196 pages, no illustrations
The size and severity of the global climate crisis is such that even the most committed environmentalists can drift into a state of denial. The award-winning writers collected here have made it their task to shake off this nagging disbelief, bringing the incomprehensible within our grasp and shaping an emotional response to mankind's unwitting creation of a tough new planet. From T. C. Boyle's account of early eco-activists, to Nathaniel Rich's comic fantasy about a marine biologist haunted by his youth, and David Mitchell's vision of a near future where oil sells for $800 a barrel – these ten provocative, occasionally chilling, sometimes satirical stories bring a human reality to disasters of inhuman proportions.
Royalties from the sale of I'm with the Bears will go to 350.org, an international grassroots movement working to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. With contributions by Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, T.C. Boyle, Toby Litt, Lydia Millet, David Mitchell, Nathaniel Rich, Kim Stanley Robinson, Helen Simpson, and Wu Ming 1.
"This collection is a jolt out of our armchairs, a call to arms [...] written with verve and style"
– Chicago Tribune
"These are the jolts we dearly need; this is a serious business we're involved in."
– Bill McKibben, from the introduction
"10 authors at the top of their game, tackling the most pressing issue of our generation."
– New Internationalist
"The stories dazzle the reader with their imaginative range and depth."
"The line-up of mostly British and North American talent is impressive – TC Boyle, Toby Litt, David Mitchell – and while they sometimes bash you around the head with a blunt instrument (Nathaniel Rich), the best are fierce and fearless, including Helen Simpson's acerbic, apocalyptic Diary Of An Interesting Year"
"All the writing in this volume is excellent"
– The Times (Saturday Review)
"The high point for me was Paolo Bacigalupi's The Tamarisk Hunter [...] More than any other story in the collection, it makes climate change feel real."
– New Scientist
"A wonderful idea."
– Daily Mail
"About what might happen if our worst nightmares come true."
– Evening Standard
"Compelling [...] these stories inspire both fear and hope. The other reason this little volume is so terrific is that the stories are written with verve and style."
– Elizabeth Taylor, Literary Editor, Chicago Tribune, 09 December 2011
"These ten stories avoid the sort of didactic, righteous preaching that elsewhere grates. [...] any reader with an interest in environmental issues will appreciate these different angles on the most pressing of our many current crises."
– The L Magazine
"It's not what you think – some sort of enviro agitprop. These are literary artists responding to our situation head-on, as artists, and with striking results."
– Wen Stephenson, The Boston Globe, 18 March 2012
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Margaret Atwood is a Booker-Prize winning poet and author of many acclaimed novels, including The Year of the Flood. Paolo Bacigalupi is the author of the sci-fi novel The Wind-Up Girl, which won the Hugo and Nebula awards. T.C. Boyle has a long list of books to his credit, including The Women. Toby Litt has written eleven novels and story collections. Author of five superlative novels, Lydia Millet was one of three finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Wu Ming 1 is one part of the quartet of authors who write under the name Wu Ming and Luther Blissett have published the groundbreaking novels Manituana and Q. David Mitchell has been twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize; his novels include Cloud Atlas and most recently The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Nathaniel Rich won many plaudits for his debut novel, The Mayor's Tongue. Kim Stanley Robinson is the Hugo and Nebula prize-winning author of the Mars Trilogy and a trilogy of novels about climate change that go under the title Science in the Capital. Helen Simpson is a prize-winning short story writer and novelist; in 1993, she was selected as one of Granta's twenty "Best British Novelists Under Forty." The writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben is the author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, among other titles; he is the founder of 350.org, which in 2010 organized what CNN called "the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history".