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

3.17  ·  Rating Details ·  157 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Verso
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Nov 17, 2015 Leonard rated it it was ok
The introduction by Bill McKibben is great with some eye opening information about climate change. for example: 2010 - the warmest year on record. Nineteen nations set new all time temperature records. In all of recorded time the temperature had never hit 100 before in Moscow, but in August, 2010 it happened eight times. Normal annual rainfall in Pakistan averags three feet a year, but twelve feet fell in one week! The Indus river swelled until it coverage an area the size of Britain.

But the st
Nov 22, 2016 Renata rated it it was ok
I’m With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet is a compilation of ten short stories written by ten different authors: Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, I.C Boyle, Toby Litt, Lydia Millet and David Mitchell, just to say some. Although each one of them has its own style they are all written in short and mostly simple sentences to create an effect of urgency, anxiety and fear in the reader. That, I believe is the success of the book. It does create an atmosphere of shock and fear by ...more
Beetje jammer dat het verhaal van Margaret Atwood maar twee pagina's lang is.
Oct 19, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it
Short stories relating to imagined environmental catastrophes. Some of them are quite gripping. Sadly, none of them seem far-fetched.
Chris Blocker
Jan 29, 2012 Chris Blocker rated it liked it
A collection of short stories focusing on climate change, I'm With the Bears boasts an impressive list of writers and supports a worthy mission. Despite its initial promise, I'm With the Bears isn't all that impressive. Some of the stories revolve around an interesting subject, while others disappoint. What really plagues this collection is that almost all of the stories feel incomplete. There are some great sketches or drafts of stories here, but they never quite deliver.

The cover states that r
Ran Prieur
Feb 14, 2014 Ran Prieur rated it it was ok
Although some of the money from this book is going to fight climate change, there is not a single story about climate change being stopped. I suppose that would be too implausible. Instead the stories are arranged to form a bleak narrative in which we first fail to prevent climate catastrophe, and then we suffer from it, and then (with a few exceptions) we fail to recover.

I thought there were a lot of boring bits and preachy bits, but also some great stuff. My favorites are the four in the middl
Sep 04, 2016 Jolene rated it really liked it
I read this for a grad school course about literary theory/New Materialism, and I enjoyed it. The collection begins with stories that take place during the present day and then moves into a number of dystopian visions.

My favorites were "The Siskiyou, July 1989" by TC Boyle, "The Tamarisk Hunter" by Paolo Bacigalupi (in which water from Utah and Arizona is redirected to California), and of course "Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet" by Margaret Atwood.

The introduction by Bill McKibben is a gr
Jun 26, 2013 Kevin rated it it was ok
A great concept - an anthology of climate-change themed stories - with an impressive list of writers but mediocre results. Not a single stand-out among the pieces. Particularly problematic were those excerpted from novels (about a third of the collection) as they lacked the tension and closure of actual shorts.

While I'm glad that the proceeds for the book's sale went to McKibben's, the emissions required for the paper, printing and distribution of the book seem counterproductive. Perhap
Karl-Friedrich Lenz
I don't like giving less than three stars to any fiction dealing with global warming, but this was just too awful.

The only story I halfway liked was the piece by Bacigalupo, which I had already read in his own collection "Pump Six".

The story by the Italian collective was annoying as hell. The story by Margaret Atwood wasn't a story, but only a couple of paragraphs of mildly interesting prose. I know she can do better than that.

