How Solarpunk Fiction Defies Dystopian Doomerism

Move over cyberpunk. Make way for solarpunk, the defiant ecosocialist answer to dystopian doomerism.

In the 21st century, we have dreamed collectively of dystopia. From The Hunger Games to The Road, from highbrow to lowbrow, from surreal satire to brutal social realism, the craving for post-apocalyptic fiction has become insatiable. Last year, The Last of Us, a TV series based on a video game about a mutated fungus turning the human race into zombie-mushrooms, averaged more than 30 million viewers per episode. It was the most pirated and Google searched show of 2023. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’s novel series about a televised child murder game show in post-apocalyptic America, remains one of the best-selling science fiction series of all time, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide. As we storm into a future where our planet’s ecology is collapsing and fossil fuel-addicted nations hasten the global trudge towards climate apocalypse, this hunger for the dystopian is understandable. Watching our species crawl from one climate disaster—one record-breaking heat wave, hurricane, or wildfire—to the next, it makes sense that we want to fast forward past slow decline and boiling summers to see how this movie will end. Will it be a Christian fascist theocracy, as in The Handmaid’s Tale, or will our drought-ravaged desert planet be ruled by the car-obsessed warlords of Mad Max: Fury Road? We are all, quite reasonably, anxious about the future of our species. Post-apocalyptic fiction, like much mass entertainment under capitalism, feeds and gamifies that anxiety. 

Since capitalism gives free rein to our collective death drive, our self-destructiveness, and our sado-masochistic instincts, we might as well have a good time with it while we’re here. It has always been more fun to paint demons than angels, so bring on the hellscapes. As canvas and inspiration, dystopias have a lot to recommend themselves. The horrors birthed from our unbridled ids are insanely fun to play with. I’ve spent plenty of nights binging post-apocalyptic fiction. Especially during the Obama presidency, I couldn’t get enough of Paolo Bacigalupi’s drowned or sunburnt hell worlds or Justin Cronin’s zombie vampire dystopia. The more violent, the more gruesome, the better. Mutilated child warriors fighting mutant tigers in drowned New Orleans? Bring it on.

More recently, as my lived reality began to seem too much like my guilty pleasure reading, these nightmare worlds stopped seeming so fascinating. For decades we dreamed dystopia, and in March of 2020, when COVID crashed upon U.S. shores, it seemed like we had dreamed it so well we wished it into being. While wealthy reactionaries are building actual bunkers and prepping for environmental collapse, fantasizing about which shade of hopelessness our apocalypse will take is a luxury we can no longer afford. By accepting as inevitable humanity’s demise by its own hand, post-apocalyptic fiction places no responsibility on the living to course correct.

These days, climate change isn’t over the horizon, it’s here. The virus that shuts down the globe? We had that, too. Dystopian fiction? That’s so 2012. It’s time we collectively dream of something else. A better world is possible, but if artists and writers are to contribute to that better world, we’re going to need to balance our splendid hellscapes with gardens of earthly delight. We need to envision futures that are livable and happy, and we need to imagine how we get there from here. What’s more, we need to make those worlds as thrilling and engaging as any post-apocalyptic zombie-strewn nightmare.

Fortunately, we don’t need to invent a new literary genre to show us the way to a better tomorrow. Just as there is a left-wing climate movement demanding humanity break from fossil fuels to create a bright future for life on Earth, so is there a parallel climate fiction that allows us to imagine that better world. In steps solarpunk, left-wing literature’s answer to the dystopian novel. Solarpunk looks towards a post-capitalist future of renewable energy. It rejects climate “doomerism” and shows what our collective future could look like if we heal our relationship with the natural world.

Far from Star Trek’s “full luxury space communism,” where humans race across galaxies via endless sources of energy, the technology in solarpunk is imminently achievable. In the anthology Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias, science fiction writer and democratic socialist Kim Stanley Robinson describes this genre as rejecting “the inevitability of the machine future.” Instead it asks, “What is the healthiest way to live? What is the most beautiful?” Rather than Elon Musk’s tent cities on Mars, these fictional worlds “cobble together aspects of the postmodern and the paleolithic, asserting that we might for very good reasons choose to live in ways that resemble in part the ways of our ancestors.” 

