Aesthetics Wiki
Advertisement

Solarpunk is a genre of speculative fiction that is also its own distinguished aesthetic, focusing mainly on renewable energy, living in harmony with nature, and the better future envisioned through both. Solarpunk also emphasizes handcrafted wares (as opposed to mass-produced products) and community. The 'punk' in Solarpunk comes from the genre's anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist nature, as well as its strong focus on community and prefigurative politics, which separates it from aesthetics like Cyberprep.

Solarpunk futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk's potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, generativity, independence, and community. At its core, Solarpunk is a vision of a future that embodies the best of what humanity can achieve: a post-scarcity, post-hierarchy, post-capitalistic world where humanity sees itself as part of nature and clean energy replaces fossil fuels.

The Solarpunk Manifesto may be found here. A reference guide for all things Solarpunk may be found at this link, and more content may also be found at r/solarpunk and on solarpunks.net.


Elements of Solarpunk[]

Everything from a positive imagining of our collective futures to actually creating it: 3D printing, afrofuturism, art, cooperatives, DIY, ecological restoration, nature, engineering, fiction, futurism, gardening, geodesic domes, green architecture, green design, green energy, ingenuous indigenous practices, intentional community, maker spaces, materials science, music, permaculture, repair cafes, solar, solar power, sustainability, tree planting, urban planning, and volunteering (amongst other things).

Visuals[]

The visual aesthetics of Solarpunk are open and evolving. They include a mash-up of the following:

  • 1800s age-of-sail/frontier living (but with more bicycles)
  • Creative reuse of existing infrastructure (sometimes post-apocalyptic, sometimes present-weird)
  • Art Nouveau
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Jugaad-style innovation from the non-Western world
  • High-tech backends with simple, elegant outputs

Media[]

Books[]

While Solarpunk is a relatively young literary sub-genre, there are stories that take place in a solarpunk world or contain solarpunk elements, as well as older novels that helped inspire the genre. There are also numerous non-fiction works that relate to Solarpunk culture and applications in real life.

List originally compiled by u/dwarrowly on r/solarpunk

List of Books
Book Title Author Name Series (if any)
Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood
Ecology of Freedom Murray Bookchin
Adulthood Rites Octavia Butler Xenogenesis
Dawn Octavia Butler Xenogenesis
Imago Octavia Butler Xenogenesis
Parable of the Talents Octavia Butler Earthseed
Parable of the Sower Octavia Butler Earthseed
Failed State Christopher Brown
Silent Spring Rachel Carson
Walkaway Cory Doctorow
Dune Frank Herbert
Island Aldous Huxley
Always Coming Home Ursula K. Le Guin
The Dispossessed Ursula K. Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
The Word for World is Forest Ursula K. Le Guin
A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller Jr.
Who Fears Death Nnedi Okorafor
Blue Mars Kim Stanley Robinson Red, Green, Blue Mars Trilogy
Future Primitive: The New Ecotopia Kim Stanley Robinson
Green Mars Kim Stanley Robinson Red, Green, Blue Mars Trilogy
New York 2140 Kim Stanley Robinson
Pacific Edge Kim Stanley Robinson
Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson Red, Green, Blue Mars Trilogy
The Child Garden Geoff Ryman
The Shore of Women Pamela Sargent
More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon
Annihilation Jeff Vandeermeer
Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation Pheobe Wagner (editor)

Films and TV Shows[]

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Big Hero 6 (2016)
  • Eden (2021)
  • Bubble (2022)

Games[]

  • Atelier series (1997–2023)
  • Ōkami (2006)
  • Oiligarchy (2008)
  • Flower (2009)
  • Bastion (2011)
  • Earthlock (2016)
  • Obduction (2016)
  • Botworld Adventure (2021)
  • The Last Clockwinder (2022)
  • Terra Nil (2023)

Tabletop RPGs[]

  • Numenera (although solar-powered tech itself is rarely found and the states in the setting are fairly authoritarian, the overall themes and ethos are similar)

Writings[]

Gallery[]

Advertisement