8 Best Solarpunk Books (2020)

Solarpunk is one of the youngest genres that we’ve come to love. Having its more active and more present roots only a hair over a decade ago, solarpunk is a genre concerned with the promotion of positive thinking about the future in terms of the current problems of the environment, like global warming, pollution, etc.

Solarpunkis not only present in novels, but also as an art form, in architecture, in video games, in movies, and plenty more outlets. As such, we have a genuine respect for the new subgenre and we’d like to take a look at what our picks are for the best solarpunk books are.

Best Solarpunk Books

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Photo Title Rating Length Buy
The Dispossessed 8.44/10 387 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Solarpunk Summers 7.68/10 290 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Ecotopia 7.20/10 181 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The Crucible of Time 7.42/10 368 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Orion Shall Rise 7.12/10 463 Pages Check Price On Amazon

Photo Title Rating Length Buy
Sunvault 7.26/10 253 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Way Station 8.08/10 210 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Pacific Edge 7.56/10 336 Pages Check Price On Amazon

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

 

Ursula K. Le Guin was a fantastic authoress whom we lost a bit over two years ago. Nonetheless, Ursula’s work is a brilliant one and it is full of books that are worthy of praise and marveling. One of our favorite books from Ursula in our best solarpunk books review is the 1974 novel The Dispossessed. You can also find her name on our list of the best LGBT science fiction books!

The main character of The Dispossessed is Shevek. Shevek is a physicist who has found himself in the search of terrible answers. The world of Shevek is that of anarchy, which is frowned upon by the civilized worlds.

In front of Shevek is a herculean task that will endanger his very livelihood. As Shevek gears up for his journey towards Urras, the reader can’t help but be entranced by this great novel. Read our review of the best science fiction fantasy books to learn more!

Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers by Sarena Ulibarri

 

Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers is a collection of stories, which were written by a number of different writers. Most often, however, the 2018 book is attributed to Sarena Ulibarri. As we know, solarpunk is a sci-fi subgenre which takes a look at a potential future where energy can be renewed.

The stories here – seventeen in total – take a look at the problems and intricacies that come with this futuristic world. The bond of the natural world and the technologically advanced one, the disputes that come up even in a time of harmony, and plenty of more daring and intriguing themes.

The stories are so different from each other but are all founded on the solarpunk premise, which allows for the reader to step into different worlds while a general paradigm is maintained. Definitely one of the best solarpunk novels we’ve picked up.

Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach

 

Ernest Callenbach lived between the years of 1929 and 2012. Behind, Ernest left a lifework that cannot be doubted or overlooked. Of all the superb stories of Callenbach, our pick here will be the best solarpunk book called Ecotopia.

When Oregon, the north of California, and Washington came together so as to make a more stable, unified ecosystem, Ecotopia was the product. Their intention was to make an equilibrium between humans and nature, with visitors not being allowed.

Two decades into the future, the first person to enter is Will Weston, a reporter. Weston can’t suppress his excitement, though he is with his reserves. When he does enter this majestic land, he is in utter awe of what he finds – just as the reader will be when he or she pick up this novel.

The Crucible of Time by John Brunner

 

Preston Crowmarsh is the hometown of all-time great author John Brunner. Brunner is one of the most recognizable authors in the genre, with the 1983 published novel The Crucible of Time.

The novel takes the point of view that extraterrestrial beings have as they aim to discover the universe. They, themselves, are quite unique and aren’t suited for most conditions, but they do what they can.

As they make it through the universe, finding new and deep secrets, we see how inventive the writing of Brunner actually is. Really, we can’t say enough kind words about this novel, as we recommend it very much. A worthwhile read from our list of the best solarpunk books.

Orion Shall Rise by Poul Anderson

 

Poul William Anderson has used a number of different pseudonyms during his illustrious career. Rarely do authors enjoy a career like Anderson did. One of Poul’s best works and the best solarpunk books, in general, is the novel of 1983 titled Orion Shall Rise.

Following the devastation that rocked the world by way of nuclear arms, there is but a single advanced-tech machine present. It is Skyholm, present in the air above the continent of Europe. It works by utilizing the solar rays, though its fate is soon imperiled.

When a religious group takes hold of Skyholm, only one person makes his way out. The person at hand then finds a group that will hopefully aid him in the most dire of all quests: to seize the atom’s might so that they can go to space.

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation by Phoebe Wagner

 

We have another collection of solarpunk tales titled Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation. Numbering more than two-dozen different contributors, Sunvault is one terrific book that the reader will not be amiss if he or she picks it up while trying to find the best solarpunk books.

As the solarpunk writers and artists strive towards fighting back the hopelessness and the pessimism present in terms of our likely future, the collection at hand is brimming with amazing stories that will change the very perception of the readers. Published in 2017 and spanning a little over two-hundred-and-fifty pages, Sunvault is a book that your future self will be grateful for having read.

Way Station by Clifford D. Simak

 

A writer like Clifford D. Simak was without a doubt ahead of his time when his work was still new. Today, Simak’s work is adored and loved for the truly inventive style he had. Clifford’s 1963 novel Way Station is one of his best.

The protagonist is Enoch Wallace, whose age we know not, but do know that he lives a hermit life. Enoch treads with the same gun he used in the civil war. That’s what can be deducted on the outside. Inside of his home, Enoch often mingles with acquaintances whose home is beyond the solar system’s brink.

Enoch was chosen by the extraterrestrial Ulysses to safeguard the transfer station of the Earth. Throughout the years Enoch has helped his friends, but now the threat of the Earth’s impending devastation is visible and everyone’s wellbeing is imperiled unless Enoch can find a way to stop it.

Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson

 

Waukegan, Illinois-born Kim Stanley Robinson is a terrific novelist. Robinson’s works are all great in their own way, but the one we’ve chosen for our list of the best solarpunk books is the 1990 novel Pacific Edge.

The year is 2065 and the planet’s inhabitants have seemingly found a way to live harmoniously with the environment. El Modena, in California, for one is an ecotopia that is soon going to be finished.

The main character, Kevin Claiborne, currently employed as a builder, is one of the lucky ones that grew up in this environmentally-safe world, but the risk has never left. As the troubles arise in the effort to keep the community lifestyle intact, Kevin finds himself having to make a huge decision.

What Is Solarpunk?

Solarpunk is a movement that is primarily focused on the imagination of a happier, more prosperous world, one that has conquered environmental troubles like climate change, global warming, the melting of the icecaps, among others.

What Time Period Is Solarpunk?

Solarpunk is a genre that is most often set in the near future. Though it can often be the case that an author has the liberty to use a different time period than the common one, the future is still the overwhelming choice.

What Is the Difference Between Solarpunk and Dieselpunk?

While solarpunk is a genre set most notably in the future and features a world that has won the battle against environmental issues, dieselpunk is a steampunk subgenre, which is based on the so-called diesel-based tech blended with postmodern tastes.

Author
Robert Hazley
Robert Hazley
Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)