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Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  80 reviews
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, coopera ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Upper Rubber Boot Books
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Adrian Halpert The "punk" in solarpunk is that it's in opposition to the dystopian visions of cyberpunk and biopunk. It offers a positive view of the future and the …moreThe "punk" in solarpunk is that it's in opposition to the dystopian visions of cyberpunk and biopunk. It offers a positive view of the future and the positive impact that emergent technology like solar power and bioengineering can have for the environment. From a social standpoint, it highlights human cooperation and connection, opposing the alienation of bio and cyberpunk. (less)

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Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another varied, thought-provoking look at where we stand, where we'd like to be, and how to get there (or where we'll end up if we botch our voyage). Along with The Idiot Gods, Reckoning 1 and Hieroglyph, it made 2017 the strongest year in my green reading so far.

My more memorable thoughts about the stories (I've boldfaced my favorite):

~ Daniel José Older's "Dust" contains some gorgeous writing and is so full of undertones it makes my writerly self feel like bursting into song. Yet there's somet
we don't
want to hear what has been we need
to hear what is coming

-from Fairy Tales & Other Species of Life by Chloe N. Clark

Sunvault is a solid collection of eco-speculative stories - it's definitely less on the positive side that for me defines solarpunk, but it's a fascinating example of the evolution that brought Solarpunk about. And it's not just short stories, but instead there's poetry and artwork scattered throughout.

Strandbeest Dreams was a poem that caught me with it's structure and it'
Hákon Gunnarsson
I think I may be slightly addicted to solarpunk anthologies, if I'm not mistaken this is the seventh such I read this year, but in my defence I just like this genre. The subtitle of this one is Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, and I somehow get the impression that the emphasis should be on the latter as the stories tend to lean towards less optimism than in some other anthologies that I've read so far.

It has a good variety, there are more than thirty works in this, artwork, poetry, and
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am very responsive to eco-speculation, which is why it took me quite long to read this brilliant anthology - I needed breaks to deal with its powerful imagery. And while there is hope in "Sunvault", it's not an easy comfort; fixing what we've broken requires persistence and sacrifice. This collection is astonishingly rich, with stories, poetry and visual art, and a sweeping showcase of rich imagination. I honestly can't name a single contribution in "Sunvault" that I did not like, and there we ...more
Many of the short stories and poems in Sunvault fail to rise to the level of mediocrity, often because the individual writers are less concerned with exploring the potential of the solarpunk genre than with promoting some fringe social agenda. Moreover, a substantial fraction of the entries are dystopian or post-apocalyptic in nature, which will disappoint prospective readers who seek hopeful visions of the future.

Several stories are worthwhile, however, and a few are even quite good (e.g., "Str
Allie Grace
This was a really interesting collection- I wasn't previously familiar with solarpunk, but it wasn't quite what I expected. This was much more optimistic, almost as if people were living in a dystopic world, but making the best of it and trying to make the world a better place. This was very encouraging.

Like most collections, there were entries I liked more than others. I thought it was neat that the editors included things like poetry and art in addition to short stories, although I'm not sure
Sara Norja
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
Biased review because I have a poem in this anthology! ("Sunharvest Triptych")

It's interesting - going in, I actually realised I seem to have a different personal view of what solarpunk is than what a lot of the stories in the antho were like. I see it as not really post-apocalyptic - more as "we managed to avert the apocalypse". So, in that sense, a lot of the stories and poems were grimmer than I'd thought. But this was fascinating too - the different interpretations that a new genre provokes.
Jim O'Donnell
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh. While some of the stories in here are OK very few are good. This is a whole collection of mediocre. I had big expectations for this anthology. I’m interested in problem-solving futuristic speculative fiction and was under the impression that this would be that. Instead, it’s a very odd mixture of poetry (some of which is quite good) and various disparate short stories that are more on the space opera science fiction side of things. It didn’t live up to its advertising. As I said, there are ...more
Books and the Bronx Gurrrrlll
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was amazing. I have never read anything like it and had no idea this genre existed. I guess it is. It makes sense because of the times we are living in now, and the stress on the environment.. The introduction did a great job of explaining what solar punk is and I was an instant fan. As the authors mentioned, 2312 is a great intro to the genre. I loved this from the very first piece, "Please." Unique and wonderful. Enjoy! ...more
I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It was very fitting to name this anthology Sunvault, because it was truly a vault of little treasures. A collection of short stories, poems, and even drawings about the sun, plants, water, and different methods to live in peace with our planet. In them, you can find dozens of creative inventions, from solar-powered giraffes to green children. You can find activists who risk their lives and freedom for others, and people w
I received an ARC of this book as a backer of the Kickstarter campaign.

