After a fierce fight for freedom from the experiments of the Dragios
, humans adjusted to life on Elivera. Now a millennia has passed since humanity has stepped foot on this alien world, their genome altered to a new trajectory by Dragios during the Experiments, but free of their oppressors, humanity has learned to adapt to the strangeness of this new world, and the new Abilities the Dragios nanotechnology has given them. Once again, they look to the skies, where they grow the technology needed to travel into space. Will they unlock the gate that kept the Dragios at bay in an attempt to explore beyond their home system? Or will they stay safe in the adopted solar system?
Solar System Information
The habitable zone of Elivera's star has an inner boundary of 0.858 AU (astronomical units) and an outer boundary of 1.236 AU. Elivera is on the inner portion of this boundary, nestled in the spot of 0.933 AU.
Asitok, the small gas giant (11x the size of Elivera), is located 1.133 AU from Elivera's Sun, so some of eight moons that orbit the gas giant are potentially habitable. Three other larger gas giants are situated much further out, and there is a smaller terrestrial planet, Solen, situated at 0.5AU, where it is tidal locked.
Elivera Planetary Information
338.807 Earth Days is a typical Elivera year (or qaesa). The planet has a radius that is 5421.8 kilometers (only 0.85 the radius of Earth), which means Elivera has a slightly lighter gravity, lighter mass, and lower escape velocity (8.36meters per second). Its atmosphere still retains most of the important gases necessary for life on Elivera, but hydrogen and helium do escape easily from the planet.
However, a lighter surface gravity means less gravity to push down on living creatures. Humans on Elivera grow taller. Flora grows taller, and the fauna are larger. Thus affecting the culture of the world as humanity adapts over the centuries.
As an example, the Raliok tree can grow to enormous heights and be a host for a multitude of flora and fauna within its immense branches and root systems. Raliok may range in size from 1/4 of a kilometer to 1 kilometer tall depending on the continent and the its environment. Central Vera
, for example, is an immense rainforest of giant Raliok.
The flora on Elivera photosynthesize differently than what humans experienced on their home planet of Earth. Flora evolved to fuel itself with the “visible light spectrum” (humans call the range between 400 nm and 750 nm). Thus, on Elivera, the chemical called retinal converts this light into energy, which is why plants reflect indigo/violet and microwave light. Most plants have a violet, violet-blue, purple, indigo, or lavender coloration.
Why did the flora evolve this way? Partly because Elivera’s star is a smaller, lower temperature star compared to Earth's sun. The output of the star has more wavelengths in the microwave and less energetic visible light spectrum. Flora on Elivera evolved to focus on the wavelengths that were the most plentiful. Indigo light isn’t as plentiful, due to the star's output and molecules in the sky scattering it more often than any other light. This is also why the sky on Elivera during the day tends toward a whitish-indigo color.
The star that warms the planet appears a pale yellowish-brown in the sky.
Due to the Nanine
bound to the mitochondria and DNA of Elivera humans, their culture is more collective, where an individual's Ability
plays a significant role in the profession they will enter. Gender roles are barely emphasized in most of the ethnic cultures, with some differences here and there. Due to the revolutionary beginnings of humanity on Elivera, slavery has been outlawed from the start of civilization on Elivera. Systems of economy and governments tend to avoid exploitation of people and the environment in order to preserve the delicate balance that keeps humanity alive and adaptive to this alien world. This forced the evolution of technology to develop toward a collectivist management of resources, which despite its rocky start, turned into the Elivera Federation.
Economies and Ways of Life
Most of Elivera tends toward either a participatory economy, an anarchist communal society, or a migratory artisan lifestyle. Capitalism has never held sway on Elivera due to its revolutionary origins and the strong ethos of accessibility, worker's power, and organizing in solidarity with one's environment and other cultures.
