Edited by Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro
World Weaver Press (2018)
Reviewed by Skyler Boudreau for Reader Views (9/18)
“Solar Punk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World,” edited by Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro, features nine different authors from Brazil and Portugal and stories inspired by a single prompt: “Imagine a sustainable world, run on clean and renewable energies that are less aggressive to the environment. Now imagine humanity under the impact of these changes.” Translated by Fabio Fernandes, this anthology takes readers on a trip from a futuristic, ecologically friendly Earth to space ships propelled by solar flares roaming across the galaxy!
“Solar Punk” begins with a strong start in its opening story, “Soylent Green is People!” Written by Carlos Orsi, readers follow a detective investigating the death of an engineer and the disappearance of his only surviving kin. Orsi paints a riveting technological thriller and sets up a difficult act to follow.
None of the other stories in this anthology disappoint, but there was one in particular that really stood out to me. Telmo Marcal’s, “When Kingdom’s Collide,” builds a conflict between the average human beings we see today, and “Greenies,” a new kind of photosynthetic human. Despite what seems like a high-quality and healthy way of living from the outside, the Greenie lifestyle hides a dark secret. This piece is rife with tension from start to finish.
While all of these stories are unique in their own ways, they all have a certain dark, grittiness about them. The detail in which clean energy is discussed is fascinating, but the secret conspiracies, space wars, and hidden agendas are the true draw to this anthology. The atmosphere each author has created adds a lot to their story and is a powerful hook for readers to latch onto. It’s easy to tell just how much thought and consideration went into each piece.
“Solar Punk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World” provides nine slices of clean, ecologically friendly science fiction, whether your interests lie with technological thrillers or intergalactic warfare. One of the wonderful things about anthologies is their ability to introduce readers to authors in bite-sized chunks, and I think everyone will leave “Solar Punk” with a new name to check out.