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12 - Solarpunk

from Science Fiction and Future Fantasies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2022

Adeline Johns-Putra
Affiliation:
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China
Kelly Sultzbach
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
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Summary

Science fiction has from its inception been interested in imagining climates and technologically sublime energy infrastructures, and in recent years has been adopted as a mode within many kinds of environmental writing addressing climate change. This chapter explores how the counter-cultural movement of ‘solarpunk’ is concerned with imagining both the technological and societal complexity of energy transition, and the conditions civilisations might face in adapting to living in damaged natural environments. Solarpunk operates across multiple disciplines and art forms, including architecture, art, and literature, and typically sees itself as utopian, decentralised, community-driven, and socially progressive. The chapter identifies some common themes and trends within solarpunk literature – including the predominance of the short-story form, the solastalgic aesthetics of the transformed landscape, and the normalisation of renewable energy technologies – and shows how these features aim to influence readers into climate action.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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