Another Life

eBook, 163 pages

English language

Published May 25, 2023 by Stelliform Press.

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4 stars (1 review)

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 …

2 editions

Another Life

4 stars

My first foray into solarpunk. Interesting to read not long after reading LeGuin's The Dispossessed, the classic 'ambiguous utopia'. And in both novels, the supposedly-non-hierarchical social system is marred by implicit power structures, and the proportedly-autonomous communities do have some dependency on non-utopian other worlds. I found Another Life very readable and enjoyable--a real page-turner--and although I wasn't convinced by a lot of the imagined technological solutions to (carbon capture is a distraction and continuation of business-as-usual rather than a way forward, and artificial lakes in Californian deserts don't have great ecological precedent...) the exploration of power in social movements was really interesting for me. I felt that Ulibarri was using birth/reincarnation as a conceit for talking about the flipside of charismatic and competent indivudals' exalted position in so-called leaderless movements. As someone who has held roles of responsibility in non-hierarchical grassroots groups, I really appreciated the treatment of Galacia's …