About Sarena Ulibarri
Sarena Ulibarri is a speculative fiction author and editor from the American Southwest. Her short stories have appeared in Lightspeed, DreamForge, GigaNotoSaurus, Solarpunk Magazine, and elsewhere, and nonfiction essays have appeared in Strange Horizons and Grist. Two novellas were published in 2023: Another Life, from Stelliform Press, and Steel Tree, from Android Press. As an anthologist, she has curated and published several international volumes of optimistic climate fiction: Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers (2018), Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters (2020), and Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures (2021).
Finding out who you were in a previous life sounds like fun until you’re forced to grapple with the darkness of the past. Galacia Aguirre is Mediator of Otra Vida, a quasi-utopian city on the shores of a human-made lake in Death Valley. She resolves conflicts within their sustainable money-free society, and keeps the outside world from meddling in their affairs. When a scientific method of uncovering past lives emerges, Galacia learns she’s the reincarnation of Thomas Ramsey, leader of the Planet B movement, who eschewed fixing climate change in favor of colonizing another planet. Learning her reincarnation result shakes the foundations of Galacia’s identity and her position as Mediator, threatening to undermine the good she’s done in this lifetime. Fearing a backlash, she keeps the results secret while dealing with her political rival for Mediator, and outsiders who blame Otra Vida for bombings that Galacia is sure they had nothing to do with. But under the unforgiving sun of Death Valley, secrets have a way of coming to light.
ANOTHER LIFE is a solarpunk science fiction novella, available now from Stelliform Press!
“The sparse but evocative worldbuilding of Ulibarri’s brilliant solarpunk debut underpins a guarded optimism about the human condition…grounded in quiet interpersonal dynamics and a thought-provoking exploration of how the past should inform the future. With an incisive exploration of postcapitalist, back to basics living and characters readers will root for, this perfectly balances big ideas and big emotions.” --Publishers Weekly Starred Review
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The voyage from Earth to Petipa isn’t cheap, but those who can’t afford it can pay off the trip by working the farms of Eta, the fertile moon that feeds humanity’s new colony. Klara Silber’s parents paid their debt, but left her behind, in charge of the orchards and the android nutcrackers. She’s sure if she follows their example, she’ll earn her invitation to ascend the space elevator and join Petipa Colony in no time. Only, the android nutcrackers have been malfunctioning all season, and some of the other farmers have suddenly gone missing.
They were told Eta didn’t have any native animal life, but the annual winter party is abuzz with rumors of large creatures lurking in the shadows. When one of the party guests inexplicably transforms into a giant rat and goes on the attack, Klara is sure the night can’t get any stranger. That is, until a fairy-like creature who communicates through dance appears, and a whole hidden history unspools about how the humans conquered these alien lands. To prevent the nuts that caused the giant rat mutation from being sent to Petipa, Klara needs to get two very different communities to work in harmony, even if it means she may never earn her way to the colony.
STEEL TREE is a science fiction retelling of The Nutcracker, available December 12 from Android Press!
"Ulibarri engages deeply with Tchaikovsky’s classic, studding the narrative with an imposing space-bound Christmas tree, dancing fairies, romance between Klara and her printed-circuit android prince, and a hissable villain. The prose skews slightly toward younger readers and will especially appeal to ballet fans, who will delight over the Easter eggs liberally strewn throughout. This is just in time for Christmas."
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