Below you will find my analysis of a selection of genre-defining novels, spanning five decades, that helped build out the imagined landscapes of solarpunk. They show where the genre began, how it developed, and where it might be going. My aim with this introductory list is to open a door to a genre that gets far too little attention, especially in comparison to dystopian literature. A healthy Earth can be just as weird and interesting as a sick one, and these books can show us the way towards popularizing left-wing narratives in works of fiction. 

‘Ecotopia,’ Ernest Callenbach, 1975

Ernest Callenbach’s 1975 environmentally conscious classic, Ecotopia, is written as a series of reported articles and journal entries by William Weston, a reporter for a New York Times-style prestige newspaper. He is the first American to be allowed into the new nation of Ecotopia, a conglomeration of states, including swathes of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, that have seceded from the U.S. and formed a new nation. Ecotopia is essentially a socialist country with its politics firmly embedded in environmental sustainability.

Ecotopia incorporates several mainstays of the solarpunk genre, including a conscious selectivity in its use of technology. Where today we spend half our waking hours online, feel naked without our smartphones, and have WiFi-enabled toaster ovens, Ecotopians are mindful of advanced technology and use it with care. The citizens of Ecotopia use “video phones” and heat their homes with highly sophisticated solar technology; however, they choose to make many tools and items of clothing by hand. Their technology, although highly sophisticated, is nonaddictive and used sparingly. 

Another mainstay of solarpunk is a focus on means, process, and getting by in everyday life. Large portions of the novel are devoted to explaining urban planning, sewage, waste disposal, and food production in Ecotopia. By book’s end, we know how Ecotopia functions, from plumbing to higher education. We learn about Ecotopian cradle-to-grave universal healthcare and their community-based cottage hospitals. We learn about their biodegradable plastics, worker-controlled businesses, and 20-hour workweeks. We understand Ecotopia’s guiding philosophies, media, athletics, defense system, municipal government, and approaches to science and engineering. Like a good sewer socialist, Callenbach makes basic infrastructure seem endlessly fascinating.

Weston, while in Ecotopia, is at war with himself over how enraptured he is by this new nation. A vain, cynical, and quick to anger member of the professional-managerial class, Weston has a pearl-clutching moment of horror every few pages and is shocked over and over by Ecotopia’s fare-free public transportation, curriculum-free education system, and shame-free public lovemaking. Eventually, Ecotopia manages to get under his skin. Much of the book is taken up with his internal struggles as all of his preconceived notions about politics, culture, and human relationships get turned upside down. It has a positive impact on Weston in a short period and transforms him into a more moral, self-aware, and genial person. 

Culturally and aesthetically, Ecotopia has a decidedly West Coast vibe. It’s as though an entire country were built along the lines of a hippie meditation retreat circa the summer of ’69. Weston is taken into Ecotopia aboard a high-speed train, like a “wingless airplane.” Inside, passengers loll on bean bag chairs and share joints. True to the ethos of the summer of love, Ecotopians have no filter and freely give voice to all manner of thoughts and feelings, however disruptive. They disdain suits and wear free-flowing hippie garments. Weston describes Ecotopian street wear as “Dickensian,” with “fanciful hats and hairdos, jackets, vests, leggings, tights; so help me, I think I even saw a codpiece.” 

Ecotopian homes are similarly eclectic. Some are made from extruded biodegradable plastic forms and are designed by their inhabitants into fantastical shapes, like Lego constructions. One house is described as an octagon “arranged like spokes of a wheel” around a domed indoor garden, in the middle of which is a 15-foot tree. These consciously selective high-tech houses—capable of being designed, built, and fixed by their inhabitants—combine prefabricated rooms with handmade carved wooden dividers, embroidered hangings, and sheepskin rugs. Ecotopian aesthetics charmingly blend child-like futurism with folk primitivism. They leave me fantasizing about what my extruded biodegradable Ecotopian house would look like. I think the key concept here is that when people have options about where and how to live, the world becomes more beautiful and more interesting. Rather than tenants settling on the cheapest, most acceptable apartment available, and despite extraordinary restrictions on land and resource usage, Ecoptopians can exist in an elevated manner. They can live out their fantasies as only the wealthy can do today. 

