Cyberpunks, they’re out pirating data and uploading their brains into video games. Solarpunks are revitalizing watersheds, mapping radiation after disaster or war, and bringing back pollinator populations. And since all great speculative fiction is really not about the future but about about the present, cyberpunk is about the politics of the 1980s, right. It was about urban decay and corporate power and globalization. In the same way, solarpunk is really about the politics of right now. Which means it’s about global social justice, the failures of late capitalism, and the climate crisis.
What I hope we can do in this panel is have a slightly more literary discussion to try to answer well why were those the stories that we were telling and what has been the point of telling those stories even though they don’t now necessarily always align with the policy problems that we’re having.