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  • Writer's pictureDavid Colello

What is Ecopunk?

Ecopunk. This concept is at the core of who I am as a writer, so it stands to reason that a few definitions are in order. Anyone who has found this blog must already have at least a vague understanding of ecofiction. At its broadest, this includes any stories where ecology or environment plays a central role in the plot. The environmental movement has always had parallels with the punk asthestic, mostly due to common enemies such as greed and corporations. This is what inspired me to build out the Mission Cerex universe, where humanity was right at the tipping point between destruction and salvation. It seems to me that the human race will find out this century whether we have what it takes to adapt, or if we're too scared to take the red pill. Don't give up hope! Ecopunk is here to save the day. There are a number of new offshoots in the world of sci fi that use variations of an ecopunk hero. Each is good in their own way, although not all of them seem as relevant as they once did. There is solarpunk, a more hopeful, more mature take on the future of humanity. These stories tend to oversimplify or gloss over the transition period of how humanity deals with its destructive habits. They offer positive examples of future societies, so they rank as a close cousin of ecopunk in my mind. There is hope punk, which doesn't necessarily need to be about the environment at all, but dovetails nicely with the punk mindset of "I'm going to find meaning even when all meaning seems lost." Then there's the grandfather of them all: cyberpunk. While ecopunk could not exist without its grittier, dystopian cyberpunk ancestors, the two evolved into wholly different outlooks, and can hardly be grouped together anymore. For something to qualify as ecopunk for me, it needs to be set on the downswing of human civilization, but working towards a better future. No hope remains for turning back and avoiding society's mistakes, but there is still a path forward. There are countless paths forward, and I plan to write more wonderful stories for you all where we can explore what may be waiting just around the corner.


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