Despite the collective tendencies of Elivera humans, there exists a small segment of the population (estimated at 10%) that wonder if there is a way back to the homeworld of Earth, to discover their true heritage. Several organizations in this sect wish to learn more of humanity's past, and perhaps bring humanity back to Earth, regardless of the threats this could cause to the delicate balance humanity has with Elivera's ecosystems.
A slightly larger section of the population (estimated at 25%) seek to keep humanity from opening any wormholes in case it brings back the Dragios and the conflicts that derived from their technological superiority and exploitative experiments. This group wishes to keep Elivera in its isolation, and to instead, work within the solar system and examine other solar bodies for further settlements. The organizations in this sect believe the threat of the Dragios and of the climate crisis of old Earth could destroy the delicate balance humanity has on Elivera.
Other sections of the population (estimated at 50%) seek to explore beyond the limits of the current solar system. To learn more about their place in the universe, and prefer to call Elivera home. Many of the organizations in these sects acknowledge Earth's existence, but have no wish to lead the planet back to it. They believe it is best to let the past be past, and to seek a new future further in the cosmos.
These are just a glimpse into the diverse philosophies and ideologies of the Elivera world, as even more ideologies exist within the final 15% of the population. The amount of people who may lean toward one or another ideology can shift and sway over the decades, especially as technology grows more advanced, and more Dragios tech is unearthed in ruins and reverse-engineered.
This world was created to explore a solarpunk future that centers accessibility, justice, diversity, abolition, sustainability, and inclusion. I will not be allowing any fascist or capitalist societies in this world.
For a definition of it, I highly recommend Andrewism's What is Solarpunk? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHI61GHNGJM
Every since I was a kid in high school, I created worlds that were full of life, diversity, community-based living, and communal activities. As I attended college and attempted to work (often losing my job or hating the job enough to quit), I developed these ideas by reading as many books as I could get my hands upon about community, Leftist thought, antiracism, decolonial thought, and similar topics.
This is how Elivera became a solarpunk world. I'm going to dig into how I understanding solarpunk, as that shapes why I crafted Elivera the way it currently is.
Why Capitalism is Bad and Banned from Elivera
It is perhaps a bit silly of me to carefully calculate the physics equations to make Elivera a retinal-world, meaning it uses retinal for photosynthesis, making most plants an indigo or violet color, but I wanted to make it visibly different from Earth. Another way I made it visibly different is it is slightly smaller with a slightly smaller gravity, thus allowing massive trees to grow to a kilometer high. The idea of cities being built in massive trees and other ecosystems, where the goal is to build with nature, is integral to my approach to solarpunk ideology. We must view nature not as a static place, but as an ever-evolving dynamic process that has every right to exist just as we have a right to exist.
Capitalism doesn't view nature as a living and dynamic process. It only views nature as static resources to exploit. When our actions despoil or harm the ecosystems, thus degrading or destroying them, we harm ourselves and our ability to even have a future, but capitalism doesn't care about the future. It cares only for short-term profits, and to further grow profits in an unsustainable, endless growth model that devours everything in its path.
When I was a kid, I watched Fern Gulley and was traumatized for life; it taught me a lot about environmental justice actually. The oil creature monster in that movie devoured all in its path and was an excellent metaphor for what capitalism is.
This is one of the many reasons I reject capitalism and refuse to include it in my stories. Another reason is capitalism promotes unhealthy competition, individualistic selfishness, and greed. When I say unhealthy competition, this isn't to say all competition is bad; no, some competition can be in good sport or even help motivate people to innovate or create more art. Competition becomes unhealthy when it's goal is to destroy its competition, to exploit others in its attempt to win or gain more than one's fair share, and/or to destroy/exploit nature until ecosystems are destroyed or harmed beyond repair. That competition is vile and unhealthy and must be stopped at all costs.
