Even though Sunvault is closed for submissions, Solarpunk Press is another paying market looking for solarpunk stories! We talked with co-founder Faith Gregory about what solarpunk means to them.
Sunvault: What drew you to solarpunk and what still inspires you?
Faith Gregory: Honestly, I wasn’t initially interested in Solarpunk. Watson and I worked on the same college newspaper, and they kept bringing it up to me as something I should look into. The idea didn’t really stand out to me, but when they finally got me to look into the community and read some posts, I started to see how important the idea of optimistic speculative fiction is, and that small movements like these are key in changing the socio-political landscape of our respective communities, and how our communities interact with each other.
SV: There’s some internet chatter about how the solarpunk movement is separate from the genre. How do you see the literature of solarpunk interacting with the solarpunk community as a whole?
FG: I am adamant that the solarpunk movement should NOT be separate from the genre. Literature is so important to activism, so having the genre reflect the movement, and the movement reflect the genre, are going to strengthen both.
SV: What inspired starting Solarpunk Press?
FG: Watson was really the driving factor behind this. We were at Readercon last year (and we’ll be there again this year), and we attended a panel on speculative fiction magazines. Afterwards, Watson was like, do you want to start a solarpunk spec fic mag with me, and I was like, yeah sure, if you can prove to me you can do it. At a mixer with all the panelists, we approached Neil Clarke, Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, and Watson pitched the idea and very specific details of the magazine to Neil. Neil said they sounded good and that starting the magazine sounded plausible. From that, Solarpunk Press was born.
SV: As an editor, what advice do you have for writers working in the solarpunk genre?
FG: Writing solarpunk fiction has been the biggest writing challenge for me thus far, and I’m much better at spotting it and editing it than I am at writing it, primarily because of my really bad anxiety. So I can really only tell you what it is that I look for in submissions, which is awareness of the world around you, an understanding of cultural differences, and a willingness to embrace criticism and change. If I see that in your writing, along with the penchant for hope that solarpunk really strives for, I’m immediately interested.
SV: Anything you’d like readers to know about Solarpunk Press?
FG: I’d like people to know that Solarpunk Press is a passion project, started and run by two pretty poor people doing everything out of pocket and through our patreon. So if people like what we’re doing and want us to stick around for the foreseeable future, we really need both the patreon support and the submissions of really good solarpunk fiction for us to continue. You can support us at http://www.patreon.com/solarpunkpress and submit your fiction at http://www.solarpunkpress.com/submit
Faith Gregory is co-founder and editor of Solarpunk Press, a magazine for the Anthropocene. They’re a 21 year old working full-time in retail with a double associate’s in journalism and political science, striving to save the money to get back to their studies. They live in Amherst, Massachusetts and look to promote and strengthen queer writers.You can find them blogging at watsons-solarpunk.tumblr.com and samesexgamgee.tumblr.com, and you can hire them at faithgregory.wordpress.com