Solarpunk is a little known and perhaps even less written genre that focuses on solutions to environmental problems, disasters, and climate change. Contributions to this anthology include short stores, poems, and artwork.

This was a fantastic collection with a wide range of authors offering varying viewpoints and ideas on the theme. Some focused on how things got so bad, others on how life will continue on, and a few on the h
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars - overall a lovely collection of short fiction, poetry and artwork. Some stories were too focused on world-building or ideas about the future for my personal taste, but I found more than enough of what I do like to keep me going. The anthology pushes the boundaries of this relatively new subgenre in some innovative ways.
It was refreshing to read utopian SciFi for once, especially one focused on climate change. While many entries are well-done and competently written, some short stories in this anthology were a bit of a slog to get through, that's why it took me quite some time to finally finish this book - and why I'm only giving it three stars. I'd be interested in a sequel with a bit more quality control beforehand. ...more
As with almost any collection of short stories, the mix here is uneven. The balance is still positive but only just, often the writing is somewhat amateurish. But I can forgive that.

The biggest issue I have with many of the stories is that they fail as "eco-speculation" on the political front. Most stick to a broadly liberal world view and many depict climate catastrophe as the consequences of individual moral failings. The benchmark for this kind of fiction for me is still KSR and what sets hi
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stories
I really love the idea of optimistic science fiction which imagines possible, positive futures.

"What does the -punk affix mean in solarpunk? A mindset that's anticapitalist, decolonial, and critical of the status quo, among other traits." — Sunvault Anthology

Standouts for me in this collection were some of the poems: "Please," by Chloe N. Clark, "Solar Powered Giraffes," by Jack Pevyhouse, and "The Seven Species," by Alexsei Valentin.
It used to be that I could enjoy everything I read, but I have reached a point where I've read enough GOOD books that I no longer enjoy those that are poorly written, even if the premise is great.

This anthology had a few stories that I liked very much, but there were many more that I did not like. I hated most of the poems (even if I liked the premise) because of the sloppy style in which they were written. I think many of the contributors are young writers who are still learning the craft. Whi
Jun 27, 2022 rated it liked it
There are some really good, really fun stories in here! A bit less optimistic than I expected, but survival as a theme is explored really well and in many different ways. Also some great ethical questions and scenarios to chew on, preferably with friends!
Alexander Pyles
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very different anthology, but a good one.

Before I forget there were a few stories I thought I need to mention before going on:
The Death of Pax by Santiago Belluco - a damn strange and out there short, but one of the most interesting I've read in a long time.
Last Chance by Tyler Young - this was a surprisingly brutally heartfelt story.
A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World - this was such a sad last letter to not only the MC's wife, but to the whole human race. Loved the intim
Dameon Launert
The pictures were good. Some stories were decent. One in particular was fun to read. But there were serious deficits of most, which I categorize into four general complaints:

1. Several stories were so poorly written that I could only trudge my way through by sheer stubbornness alone. Two stories I just couldn't.

Some were difficult to follow. They either nonsensically jumped around the plot, or didn't adequately explain what was happening, or included lots of irrelevant but oddly specific details
Martijn Reintjes
Feb 05, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: solarpunk
"life isn’t all about the big moments. In fact, life is mostly what happens in-between, and the sun shines on those days, too."


There are some real short story gems in this bundle.
It's worth a read if you are wondering what a more solarpunk world could look like.


