Currently the genre is mainly concerned with the artistic, psychological, and societal impact of nanotechnology, rather than aspects of the technology which itself is still in its infancy. Unlike cyberpunk, which can be distinguished by a gritty and low-life yet technologically advanced character, nanopunk can have a darker dystopian character that might examine potential risks by nanotechnology as well as a more optimistic outlook that might emphasize potential uses of nanotechnology.
Scooby Apocalypse (2016–2019) reveals early on that a nanite virus originating from Velma's 'Elysium Project' experiment is the reason behind people becoming monsters.
Another example is the Michael Crichton novel Prey (2002). Another of Crichton's novels, Micro (2011), could also be an example, but it focuses more on the idea of size-manipulation/shrinking of objects rather than nanotechnology. More recently, Nathan McGrath's Nanopunk (2013) is set in an icebound near-future where almost half the world's population has been wiped out. Alister, a child when "The Big Freeze" began is now a teenager in a society slowly finding its feet. Unaware of his nano-infection he sets out to find his lost sister and is joined by Suzie, a militant cyber-activist. Their hacking attracts the attention of Secret Services and a ruthless private military corporation and their search becomes a deadly race for survival.
Linda Nagata's Tech Heaven (1995) is a futuristic thriller about Katie, a woman whose husband is about to die of injuries sustained in a helicopter crash. Instead of dying, he gets his body cryogenically preserved so that he can be reawakened when med-tech is advanced enough to heal him. The problem is that it winds up taking far more than the estimated few years for this to happen.
^Huereca, Rafael Miranda. "The evolution of cyberpunk into postcyberpunk - The role of cognitive cyberspaces, wetware networks and nanotechnology in science fiction" (PDF). Retrieved 19 May 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
^Sohn, Stephen Hong (2008). "Alien/Asian: Imagining the Racialized Future" (PDF). 33 (4). The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). Retrieved 19 May 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
^Johnson, Reed (December 22, 2003). "A quantum leap". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
^Newitz, Annalee (December 22, 2006). "Underrated SF Classic: Linda Nagata's "Tech Heaven" (review)". Wired News.
^Heikkilä, Ville (November 2013). "Restoration of identity from space in Alastair Reynolds's Chasm City" (PDF). Retrieved 19 May 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)