I also specify individualistic selfishness as capitalism tears down solidarity and human being's tendency toward community, collective care, and mutual aid. Capitalism must do this because mutual aid and collective care will tear up its roots and capitalism will collapse. Thus, Capitalism socializes us into this individualistic approach to life: the me-first-everyone-else-last attitude. Individualism falsely claims the idea that we are all "self-made;" that we never needed, do not need, nor should need help from anyone; that we should all "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps;" and that collective care and community is bad. This gaslighting tries to claim that this is how humanity is - greedy and selfish; when in reality, humanity has never been purely that. Humanity has only been able to persist because of collective care, mutual aid, and community building. Individualistic selfishness shatters these bonds of solidarity between us, and does this to alienate us and keep us within strict silos so we can be better exploited and used as labor for the capitalist devouring engines.
My Solarpunk Manifesto
Solarpunk rejects unhealthy growth. Instead, it embraces harmony with one's environment, degrowth and decolonial concepts that are rooted in unlearning our unhealthy and harmful socializations from past violent regimes. Where we instead build with nature in a collaborative way. Solarpunk embraces the Pluriverse, where there is no one way for all of society and people to live/exist, but there is a multiplicity in lifestyles, ways of being, and ways of constructing society. Finding the healthiest, care-centric, equitable, just, and accessible way of being in society requires collaboration and exploration by those within that community, and often is unique to that community.
Solarpunk rejects binary models. Humanity and the natural world exists in multiplicity. There are multiple genders, multiple sexual orientations, multiple ways bodies can appear, and multiple abilities, which all have validity. Solarpunk embraces accessibility and inclusivity as the foundation in which to build society and relations with one another.
Solarpunk rejects individualism. Instead, it embraces collective care and solidarity between fellow human beings and non-human beings and ecosystems. Solarpunk recognizes the dynamic and ever-evolving process that is nature as well as its right to exist alongside human being's right to exist. We are in community, and that relationship with nature and one another requires collective care and solidarity.
Solarpunk rejects unhealthy competition and embraces instead collaboration and conflict resolution. To build a community requires collaboration and just conflict resolution strategies.
Solarpunk rejects greed and hoarding of resources that is endemic to capitalism. Instead, solarpunk embraces sharing and collectively/publicly held goods, land, information, and resources. This isn't to say solarpunk is against us personally owning things, but to say that the land itself cannot be owned as property, that public commons is crucial to survival, that information should be open and free to access and use, that healthcare is free and accessible to all, that education is free and accessible to all, that goods needed for survival must be shared equitable so no one is left behind, that all our infrastructure is collectively held and maintained, that all of our society -- every aspect of our community is accessible to all who dwell in it.
Solarpunk rejects exploitation of others and one's environment. Instead, it embraces collective care and mutual aid, where we honor and respect one another's differences, identities, abilities, and actively listen and care for each other. Where we seek to do no harm and if harm is done, actively hold one another accountable and do repair. Transformative justice is often the framework used in repair. Where we work in collaboration with one another and the ecosystems in which we dwell. That we sustainably source our materials and engage in repair to ecosystems, to give them time to recover for any extraction we do to meet our collective needs. To never take more than we need and to use all that we need to avoid waste. To create things made to last, where we can repair and mend what we have and share those skills within inclusive and accessible systems, like libraries of skills, goods, books, etc.
Solarpunk rejects racism, rejects white supremacy, rejects ableism, rejects classism, rejects xenophobia, rejects homophobia/transphobia, rejects bigotry that treats a group of people as less-than. Solarpunk embraces equality and equity, where no one is left behind, where non-hierarchical, horizontal democratic practices are utilized.
Solarpunk rejects borders. Borders are often used to punish migrants and asylum seekers and has been a source of violence against other groups of people that is rooted in supremacy, domination, and xenophobia. Thus, solarpunk rejects it. Instead, solarpunk embraces either open borders or no borders at all. Migrants are welcomed and needs provided for just like any person dwelling in that community.
This isn't an exhaustive list, but this is how I understand solarpunk. It is how I write my Elivera world, and it is the values that inform it.