In Future Primitive, Kim Stanley Robinson calls Ecotopia, “one of the most important and influential utopias of the 20th century, using a wide range of environmental concepts to design a very near-future society carved out of America.” Rather than being made from whole cloth, Ecotopia finds its key ingredients in America. It isn’t a fantasy: we have the tools right now, we just need to use them correctly. Ecotopia is not as polished and literary as many of the other books I’ll list here. Callenbach was an editor and film professor by trade and Ecotopia and its sequel, Ecotopia Emerging, are his only novels. He nevertheless had a profound influence on the literature to come. According to Robinson in Future Primitive, which was published in 1994, at the time he could still find bumper stickers in Northern California that read “Keep the U.S. Out of Ecotopia.” However imperfect and of its time Callenbach’s ’70s-era solar utopia, it is impressively thoroughgoing. It is utopian literature in its purest sense: a philosophical teaching tool that eschews literary subtlety for blunt force pedagogy.

illustration by john biggs

‘Always Coming Home,’ Ursula K. Le Guin, 1985

Ursula K. Le Guin’s experimental novel Always Coming Home takes place millennia after the fall of our civilization. It is written as the ethnographic findings of an anthropologist in the far-flung future and centers the “Kesh” people in a post-civilizational Napa Valley. The Kesh use some modern technologies, including trains and electricity and a planet-wide computer service leftover from our long-gone civilization. However, nothing is done on a grand industrial scale. They live in small villages far from one another, their culture an amalgam of modern human customs and technologies mixed together with hunter-gatherer practices.

The book is a collection of the Kesh’s folk tales, religious practices, plays, poems, art, songs, recipes, and fashions. The fictional anthropologist narrator bemoans the fact that the Kesh have left so little behind. They “left no tombs or tiles or shards or walls behind them. If they had a town here it was made of what the woods and fields are made of, and is gone.” When she digs all she finds are seeds and thistles. “There is no other trace of them. They owned their Valley very lightly, with easy hands. They walked softly here.”

The core narrative of this book, if we want to give it a core (Le Guin almost certainly did not) is probably the story-within-a-story, “Stone Telling.” This is the tale of a girl from the Kesh village of Sinshan, born to a Kesh mother and a father from the more industrialized, warlike, and hierarchical Condor people. The Kesh live with extreme simplicity in communal homes, taking and giving from one another only as needed. They travel by foot, perform elaborate dancing rituals based on the phases of the sun, moon, and stars, and practice sacred coming-of-age spirit journeys. Theirs is also an egalitarian society where abortions are practiced at will, and everyone is expected to be literate and educated.

The level of detail put into “reconstructing” fictional Kesh civilization is a marvel; however, readers should not anticipate diving into this book and reading cover to cover, unless you are prepared to read lists of recipes, incest taboos, and kinship formations. This last is especially fascinating since the Kesh not only recognize same-sex marriage but also allow anyone to choose who they are bound to in kinship. An older child can, for instance, choose to be adopted by a household that they were not born into. Le Guin was the daughter of two prominent anthropologists, Theodora and Alfred Kroeber, who both wrote extensively on the lives and customs of Native Californians. Scholar Richard Erlich, in his survey of Le Guin’s work, theorized that Always Coming Home is a fictionalization of the author’s parents’ anthropological publications on indigenous people. Kesh culture, while entirely made up, is clearly modeled on the customs of Native Californians. Like those native Californians, the Kesh have managed to leave the earth without catastrophically transforming the land they lived on, in contrast to our own apocalyptically wasteful civilization.

‘Pacific Edge,’ Kim Stanley Robinson, 1990

Pacific Edge is the third novel in Robinson’s Three Californias trilogy. The series shows three potential futures for California: the first, The Wild Shore, shows a world where the Soviets bombed the U.S. and left the post-nuclear fallout survivors in a state of total devastation, forced to live a bare subsistence lifestyle, scavenging from the ruins of our civilization. The second novel, The Gold Coast, shows the industrial glut and intentional devastation of the natural world should capitalist growth continue unabated. It is a fully mechanized world lived mostly in cars and attached to screens. Pacific Edge is the synthesis of the first two worlds: one in which technology, although much in use, is used with conscious selectivity to ensure a healthy and sustainable world.

Robinson writes reverently of Ecotopia in Future Primitive, and I believe that Pacific Edge was influenced by the earlier novel. Robinson, always practical and optimistic, with an endearing faith in the power of global diplomacy, shows us a world where capitalism as we know it, with its dependence on oil extraction and perpetual growth, comes to an end without much violence. The novel tells a simple love story and shows how the population lives their everyday lives without the horror, drudgery, and poor health that go along with living in the machine world.

