9781844677443-im-with-the-bears-max_221

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

“This collection is a jolt out of our armchairs, a call to arms ... written with verve and style”—Chicago Tribune

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

Reviews

  • “These are the jolts we dearly need; this is a serious business we’re involved in.”
  • “10 authors at the top of their game, tackling the most pressing issue of our generation.”
  • “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 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.”
  • “A wonderful idea.”
  • “About what might happen if our worst nightmares come true.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”

Blog

  • Verso Beach Reads



    Not sure which radical books to bring with you to the beach this summer? We've come up with an eclectic mix of surrealist fiction, anti-heroic memoir, dazzling investigative reporting, and, as always, revolutionary reads for your time in the sun. Like John Grisham, but not actually bad for your soul, they'll keep you engrossed, entertained, and enlightened til the fall.

    Plus, all books on this list will be 50% off on our website for this week (June 23-30), with free shipping, as usual, and free ebook where available (but no e-readers in the pool plz).

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  • Bill McKibben's terrifying climate math

    In Rolling Stone, Bill McKibben, who introduced our I'm With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet, explicates three terrifying climate numbers in light of the hottest June in American history. 

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  • Dire Tales of Climate Change

    The Boston Globe featured Wen Stephenson's thoughtful review of I'm with the Bears on March 18, 2012

    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.

    But it's not any clever sci-fi futurism that stays with you, or any mere didacticism. It's the acute psychological portraits, the way they cut through abstractions like "climate crisis" to bring it home, make it real. 

    I want to say these stories get at something desperately needed--a psychological realism, an emotional depth, almost completely missing from the climate "debate." I don't mean just a palpable fear (much less some naive hope). I mean something more like the will to survive, or the capacity to love, maybe even to pray. Something we understand as human.