cover image Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures

Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures

Edited by Christoph Rupprecht et al. World Weaver, $15.95 trade paper (330p) ISBN 978-1-73405-452-1

The 24 stories of this joyously ambitious solarpunk anthology chart a broad map for integrated relationships between humans and nature, spotlighting award-winning and emerging speculative fiction writers from Asia and the Pacific. The linguistically and culturally diverse lineup excels when entwining relational nuance with keenly handled futurist ideas. Kate Bui’s “Deer, Tiger, and Witch” and N.R.M. Roshak’s “By the Light of the Stars” saturate conservation crises in casual kindness. The impressionist stream-of-consciousness of Priya Sarukkai Chabria’s poetic “Listen: A Memoir” wanders from Wittgenstein to garden snakes. D.K. Mok’s funny, passionate “The Birdsong Fossil” dives deep into the concept of animal culture. And in Eliza Victoria’s “Down the River” a botched sacrifice to a river leads to an acute examination of reparations. Weaker stories feature slighter plots and excessive exposition, and several tales repeat elements from each other, resulting in a whole that can feel fragmented and unconsidered. Despite its blurred focus, this enthusiastic patchwork of perspectives features a number of gems for fans of climate fiction. (Apr.)