A Spoke on the Story Hub
Sunday, November 5, 2023 8:59 AM
Writing climate fiction — or eco-fiction — can make it all too easy to slide down into an abyss where things grow darker as you drop, and the light above your head can collapse into a pinprick. That's one of the reasons I've embraced the solarpunk movement in climate-conscious SF. Writing a dystopian climate future is easy; sharing an optimistic vision, where we get our act together as a species and find creative ways to meld technology with the natural world to heal instead of plunder...well, that's tricky. But it's also inspiring, for both the author and the reader, and offers hope. We can all use a little more sunshine (and solar energy ;-) in our lives.
Solarpunk stories aren't Pollyannaish, of course. They can weave plenty of shadow into the light, confront trauma and loss and harsh realities. But they avoid descending into gloom and doom, explore ways in which humanity can chart a better course as protagonists wrestle with climate obstacles that aren't intractible. I believe we're coming to grips with the daunting nature of what we face, collectively. I believe lots of smart, dedicated people are working their tails off to find solutions that will work, both technologically and politically. I believe we'll find our way, in the end — not without stumbling down some false trails — and will eventually savor the warmth of the sun on our faces without getting burned.
I'm honored to be included on 350.org's Climate Stories Hub, a place where members share their own vision of a better climate future and how they're working to achieve it. Many diverse stories are featured there, told by people with very different backgrounds making very different contributions. I encourage you to check it out. There is strength in community!