This weekend I found myself in one of those long, wonderful culture-change conversations with some dear friends. About sustainabilty and the current topic at hand, which I can't quite remember, I said something like, "well, it's like in that book Ecotopia. You guys have read it right?"
Nope, not a one. Hm. It's like a classic. And, granted, I have a lot of beefs with it, and much prefer Starhawks' "The Fifth Sacred Thing", which deals with the same topic but in a more socially just way.
Location: Earthaven Ecovillage, North Carolina; Ecovillages newsletter http://wwwEcovillageNews.org
posted 10 years ago
When I lived in Berkeley in the 1980s I rented a cottage in the backyard of Chick Callenbach, author of Ecotopia, and told my friends I now lived in "Ecotopia." (By the way, he's a wonderful guy.)
Once I lived there I decided to read the book. I told Chick that as I neared the end of the story I was slowing down reading because I didn't want to leave the country of Ecotopia; I liked it so much. "As I neared the end of writing it, I slowed down too," he told me. "I didn't want to leave that country either." Reading Ecotopia set me on the path to wanting to live in a socially aware, intellectually stimulating, ecologically focused place. But I didn't think there was anyplace like that in real life; just in fiction. So I decided that someday I'd write a science-fiction novel like Ecotopia,, even if it never got published, just so I could imagine, once again for awhile, that I lived in a place like that. If I couldn't go there in real life, I'd go there in my imagination. Years later, when I discovered Earthaven Ecovillage and became a member, I told the other members this story. "Now that I'm joining a place like this, " I told them, "I don't have to write science fiction to experience living like this. I can just do it in real life, here."
As far as I know, Ecotopia has been in print continuously since 1972. You can find it on Amazon new or used or on any used-book site.
And . . . have you read Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy? Oh my gosh, talk about going to the future and "living" for awhile in a radically ecological sustainable place!
Of course Starhawk should also be mentioned here as one of the all-star authors that help us create a vision of a beautiful future. The Fifth Sacred Thing and Walking to Mercury. Although even her short writings can, in a brief page or two, totally fill me up with inspiration.