SolarPunk concept

Science fiction sometimes paints a bleak vision of the future, with wrecked landscapes where technology runs amok and humans struggle to survive.

But Sarena Ulibarri, editor-in-chief of World Weaver Press, says science fiction is not limited to dystopic visions.

Ulibarri: “Science fiction is not only a literature of warning. It can also be a literature of inspiration.”

Book cover

She says there’s a growing subgenre that’s been dubbed “solarpunk.” In solarpunk stories, people work together to develop creative, innovative responses to a changing climate.

Ulibarri recently edited an anthology called Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers. In one story, a young woman introduces insect protein as a sustainable food source. In another, a Kansas wheat farm uses robotic harvesters and self-operating grain trucks powered by the sun.

Ulibarri says the stories do not sugar-coat the challenges to come, but they imagine a future where people meet these struggles with ingenuity and resilience.

Ulibarri: “My hope is that readers can see themselves in futures that they would like to participate in and help create. Solarpunk can make it feel like they can make a difference.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Daisy Simmons is a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience in research-driven storytelling. In addition to contributing to Yale Climate Connections since early 2016, she also...