Tired of Grim Dystopias? Try Solarpunk!

Solarpunk is a relatively newer subset of the cyberpunk and steampunk genres, being introduced in 2008. Solarpunk focuses on what the future might be like using renewable resources. Often humanity is managing to coexist in a more harmonious way with the world and while natural disasters might not have been avoided, they are less likely to destroy the planet. Solarpunk focuses on futures that are not dystopias and as much as I love a dystopia novel, it’s great to read something with hope for the future. So take a look at these!

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-speculation is a great place to start. It’s a collected anthology of stories, artwork, and poetry. Tales of impending ecological doom with hope at the end, with some stories being described as hauntingly beautiful.

Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson takes place in 2065 in California. People live in harmony with nature but this idyllic lifestyle is being threatened by the desire for power and money over others, people’s greed. This is the last book in a trilogy, you can read the other two first but they take place in 2047 (The Wild Shore: Book 1 ) and 2027 (The Gold Coast: Book 2 ) with different main characters. It helps to set the world but your true solarpunk adventure will be found in 2065 with Pacific Edge.

Continue reading “Tired of Grim Dystopias? Try Solarpunk!”

Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online

Friday the 13th of March was a dynamic scene at the Central Library, with patrons queuing for help to find good books to read during the library’s closure, and the DVD aisles packed with browsers. I miss assisting patrons in person in finding a great story to read or watch – though do visit my colleagues at I at Your Next Five Books where we continue to advise readers and listeners online. Fortunately, there are many other ways to enjoy stories right now.

If you have internet access, here are some places to find speculative stories – e.g. science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, slipstream, and anything in the realms of the imagination. Because it times like these, we need stories that take us away from our current realities, don’t you agree?

Tor.com is a publisher of books, yes, but they also post full-text short stories, as well as blog posts about books and popular culture weekly. Stories are updated in the carousel at the top of the site. Recent stories stories have been written by the likes of Maria Dahvana Headley, Charlie Jane Anders, Harry Turtledove, Garth Nix, and Neil Gaiman. Continue reading “Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online”

Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 2

A continuation of our favorite speculative fiction works this year! So far…

The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz. Annalee Newitz just won a Hugo Award for the Our Opinions Are Correct podcast with their partner Charlie Jane Anders and is a writer of both science and science fiction. TFOAT is a fiercely feminist queer punk rock time travel novel that follows Tess, a time traveling geologist and her cohort of time travelers who are orchestrating a fine-tuned fight against a group of men hell-bent on stopping women’s rights from ever advancing. It’s the kind of science fiction that reminds us about how the future is happening right now and it’s up to us to collectively work towards better futures. Continue reading “Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 2”

Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 1

Even though it’s only October and there are still two more months left for publishing and reading in 2019 we are already assembling our “best lists”.

Here are some of our favorite speculative fiction works this year (so far):

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders. This is a science fiction novel steeped in the politics and prose of relationships. Humanity has arrived on a cold, tidally-locked planet, January, with searing sun rays on one side and constructed societies of survival in different pockets on the dark side of the planet with different rules and regulations. Sophie and Bianca, and the itinerant Mouth narrate the novel. Sophie is spellbound by Bianca, a beautiful girl from the ruling class with bold ideas about how to change the society they are in, intoxicating with out-sized personality and revolutionary dreams. This is a story of ecological consequences, humanity’s push and pull for control and freedom, our need to have someone to believe in, how our idea of the person we love may be quite different from the person they truly are, and how it is so hard to admit when we have been betrayed by a person we thought worthy of our trust. Continue reading “Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 1”

Love Science Fiction & Fantasy? Join the Other Realms Roundtable!

Image courtesy of pixabay.comIf you love science fiction and fantasy and are looking to find out about more good books to read, then the Other Realms Roundtable may be just for you!

Starting in January, the Other Realms Roundtable book group will be meeting on the 2nd Thursday of the month at noon at City Hall’s City Grind Espresso at 600 Fourth Avenue, close to the Central Library. Continue reading “Love Science Fiction & Fantasy? Join the Other Realms Roundtable!”