"I suppose we’re all a bundle of contradictions in the end."

So this was interesting on a whole. I love the idea of solarpunk, and the mostly more hopeful approach to dystopias brought on by climate change. Out of all of them, Last Chance was my favorite, followed closely by Solar Child. If I were to sit down and exam that, I probably liked those best because they dealt with kids, and I think on a whole the future of our environment is in balance for the next generation, and I like the idea of humanity persevering despite climate tragedies. I liked the co ...more
Daniel Amaral
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Solarpunk is the future of science fiction. I do believe that there is a place for speculative science fiction, like The Martian. Science fiction has always been a part of speculating on how humanity experiences the universe, which is probably never going to to change. And the trend of cyberpunk is going to continue, as our world starts to become the boring and despotic dystopia these dark and rainy stories that cyberpunk is usually about. I certainly still see this wave of science fiction lite ...more
Mia Milne
Nov 25, 2021 rated it it was ok
I would give this 2.5 stars. There are some stories that I enjoyed and I really liked the setup of the volume. It was interspersed with short stories, poems, and artwork all related to Solarpunk.

The problem is that only a minority of the stories are well-written, those that are suffer from cliched tropes, and few fit the themes of Solarpunk. I recognize that Solarpunk is a new genre and thus is not well defined. This collection was one of the first of this genre so I tried to be more generous ab
A great collection of stories that cover a wide spectrum of ideas of solarpunk. Some are very contemporary and deal in current societal issues while some stories offer an otherworldly experience of transhuman inspiration.

Favorites: The Death of Pax, The Reset, Solar Child
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I just couldn't get into this anthology after all. Besides The Death of Pax and Speechless Love I liked Solar Child and the drawings, but overall this anthology had too many post-apocalyptic stories for it to inspire hope which is what I'm still looking for in solarpunk. ...more
Austin Beeman
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sunvault is a collection that seems designed to introduce and promote a new subgenre of science fiction - Solarpunk. A reaction to the negativity and dystopianism of much of modern SciFi, Solarpunk tries to present positive view of the future. To quote the forward by Andrew Dincher.

SF that examines the possibility of a future in which currently emerging movements in society and culture such as the green movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, and certain aspect of Occupy Wall Street coalesce
Mar 16, 2022 rated it liked it
Editors wanted a sub-genre of SF that treats environment as a central concern and attempts to find solutions for environmental needs. They settled on solarpunk genre which, according to editors, emphasizes innovative interaction within communities and the environment. This collection of stories should serve as an introduction to the genre. Editors also hope that it will inspire readers to seek solutions to environmental problems.

With this in mind, there are a few thoughts that occur regarding th
Michael DeLuca
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
From the editor's note: "If there's one thing we hope Sunvault accomplishes, it's that these selections inspire artists to interact with their environments in novel, creative ways while inspiring readers to seek out solutions for social and environmental problems in their communities."

This is what I wanted from Sunvault too. And I think the anthology succeeds in this--if sometimes in spite of itself. If Sunvault is a fair depiction of the state of solarpunk in 2017, it seems to me to show a cate
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sunvault is a robust and enjoyable anthology with strong ideas and a large dose of hope.

Variety is a key feature of this anthology and one that cropped up in a number of ways. The inclusion of poetry and artwork was a refreshing touch. It was nice to see these forms taken seriously in the anthology's survey of solarpunk.

The works within the anthology come from an impressive range of cultures. There was a Chinese work in translation alongside stories from Jewish and African American creators, amo
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, cli-fi
Solarpunk is a fairly new and less well-known sub-genre of SFF. The editors and compilers of this anthology have to be commended for bringing together such a diverse group of authors, poets and artists of different academic backgrounds, cultures, nationalities and sexual orientations. As the editors explain, this is very much a community project (funded by Kickstarter). Previous to this, I had only read works by two of the authors: Jaymee Goh (from 'The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeas ...more
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Phoebe Wagner is an author, editor, and academic writing and living at the intersection of speculative fiction and ecology. She tweets as @pheebs_w.

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