Hopepunk is a term coined by Alexandra Rowland as a counterpoint to the grimdark trend, but hopepunk doesn’t mean fluffy. As their Be The Serpents podcast co-host Jennifer Mace once put it, the “punk” part of the term is load-bearing.
That means hopepunk stories understand that putting yourself and what you care about out there sincerely is an act of strength, as opposed to the grimdark cynicism where genuine emotions are predominantly portrayed as weaknesses and only the least empathetic people thrive.
That means hopepunk stories are hopeful, but they’re hopeful because they acknowledge that people have to fight with everything in them for what they believe in, for hopeful outcomes, and for hope to be possible at all, and that people do fight.
Consider the Dust is on the lighter side for hopepunk, but it is very explicitly about hope being possible because of people’s commitment to continuing to fight.
I decided to publish this novella now because I needed something to be hopeful about, and many other people do too. And sharing stories that empower people is one of the best ways I know to fight.
So if you’re interested in a story about characters who put everything on the line for what they believe in, fighting together to create a better future for the world with all their strength and in so doing making it possible, then I hope you’ll check out this novella!