Sun in the Heart by Roberta Spindler – Selection 46 of #DealMeIn2019

 

The Card: ♠Nine♠ of Spades (playing card image found at kickstarter.com/projects/1894542039/oracle-mystifying-playing-cards )

The Suit: For Deal Me In 2019, ♠♠♠Spades♠♠♠ are my Suit for darker, sci-fi, Ghost, and “alternative-type” Stories. How’s that for a broad category?

The Author: Roberta Spindler is a New-to-Me Author. From the “About” info in the anthology which this story is from, I learned that she is a video editor who has “written since her teens.” You can find her author page on Goodreads.com but you may want to brush up on your Portuguese first. (photo is from goodreads)

The Story: “Sun in the Heart” is from the Solarpunk short story anthology “Solarpunk: Ecological And Fantastical Stories From a Sustainable World.” The book is published by World Weaver Press, I’ve read some of their other offerings and actually won a hard copy of this particular book via a Twitter giveaway. (I guess I can no longer say,”I’ve never won anything!” which I often do when I fail to win a raffle at the office or whatever.) 🙂

What is Deal Me In? I’m glad you asked!  Full details may be found here  but generally speaking it’s a reading challenge where participants try to read one short story a week for the year, the reading order being determined by the luck of the draw. See here for the list of stories I’ll be reading in 2019.

Sun in the Heart

“Almost ninety-seven years had passed since the implants had begun to be used, and they had already acquired the status of true salvation of mankind. But in Lucio’s view, it was ironic that men depended on sunlight to survive, since the problems began when solar flares, already absurdly intense since 2214, tripled their strength three years later.”

Do you know of the “Solarpunk” literary genre? There’s a good definition of it in the lead-off of the Wikipedia article here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solarpunk but the short of it is: “a movement that encourages optimistic envisionings of the future in light of present environmental concerns, such as climate change and pollution as well as social inequality.” I particularly like that the future envisionings are optimistic. We can all use that these days, right?

Anyway… This story takes place, by my calculations using a couple references within, during the 24th Century. It’s setting is near São Paulo, Brazil. Brazil has become a new world power since it was their scientists who developed the technology which saved humankind from the devastating effects of a changed planet. Their development of the concept of “photonutrition” led quickly to implants and eventually sophisticated tattoos which allowed their bearers to live off of sunlight. This seemed pretty far-fetched to me – and perhaps to you also! – but who is to say what technologies or currently unsuspected refuges humanity might flee to if the situation of a changing planet becomes desperate?

I’ve often pondered myself about what “migration response” to a potential dying or inhospitable Earth may be in our eventual future, and I admit it’s usually been along the lines of “everyone will want to move to the polar regions!” (this reminds me of an old post I wrote about an Arthur C. Clarke short story, “History Lesson,” where humanity faces an almost similar challenge) or “we need to speed up our space exploration program if we’re going to terraform Mars or Europa or Titan or whatever might-be-able-to-be-made-habitable worlds in our solar system!” but I only recently began to think about fleeing in a technological sense. “Maybe by the time when – or if – Earth becomes uninhabitable, we’ll be able to download ourselves into our android bodies!” This story is closer to this latter response than others I’ve read so far.

“Heart in the Sun” centers around a couple, Lucio and Laura, whose young son has reached the age where he is ready for his first “photonutritive” tattoo. ***Spoiler Alert***  Their pre-appointment discussion was quite poignant in that it brought up the differing pasts of the couple, one of whose family had the means to pay for whatever technology was necessary for the survival of their children while the other’s could only afford enough for one child. A sort of steampunk version of Sophie’s Choice? The cost of whatever form a potential future migration takes has been a topic of my ponderings as well. What if we can survive but very few can “afford” the financial cost? I fear this may actually happen some point down the road…

♪♫♪ Personal Notes: I know there are other “punk” genres out there including “Dieselpunk” and my favorite “Steampunk.” To this day I remember when I first heard of Steampunk – I met a couple who were fans of it at O’Reilly’s Irish Restaurant and Bar in downtown Indy one evening. This was probably 10 years ago or so, but I remember being fascinated that this whole demimonde existed with me being totally unaware. I’ve since read a couple steampunk anthologies and novels as well.

What about you? Are you “into” any non-mainstream literary genres that you’d like to share? If so, do tell. Bonus Points if it’s something else I’ve never heard of!

2 Comments

  1. aamidor said,

    November 26, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Jay,

    You’ll recall we met at Bookmama’s four years ago when I was hawking my POD book, “Monastery of Writers.” Last year I had a novel published in hardback by a more significant press, albeit a small one (The Permanent Press of Sag Harbor, NY), and it was called “Letting Go,” a title I abhorred because Philip Roth had already used it, but the publisher insisted (it did fit the book, but lifting that title still was a great embarrassment to me). Anyway, the more recent novel is mostly set right here in Indianapolis. It came out in July 2018 and has not sold well. I’d like to send you a copy, gratis, if there’s some way you can review it – good, bad or indifferent doesn’t matter (it’s like they say in Hollywood, there’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name correctly).

    Any interest?

    Here’s a link to one nice review of the book: https://vvabooks.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/letting-go-by-abe-aamidor/

    Abe Aamidor http://www.aamidor.com

    On Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 1:06 PM Bibliophilopolis wrote:

    > Jay posted: ” The Card: [image: ♠]Nine[image: ♠] of Spades (playing card > image found at > kickstarter.com/projects/1894542039/oracle-mystifying-playing-cards ) The > Suit: For Deal Me In 2019, [image: ♠][image: ♠][image: ♠]Spades[image: ♠][image: > ♠][image: ♠] are my Suit for darker, sci-fi, Ghost, and > “alternative-type” Stories. How’s” >

    Like

    • Jay said,

      November 26, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Abe, I replied to your message via your websites contact page. – Jay

      Like


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