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Loosed upon the World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Collected by the editor of the award-winning Lightspeed magazine, one of the first anthologies of climate fiction—a cutting-edge genre made popular by Margaret Atwood.

Is it the end of the world as we know it? Climate fiction (cli-fi) explores the world we live in now—and in the very near future—as the effects of global warming become more evident. Join bestselling, award-w
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Paperback, 565 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Shelby
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. Some of the stories did drag a bit, but for the most part the short stories were full of intrigue. This anthology features many prominent fiction writers, but in my opinion the stories by the lesser known authors were remarkable as well. Reading anthologies like this one is a great way to find out about authors writing this type of speculative fiction. I have read Wastelands, another anthology edited by John Joseph Adams; Wastelands is less focused on climate-related "the ...more
Kogiopsis
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
As with so many anthologies, this was very much a mixed bag. I think it particularly suffered because the stories within were all reprints, so there was very little cohesion between them. It was obvious when a story had been written for a non-climate-focused project, because the authors felt the need to explain to us how, exactly, climate change was bad- not exactly necessary in the context of this anthology, because it is safe to assume that anyone who has picked up something described as an an ...more
Treesong Treesong
As an avid reader of climate fiction (cli-fi), I was very much looking forward to the release of Loosed Upon the World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction. I’m pleased to report that this anthology definitely met and exceeded my expectations.

This volume brings together an impressive collection of authors with a wide range of writing styles and a variety of takes on the broadly-defined theme. As with almost any anthology, there are hits and misses. There were a few stories I’d read before, one
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Rob
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
...Although there are some stories in this anthology that I didn't really do much for me, and one - That Creeping Sensation (2011) by Alan Dean Foster - that left me wondering how on earth the author managed to sell that heap of nonsense, most of the stories were at the very least entertaining. A few reached into the excellent category. Adams managed to gather a diverse set of stories and as such, the anthology is likely to keep most readers on board until the last pages. Both Bacigalupi in the ...more
Mike Finn
Climate Change Fiction anthology that is horribly plausible, deeply frightening and that fills me with guilt about the mess the generation now in school will inherit from us.

“Loosed Upon The World” is a collection of twenty-six short stories that imagine our future in a world undergoing dramatic climate change.

The message that they have in common is that the next generation will be facing some hard choices, that science may mitigate the effects of climate change but that the way we live today
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Holly (The GrimDragon)
"The rich fled the places where the sun was too bright and the rain was too rare, and when the places they fled to dried up in turn, the rich fled farther, looking for some promised land that had managed to remain pristine while they were busy wrecking the world the rest of us had to live in."

Loosed Upon the World is a finely crafted collection of 26 short cli-fi/sci-fi stories about the effects of climate change told by some of my favorites (Seanan McGuire & Margaret Atwood!)

After watching a vi
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Pearse Anderson
This collection did ideas right. Authors had a lot of great ideas. Authors had, however, terrible execution. I read about characters I didn't care for. I read rushed or broken arcs and plots. I read paragraphs that somehow made it through the copy editor despite grammatical and structural problems. The last hundred pages, combined with "The Eight Wonder" were the best pieces in the collection. But they why—why for God's sake—would you leave the best for last? I had to trawl my body through this ...more
Dan Connolly
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An anthology that is relevant, scary, and unfortunately, in some cases, provides portraits of very possible scenarios of how our children’s children may be living. While this large collection will not persuade anyone to not drive over the bridge, it will further motivate those of us who follow the science.

My analogy of driving over the bridge came from discussion of climate change (or, as Margaret Atwood calls it, “The Everything Change”) with a friend. He told me that any time a climate change
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Rose
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of extremely readable, extremely compelling stories that imagine the immediate future and the possible effects of climate change on the world and its inhabitants. I kind of think that this anthology, or something like it, should be required reading for everyone on the planet. The best speculative fiction challenges us to escape the fog of denial. I'm not talking about Denial, as in Climate Change Denial, I'm talking about the everyday garden-variety denial that lets us ...more
Alton
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Anthologies are typically a collection of good material surrounded by weaker brethren; this one is no different. Its better works have one thing in common: they are more than just a tale of climate catastrophe. Some of my favorites: "The Netherlands Lives With Water," for its living, believable characters, and "Shooting the Apocalypse," for capturing the spirit of the those that will survie in the bone-dry Southwest US. ...more
Jim O'Donnell
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Overall pretty mediocre. That said, there are a few very strong standout stories such as "racing the tide" and "hot sky". "the precedent" was utterly disturbing and congratulations to the author for that smack in the face! "The Netherlands lives with water" also stood out. But all in all this is a mediocre collection and speaks to the larger challenge of writing good climate fiction. ...more
Shelley Diamond
Unusual anthology of science fiction stories about climate change by international authors. They each focus on different aspects and all offer fascinating perspectives. If you like science fiction and are concerned about climate change, you'll appreciate this book. My favorites of the 26 stories:
The Snows of Yesteryear by Jean-Louis Trudel
The Rainy Season by Tobias S. Buckell
The Precedent by Sean McMullen
That Creeping Sensation by Alan Dean Foster
Eagle by Gregory Benford
The Day It All Ended by
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Michael
Some stories offered hope for the future. Some stories showed us the more things change, the more they stay the same. Some stories flipped the script. Overall There were a handful that I'll be referring to in the future, but they all made me think, and for that I'm grateful to have read this collection.