Not one story in the whole volume gave an idea of what to actually do
Dec 03, 2011 Jerah rated it really liked it
Shelves: findelmundo
With a kick-ass introduction by Bill McKibben. Some good stories, some eh. And then, towards the end, it really picks up steam. The one by Paolo Bacigalupi about the American southwest being struck by a mega-drought and California sending in the National Guard to steal Colorado's water was awesome. Kim Stanley Robinson's was good. Of course. Margaret Atwood's was good. And the one by "Wu Ming 1", a member of an Italian author's collective (the name in Chinese means "anonymous") was spectacular.
Sep 09, 2014 Jessie rated it liked it
I'm gonna have to agree with some of the other reviews I've read on this collection. I was not too impressed with most of the stories, and some were only loosely related to environmentalism or "the global climate crisis." I'm not sure if I was thrown off by the writing in some of the stories because many were part of larger pieces that just had this one segment removed for this anthology or if the writing wasn't stellar to begin with. I did enjoy the last two stories in the book by Paolo ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Peter rated it liked it
A wide range on stories that reached me in this work, but I think it's value is in artists trying to find a way to grapple with the epoch-changing implications of climate change. Some of them are grasping it, and some are glancing off the immensity of the challenge, or bashing their heads against it. It's a worthy attempt, but merely a starting point, one encumbered by the rules of a world that won't exist on the other side.
Matt Heavner
Dec 19, 2011 Matt Heavner rated it liked it
I really liked this book. Some stories are more upsetting than others, a few are very uplifting. I think the intro by Bill McKibben was excellent -- perhaps the best part of the book! I liked Kim Stanley Robinson's "Sacred Space" -- a look at potential climate impacts on the Sierras, along with a touch of parental concern (over-convern..). Hermie (by Nathaniel Rich) was a pretty pointed jab at science and how removed from nature it can become -- but being provoked can be a good thing.
Apr 26, 2016 Olivia rated it liked it
And uneven but interesting anthology. Some of the stories were excellent, and I especially enjoyed "Newromancer," "Diary of an Interesting Year" and Paolo Bacigalupi's futuristic story about the upcoming water wars between Arizona and California. Others weren't as compelling. But this was an excellent text to teach in the final week of my Environmental Lit class, an easy but thought-provoking look at what the future might look like, and the students really enjoyed it.
Mar 16, 2012 Carla rated it liked it
Confession time: I only read about half of the stories. I liked Helen Simpson, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Kim Stanley Robinson. KSR's short story is part of the 30/40/50 series' continuity, and I don't know if I would have gotten much out of the story without having already read the books. Margaret Atwood's story is perhaps three pages long, and seemed more of a story prompt than a short story itself. I did try some of the other authors, but I simply couldn't get into their stories.
Jul 22, 2015 Brendan rated it liked it
A fantastic idea for a book which is both raising awareness and also providing some money to what is the greatest threat mankind has ever faced.

I would however agree with many of the other reviewers in that the book, although containing great individual pieces, lacked an overall direction. I would have loved to have seen a positive story which enthuses people into proactively fighting climate change.
Mar 23, 2012 Allen rated it it was ok
I picked this up because it has Margaret Atwood's name attached -- her story is only a couple of pages. The bulk of the time I was reading this book, I was longing to just be done with it. A few stories are mostly enjoyable, others just drag on.

None really stood out for me, none of them will I remember or think about later.
Apr 17, 2013 Sridhar rated it really liked it
A collection of short stories related to our climate crisis and the fate of our forests and wildlands. Fiction seems to do a better job of articulating how people respond and what the implications are for individual human lives and our shared humanity. I did not enjoy all the stories equally, of course, but the ones by T C Boyle, Paolo Bacigalupi, and a few others made the book worthwhile.
Sep 10, 2014 Dave rated it it was ok
Some of the stories are good I don't think any of them are going to stick with me. The concept of a book about climate change is a nice idea but although most of the stories were very well written they were all very similar in tone and content. It wasn't quite for me this collection.
Aug 31, 2014 dara marked it as abandoned
I read the first three stories (90 pages) and then skipped to the all-too-short Atwood story at the end. I just didn't really feel anything enough to continue slogging through. Interesting concept for a collection, "meh" results though.
Oct 03, 2011 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Readable and thought-provoking. Royalties go to support a very worthwhile organisation - which adds to the books desirability.
May 14, 2012 Foxglow rated it liked it
Shelves: april-2012
Post apocalyptic short stories hypothesizing the end result of global warming, some better written than others.
Craig Pizzuti
Jan 06, 2012 Craig Pizzuti rated it really liked it
Not bad in thought but the stories weren't particularly strong and seemed to be written quickly for the book...
May 13, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok
A mix of short stories that our suppose to have an environmental theme - not really impressed, except for the story from Paolo Bacigalupi
Mar 26, 2013 Yvonne rated it liked it
Recommended to Yvonne by: I was searching out Margaret Atwood titles.
Sci-fi short stories of grim abused earth futures by 10 different authors.
Gino Brignoli
Gino Brignoli rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2012
Gerry Matthews
Gerry Matthews rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2016
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Sep 26, 2015
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Mar 15, 2016
Mord rated it did not like it
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