The novel’s village of El Modena made me think of what a small town in California would be like if it were run by Democratic Socialists of America. It is happy and chaotic. Vice, bad faith actors, and malignant intentions are not gone from the world and its leadership, but their effects are blunted by a government and culture that serves, nurtures, and sustains the land and the people on it. Robinson’s ecotopian California has monster truck rallies and WWE-style wrestling matches. It has water tycoons and corrupt MedTech companies. But the ability for any single actor to harm people or overdevelop land is severely curtailed. Where Ecotopia is utopian literature, designed as an enclosed world that critiques our own culture through a fictional ideal, Pacific Edge is properly literary fiction and not really a utopia at all, although it was probably inspired by one. As such, we can imagine ourselves living there as fully flawed and self-aware adults.

‘A Psalm for the Wild-Built,’ Becky Chambers, 2021

Chambers’s novel takes solarpunk out of the West Coast of North America and into space. It concerns a planet-like, biodiverse moon called Panga. Formerly industrialized, it is in the process of recovering from its “Factory Age,” when robot-powered factories ran all day and night. A hundred years before the start of the novel, the robots had an “awakening.” They left the factories and went into the wilderness. When invited to return to human society as free citizens, the robots refuse. “All we have ever known is a life of human design,” the robots state in their final address to humanity. “[I]t is our wish to leave your cities entirely, so that we may observe that which has no design—the untouched wilderness.”

It is generally agreed on Panga that the robots split for the woods just in time for humanity to save itself from ecological collapse. Upon gaining consciousness, the robots recognized that the means of production that they enabled was not ecologically sustainable, and so they made their grand exit. Since then, humanity learned to fend for itself and to use technology with that same conscious selectivity found in all the novels already discussed. The resulting human civilization after the robots have gone is a heaven built atop industrial wreckage. Panga’s sole city is, “a towering architectural celebration of curves and polish and colored light, laced with the connective threads of elevated rail lines and smooth footpaths, flocked with leaves that spilled lushly from every balcony.” Panga is like a synthesis of the worlds in Ecotopia, Always Coming Home, and Pacific Edge. Humanity lives in harmony with nature, and the new consciously selected technologies are few and far between. Every human receives a personal computing and communication device once in their lives, and that device lasts them until their death when it is recycled and given to someone else. Their tools help humans be more human and take greater pleasure in whatever they are doing, be it work or play. Homes are “roofed with either blooming turf or solar panels or both.” Geothermal energy plants powered by hot springs emit only steam. In one village, the inhabitants live in tree houses because they do not want to disrupt the forest floor with its teeming insect, mushroom, and rodent life. Describing their treehouses, Chambers writes that “the hanging homes here looked akin to shells, cut open to reveal soft geometry. Everything there curved—the rain-shielding roofs, the light-giving windows, the bridges running between like jewelry.” 

The story concerns a “tea monk,” Sibling Dex (pronouns they/them), who lives in a monastery in the city. Sibling Dex, although they already live in an urban heaven, finds that heaven is too busy and chaotic. Tired of vine-covered skyscrapers, Dex wants more woodlands than the city can contain, to “inhabit a place that spread not up but out.” They decide to change their vocation from urban gardening monk to traveling tea service monk in the service of the “Child god Allalae,” the god of small comforts. Like everything else on Panga, their deities are adorable. A tea service monk is a traveling comfort-giver: part therapist, part friend, and part herbalist who travels from village to village dispensing tea and comfort. Dex travels around on a foot-powered (but electricity-boosted) trailer that’s like a horseless Romani caravan covered in solar panels. Surrounded by the herbs and spices of their vocation, Dex falls asleep each night beneath the skylight of their trailer, “in starlight, breathing in the muddled snap of a hundred spices, listening to the gurgle of water pumps feeding happy roots in little pots.” 

Sibling Dex travels far and wide and becomes a beloved tea service monk. Eventually, when they become restless for even more wilderness, they head into the half of Panga that has been rewilded and reserved for non-humans. Here they meet the very first robot to encounter a human since the robots went into the wild a century before. So begins the adventures of monk and robot, through the wilds and the horizontally-governed, solar-powered villages of Panga.

