Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation is the first anthology to broadly collect solarpunk short stories, artwork, and poetry. A new genre for the 21st Century, solarpunk is a revolution against despair. Focusing on solutions to environmental disasters, solarpunk envisions a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom.
Edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland, Sunvault focuses on the stories of those inhabiting the crucial moments when great change can be made by people with the right tools; stories of people living during tipping points, and the spaces before and after them; and stories of those who fight to effect change and seek solutions to ecological disruption.
This is one of those books that gave me a real warmth in my heart while reading it. I love a good dystopian fiction as much as the next English Major but there is just something so nice about Solarpunk. I have seen the criticism that it is too simple and not realistic enough. Add that to the ongoing discussions of race, class and religion and there have been some pretty solid brawls in regards to the group. My opinion is that while Solarpunk is a nice idea, it is important to continue to have these discussions. If you are exposed to only one view the world very quickly loses definition and a realness that becomes obvious in the writing. It doesn’t need to be utopian in order to be Solarpunk, there are still struggles and arguments that happen in these worlds. There is just such an overwhelming layer of hope as the bedrock of these stories and poetry that you can’t help but see these stories as the authors’ children.
One of the things that I find difficult about anthologies, is that they are made up of short stories. I have just enough time to get into a story and connect with the characters before they are ripped away from me by the turning of the pages. I hope that there is enough of an outpouring of desire for more Solarpunk stories that some of these characters come back for further adventures. Even though I was given this by Netgalley and the publishers I exchange for honest feedback, I will be looking for a copy for my coffee table.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer