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Author Topic: Solarpunk! (F for anyone)  (Read 497 times)

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Offline maiTopic starter

Solarpunk! (F for anyone)
« on: December 27, 2013, 10:25:27 AM »
(very little about solarpunk is actually punk)

Solarpunk is a setting concept. It's set in a more or less post-petroleum future. Civilization hasn't collapsed, the apocalypse hasn't come, but the world has, by necessity, slowly transitioned to a more green technological society. Solar power and other renewable energy sources are ubiquitous, cities are covered in urban greenery, the globalized manufacturing economy has become a good deal less feasible. There's been a return to valuing artisans and craftsmanship, small production by highly skilled workers, and children growing up get most of their education in a specific trade. This doesn't mean that high technology is gone, just different. For example, although (mostly electric) automobiles still exist, almost nobody would drive unless they had cargo to transport that needed to move to a place too out-of-the way and specific for rail. Most people would get around by bicycle or electric rail. People would still have personal electronic devices (similar to cell phones), but they would have likely manufactured or commissioned them themselves to their own specific needs. To quote the original formulation of this concept I saw, this is a world in which children grow up being taught about building electronic tech as well as food gardening and other skills, and people have come back around to appreciating artisans and craftspeople, from stonemasons and smithies, to dress makers and jewelers, and everyone in between. A balance of sustainable energy-powered tech, environmental cities, and wicked cool aesthetics.

So what kind of stories can be told in a solarpunk setting? All sorts, of course. I'm mostly interested in human-interest stories, exploring what life might be like in this sort of future, focusing on ordinary people living ordinary lives (which of course will seem somewhat extraordinary to us). I haven't done a whole lot of thinking about the specifics of a setting (hence why I described it as a setting concept rather than a setting), so I'm also open to people who are interested in doing more world-building and talking about possibilities for other concepts, locations, and stories involving this concept.

Credit for the concept and many of the images goes to tumblr user missolivialouise
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 02:47:58 PM by mai »

Offline maiTopic starter

Re: Solarpunk (f for anyone)
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2014, 02:41:28 PM »
Not actively searching for these, but if something really speaks to you and you feel you have something original to bring to the concept, I'll still accept interest

The Little Mermaid - This story isn't about a mermaid in the literal sense, but rather based on a particular queer reading of the little mermaid. The idea is that, because she can never tell the person she loves how she feels, the little mermaid's plight is similar to that of a closeted queer person, who has to settle for being friends with the (assumed straight) object of their affections. What I'm looking for in this plot is a setting where homosexuality might be somewhat accepted, but is still at least heavily stigmatized. The characters would probably still be in school, or at least young adults, and the story,at least at first, would center around the "mermaid"'s feelings for her "prince", probably with some angst about their relationship. As for how things move from there and the specifics of the setup, I'm open to ideas or further development.

The Heiress - This idea centers around a young woman who is the heiress to her family's business/crime syndicate. In the world they move in, there are certain expectations of a woman of her station, that she'll marry a man from another, similar family, and so on. But she'd rather take a more hands-on approach to running the business, and doesn't want the help of any of the (quite nice, relatively speaking) men her parents have tried to match her with. That isn't to say she doesn't have someone she likes, she's just not sure if her parents will accept them, and even less sure if she'll be able to keep the respect of her father's lieutenants, especially when it comes time for her to take over operations. There's obviously still a lot to work out on this one, for example: is the heiress a steel-cored princess type, or does she take after the street toughs who were her playmates growing up? Who's her secret love? Are her feelings returned from the start, or does she have some courting to do?

Partners - In this idea, the two characters work closely together, and have for some time. Maybe they're two singers in a pop duo (or bandmates, or something), or perhaps they fight crime together (or do crimes together). However, their relationship is strained when one of them realizes that her feelings for the other go beyond friendship or professional cordiality. Although her feelings might eventually be returned, at first there are worries about how the situation might destabilize their partnership, or threaten their reputation, or any number of things. The specifics are, as always, up for discussion.

Virtual - I also have a bit of a hankering for something played out online (the idea is that we'd be playing as characters talking by email or instant message or forums or something). This isn't an especially developed idea, but for an extra twist one of the people involved could be some sort of AI or otherwise existing only in the computer (or maybe later as a robot?)

images from rubitsart on tumblr, mybigeye on deviantart, and Yoshitomi Akihito's "Sketch", respectively

Updated with new concept, moved old ideas to second post.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 02:42:29 PM by mai »