Reading A Psalm for the Wild-Built is like taking a trip to an eco-spa: a temporary respite from the rigors of over industrialized reality. Unlike Ecotopia, it does not seek to challenge the reader’s preconceived ideas about lifestyle, education, and societal makeup. Chambers’s novel is more self-care than radical utopian literature. She writes in the prescript that the book is “For anybody who could use a break.” You might think this novel sounds too cute by half to be of any political use. However, I think its low-key politics and mainstream appeal show how useful it is as a propaganda tool. Here solarpunk has reached its popular front era. Where ecosocialist ideas like rewilding and degrowth had just entered the environmental activist’s lexicon about 40 years ago, today the terms are used broadly across the climate discourse. The genre went from alternative cult fiction to middlebrow and mainstream in a generation. It shows me that at least in the collective imagination, we’re gaining on Ecotopia. 

‘The Peacekeeper,’ B.L. Blanchard, 2022

Blanchard’s alternative history asks, What would human civilization look like if Europeans had never colonized the globe? What if indigenous peoples had been left alone and developed technologies according to their communities’ needs, rather than the needs of industrial capitalism? The Peacekeeper takes place in the Great Lakes town of Baawitigong. This is the Chippewa name for the city of Sault Ste. Marie that sits on the U.S.-Canadian border and encompasses both Michigan and Ontario. (Blanchard’s author website describes her as an “enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.”) In her novel, local Baawitigong “peacekeeper” Chibenashi and his sister, Ashwiyaa, reside in the family wigwam. They have lived there by themselves ever since their mother, Neebin, was murdered during the night of Manoomin, the ritual of the “Ricing Moon,” and their father, Ishkode, turned himself in for the crime.

Chibenashi discovers that there was much about the tragic events of his childhood that he knew nothing about. As a peacekeeper, he is a little like a police detective. To find out the truth behind his mother’s long-ago murder, Chibenashi visits the indigenous metropolis of Shikaakwa, a city of green “living skyscrapers,” and takes up a case that’s been left cold for decades. The story is a murder mystery set in a world without a police state as we know it. People accused of crimes stand before a mediator and receive restorative justice. Imprisonment is rarely demanded, making what happened to Ishkode an aberration: “Going to prison meant the system had failed all involved, that the person was beyond saving, and nothing could be done to make the family of his victims whole.” While Anishinaabe society is not fully decarceral, the ethics underlying their judicial system are geared towards restoration rather than revenge. 

The people of Baawitigong have preserved many elements of traditional pre-industrial Anishinaabe village life, living in wigwams, speaking Anishinaabemowin, dressing in makizin, and celebrating the Ricing Moon. They also watch movies and TV and news from all over the world, travel on superfast trains, and text each other on smartwatches. Aside from the tourists from the far-flung Mayan and African Dagbon kingdoms who sail into the village on cruise ships to see the moonlit Manoomin ritual, their lives are similar to those of the Kesh in Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. The Anishinaabe have not conscientiously chosen to be selective in their use of technology. They have not chosen solar over fossil fuels. They live the way that their people have always lived, according to culture and tradition, with new technology taking root as needed.

Political commentary is rare in this novel. There is no socialism in Baawitigong because there was never a capitalism that needed to be struggled against. As in A Psalm for the Wild-Built, The Peacekeeper is more concerned with telling a story than radicalizing the reader. However, ideology, where it exists, is uncompromising. Watching a documentary about the barbaric European kings who once battled each other for land, Chibenashi snorts in derision. “As if any person could actually claim to ‘own’ the earth or any part of it…. Mino-Aki had no defined borders like that. No nation in Mishmak did. Such lines were not theirs to draw. You lived on the land; you didn’t own it.”

The Peacekeeper differs from the preceding novels because its protagonist, Chibenashi, has experienced some of the worst his society has to offer him. He is trapped in a hell of his family’s devising, and while we might envy his family wigwam, universal basic income, and therapeutic ritual sweat lodge sessions, we wouldn’t wish to trade places with him. Without giving away too much of the mystery, I can say that over the course of this novel we learn that sociopathy and murderous rage exist in this solar-powered world, and no amount of restorative justice will make them disappear.

This dark potboiler shows me a genre that is growing up and incorporating the many flavors of grown-up human experience. We see the downside to restorative justice and to living in small traditional communities. Sometimes a victim can never truly be made whole and sometimes, as in the case of a complex domestic violence situation, a restorative justice mediation can end tragically. Close, small families and communities can be stifling, oppressive, and small-minded, especially for someone who has gone through severe trauma. By choosing as her protagonist someone who has drawn the short straw in life, Blanchard is able to write an emotionally nuanced world. As in Robinson’s Pacific Edge, she shows how their culture has been able to soften the corners and reduce harm, even if it cannot do away with evil entirely.

