish' filmmakers stacked new animated movie with more than 100 Easter eggs". Yahoo. Retrieved 2023-11-25.
  33. ^ Edgar Wright: "I am a film school reject. Twice!"|Features|Roger Ebert
  34. ^ Askew Facts About The Films Of Kevin Smith|Fascinate
  35. ^ Keller, Joel (December 10, 2021). "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Saturday Morning All-Star Hits!' On Netflix, Kyle Mooney's Twisted Tribute To Kids Show Lineups Of The '80s And '90s". Decider. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  36. ^ The Obsessive Brilliance of Saturday Morning All Star Hits! – Nathan Rabin's Happy Place
  37. ^ Animaniacs: 10 Funniest References You Didn't Get As A Kid - Screen Rant
  38. ^ Seinfeld: 10 Pop Culture References New Fans Won't Understand - Screen Rant
  39. ^ All the WandaVision Easter eggs you may have missed, from sitcom references to comics callbacks|
  40. ^ 10 Best Pop Culture References In 'Community' - Collider
  41. ^ Stranger Things 4's Most Significant '80s References - Vulture
  42. ^ The 20 Most Obscure ‘Arrested Development’ Pop Culture References - UPROXX
  43. ^ The Sci-Fi References We'd Love To See In Futurama's Return - Game Rant
  44. ^ The Simpsons: 10 Old Pop Culture References That Still Aged Perfectly - Screen Rant
  45. ^ All the Rick and Morty Easter Eggs You Missed in Seasons One and Two|TIME
  46. ^ The Philosophy of ‘South Park’ References - Tastefully Offensive
  47. ^ Family Guy "Something, Something, Something Anniversary" Giveaway|WIRED
This page was last edited on 7 May 2024, at 03:57
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