There’s one thing you have to know about Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers is the perfect anthology for summer. It’s also the perfect anthology for me at this moment. I’ve been feeling a bit demoralized and scared for the future. But Glass and Gardens examines the future with optimism and everyone I’ve told about this anthology wants to read it now.
Solarpunk is a type of optimistic science fiction that imagines a future founded on renewable energies. The seventeen stories in this volume are not dull utopias—they grapple with real issues such as the future and ethics of our food sources, the connection between technology and nature, and the interpersonal conflicts that arise no matter how peaceful the world is. In these pages you’ll find a guerilla art installation in Milan, a murder mystery set in a weather manipulation facility, and a world where you are judged by the glow of your solar nanite implants. From an opal mine in Australia to the seed vault at Svalbard, from a wheat farm in Kansas to a crocodile ranch in Malaysia, these are stories of adaptation, ingenuity, and optimism for the future of our world and others. For readers who are tired of dystopias and apocalypses, these visions of a brighter future will be a breath of fresh air.
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
So can I just say I’m in love with the premise? That is what drew me to the book and it didn’t disappoint. This anthology gives you just enough story, science, and hope. The world building isn’t ever heavy handed, it’s light feeling. You never feel bogged down. There’s such a variety in the stories. We read stories of dating deal breakers, mentorships, and clever technology. While the book is about the environment, and the future, it never felt pessimistic. Certainly things aren’t looking great – a lot of change has had to happen – but it never feels apocalyptic. It feels like the world is taking another breath – a new start.
I’ve been needing a book like this in my life. I needed more optimism – tales of the future that didn’t feel like a nightmare. I wanted to read SF that had less to do with how things could actually go and more to do with what our future could hold. Check out Glass and Gardens on Goodreads.