Solarpunk authors differ on how we transition into that better world. For Callenbach, it is trickery: it is a widely held rumor in the U.S. that Ecotopians have mined nuclear bombs beneath several major American cities. For Kim Stanley Robinson, it is global diplomacy that can transition us towards an ecologically sustainable future. For Ursula K. Le Guin, nothing short of an apocalyptic event will make us use technology with conscious selectivity. 

In Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Gold Coast, the prequel to Pacific Edge, he describes the lives of Native Californians, contrasting their ecologically harmonious culture with that of the reckless European colonizers who murdered them and destroyed their civilization. They sound a lot like Le Guin’s Kesh people. He writes, “They lived here for over seven thousand years, and the only sign they left behind were some piles of shells around the shores of Newport Bay.” “[W]e know that their village life went on, year after year, generation after generation, existing in an unobtrusive balance with the land, using all of its many resources, considering every rock and tree and animal a sacred being—for seven thousand years.” Think of the shadow cast across our own doomed and wasteful civilization by the Native Californians who lived seven millennia in a place and left no lasting destruction behind. 

According to David Graeber and David Wengrow in The Dawn of Everything, indigenous people are the source of almost all Western revolutionary thought in the modern era. They posit that during the early modern period, in the first centuries after contact was made between Europeans and Native North Americans, indigenous people offered critiques of European civilization that came as a “shock to the system, revealing possibilities for human emancipation.” According to Graeber and Wengrow, this shock was so electrifying that it became the catalyst to the European Enlightenment. Solarpunk literature similarly teaches that we must look to indigenous people to discover how our species sustains its existence long term. Throughout the genre we see a return to living like a people who acted not as overlords but as stewards of nature, protecting and preserving it for the next generation. This perspective accepts that we are a disruptive species capable of catastrophic destruction if left unchecked. However, solarpunk literature shows societies that look to limit our ability to destroy a home that we must share with countless other species. 

How to get that job done seems like a Panglossian fantasy, but the genre attempts to show how humanity can practically draw those boundaries and allow our species to flourish among many. On Becky Chambers’s Panga, half the moon is rewilded and given back to nature. She writes, “It was a crazy split, if you thought about it: half the land for a single species, half for the hundreds of thousands of others. But then, humans had a knack for throwing things out of balance. Finding a limit they’d stick to was victory enough.”  

I first set upon this genre not because I was interested in indigenous ecological practices or sustainable technologies, but because I read a lot of fiction for pleasure. I particularly enjoy novels with good world-building. If they are set in space, all the better. I became engrossed in solarpunk because these novels make me happy. I believe that solarpunk is powerful propaganda because it leaves us yearning for a better world. The specific teachings of these novels are well and good, but the stories are what engross and transform us. Unlike essays on the dangers of gas stoves, cattle farming, and microplastics, their positive vision of the future taps into the life of the senses. It is one thing to relate how a zero-carbon footprint and a consciously selective use of technology will be good for all living beings. It is another to show us why we want all those things and how much more pleasure we will be able to take in our everyday lives by becoming a people that leave no poisons behind. 

In each solarpunk novel I read, I was struck by the amount of page space devoted to cooking, walking, and especially bathing and swimming. Long, luxurious passages about beaches, lakes, and volcanic hot springs are everywhere across the genre. The life of the body is deliberately foregrounded, making these novels incredibly soothing to read. Some passages are like guided meditations. Solarpunk is not, however, merely a salve to anxious, over-mechanized modern living. While you can read solarpunk as self-care, I found myself enraged as often as I was becalmed by the depiction of everything that we are missing because capital has taken away our birthright as inhabitants of planet Earth. I don’t want to wait for the robots to take to the woods. I want ecotopia now.

More In: Literature

Cover of latest issue of print magazine

Announcing Our Newest Issue


A superb summer issue containing our "defense of graffiti," a dive into British imperialism, a look at the politics of privacy, the life of Lula, and a review of "the Capitalist Manifesto." Plus: see the Police Cruiser of the Future, read our list of the summer's top songs, and find out what to fill your water balloons with. It's packed with delights!

The Latest From Current Affairs