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I'm With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet

Overview

The magnitude of the global climate crisis is such that even the most committed environmentalists are liable to live in a state of denial. The award-winning writers collected here have made it their task to shake off this 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 David Mitchell’s vision of a near future where civilization dwindles as oil sells for $800 a ...

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I'm With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet

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Overview

The magnitude of the global climate crisis is such that even the most committed environmentalists are liable to live in a state of denial. The award-winning writers collected here have made it their task to shake off this 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 David Mitchell’s vision of a near future where civilization dwindles as oil sells for $800 a barrel—these stories blend speculative and literary fiction and range across time. The aim is to make the danger posed by climate change as accessible to the imagination as subjects more common to the best of contemporary fiction.

Royalties from I'm With the Bears will go to 350.org, an international grassroots movement working to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ten award-winning writers respond to a plea for fiction that addresses the realities of climate change and portray potential future environments. The title references environmentalist John Muir's remark "when it comes to a war between the races, I'm with the bears." T.C. Boyle's horrific opener, "The Siskiyou," follows naive activists who immerse their feet in cement to close a road against destroyers of a forest. Lydia Millet's "Zoogoing" follows with a businessman obsessed with zoo creatures who secretly spends nights in world zoos. Friends reunite in Kim Stanley Robinson's "Sacred Space" to hike in the Sierras only to find signs of death. With "Hermie," Nathaniel Rich details a crab's return to confront a marine biologist who played with him years ago. Helen Simpson offers "Diary of an Interesting Year," a woman's account of survival terrors in post-collapse England. "The Siphoners" is David Mitchell's examination of elderly life in a world where only youth has value. More tales from Toby Litt, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Margaret Atwood round out this volume of gripping science fiction from the near future.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Metro
“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.””
Daily Mail
“A wonderful idea.”
L Magazine
“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.”
Mother Jones
“Each story packs an emotional punch that staid reports of melting ice caps can’t rival.”
New Scientist
“It makes climate change feel real.”
Evening Standard
“About what might happen if our worst nightmares come true.”
The Times of London
“All the writing in this volume is excellent.”
New Internationalist
“Ten authors at the top of their game, tackling the most pressing issue of our generation.”
Independent
“The stories dazzle the reader with their imaginative range and depth.”
Chicago Tribune
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
Boston Sunday Globe
“It's not what you may think—some sort of enviro agitprop. These are literary artists responding to our situation head-on, as artists, and with striking results … It's acute psychological portraits, the way they cut through abstractions like 'climate crisis' to bring it home, make it real.”
Elizabeth Taylor - Chicago Tribune
“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.”
From the Publisher
“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.”—Independent

“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”—Metro

“All the writing in this volume is excellent”—Kate Saunders, 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.”—Michael Marshall, New Scientist

“A wonderful idea.”—John Harding, Daily Mail

“About what might happen if our worst nightmares come true.”—William Leith, 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

“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.”—Ben Kupstas, 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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844677443
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,022,305
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Arno Mayer is Professor Emeritus of European History at Princeton University. His many books include The Persistence of the Old Regime: Europe to the Great War, The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions, Plowshares into Swords: From Zionism to Israel and Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The “Final Solution” in History.

Bill McKibben
is an environmentalist and the bestselling author of Deep Economy, among many other books. He lives in Ripton, Vermont.

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