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

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3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  16 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 T...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Verso
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Ran Prieur
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...more
Chris Blocker
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...more
dara
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.
Kevin
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 350.org, the emissions required for the paper, printing and distribution of the book seem counterproductive. Perhap...more
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...more
Jerah
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.
Matt Heavner
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.
Carla
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.
Sridhar
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.
Allen
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.
Jason Miller
A mix of short stories that our suppose to have an environmental theme - not really impressed, except for the story from Paolo Bacigalupi
Victoria
Readable and thought-provoking. Royalties go to support a very worthwhile organisation - which adds to the books desirability.
Foxglow
Post apocalyptic short stories hypothesizing the end result of global warming, some better written than others.
Craig Pizzuti
Not bad in thought but the stories weren't particularly strong and seemed to be written quickly for the book...
Jill
As with all anthologies, some stories are incredible, some good. All are thought provoking.
Yvonne
Mar 26, 2013 Yvonne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Yvonne by: I was searching out Margaret Atwood titles.
Sci-fi short stories of grim abused earth futures by 10 different authors.
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