I'd recommend it as a good starting point for anyone else looking for climate fiction, particularly if they didn't want to commit into a full length novel.


Shooting the Apocalypse by Paolo Bacigalu
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Christian
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sceptical about if I would enjoy this book or not. It sounded good on paper, but I wondered about the execution.
I needn’t have worried!
A really brilliant and eclectic (in a good way) mix of stories focusing on the climate and the myriad of conditions it could theoretically be put under. Whilst you could argue that it is speculative fiction, the majority, if not all the stories have an essence of realism to them. It really isn’t that much of s leap to get to several of the situations tha
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Patricia
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
An impressive collection of fiction about one of the greatest crisis facing the world today: climate change. Each story is thought provoking and disturbing. It took me longer than I thought to read this because I had to set it down between stories...to catch my breath. Very intense. My favorite stories are:

-The Myth of Rain, by Seanan McGuire
-A Hundred Hundred Daisies, by Nancy Kress
-The Day it All Ended, by Charlie Jane Anders
-Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet, by Margaret Atwood
Kirsty
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, this was good. Of course some stories i liked more than others, my favorites being Truth + Consequences by Kim Stanley Robinson ( this was small bits from his series that starts with 40 days of rain, i definitely want to read more from him), and The precedent by Sean McMullen. I bought this because I love disaster movies and this definitely delivered that. I really appreciated the amount of science in these stories as well.
Karen
This collection starts out strong with Shooting The Apocalypse by Paola Bacigalupi and kept up the pace throughout. I immediately started reading this book after purchasing it,and over four hours later I reluctantly had to tear myself away.I highly recommend this anthology to any fan of the post-apocalyptic genre.
Joanna
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Environmental Doom and gloom on an unending scale make this anthology’s theme somewhat redundant yet creative. Each story has a different environmental threat. However, they are uneven, some few being well-written while others are barely mediocre. The scope is broad but being saturated in one after another, leaves one feeing helpless, distressed and depressed.
Laura Boram
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was both the easiest and most difficult anthology to read; wonderfully edited exploration of our emerging climate crisis. Great writers assigned a very difficult and sad task and at the end of the onslaught of dystopic postulations - I'm still rooting for the humans. ...more
Yev
Oct 01, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0reviewed, 2anthology
Shooting The Apocalypse - Paolo Bacigalupi (2014)
A photographer and journalist are looking for a big scoop to profit from.
Enjoyable

The Myth Of Rain - Seanan McGuire (2015)
This is much more a description about the state of the world than anything else. It's more self-righteous than I tend to prefer, and although there's a clear self-awareness of one's limitations, that seems to be mostly ignored.
Meh

Outer Rims - Toiya Kristen Finley (2011)
A family is concerned about being overwhelmed by the ocean
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Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
This is an excellent collection, depressing, but excellent.
Ken
Jan 07, 2022 added it
The stories in this anthology are all well written, I just found myself saying “that’s it?” at the end of many of them to the point that I would not recommend it to anyone.
Ebenmaessiger
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The Netherlands Lives With Water," by Jim Shepard (2009): 7.25
- An unfortunate perfect storm of mundanity: the mainstream author doing genre who, as usual, skips over the interesting shit genre qua genre can do, and also just so happens to not do any of the nice things litfic can do in the process. The sexuality of the marriage reads like the worst of genre's attempt at Cool Directness; the marital and maternal problems are largely disconnected from the climatic drama; and the attempts at lit
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Trevor Kroger
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Climate change is not coming. Climate change is here and it's a motherfucker.

That is the single undeniable truth at the core of Loosed Upon the World, a science fiction anthology in the best tradition of the genre. Writers from around the world exploring possible near futures on this rapidly warming world, some more optimistic than others, but all grounded in very harsh realities.

Rains are a common motif. The entry by Kim Stanley Robinson begins with a flooded Washington DC, punctuated by a ligh
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Lori
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories are hit and miss (as most anthologies are), but overall written well. Reading them made me want to just go ahead and fling myself into the ocean to feed what little marine life is still out there, though. Super depressing read, which I suppose I should've anticipated given the topic.

Also, I was rather annoyed that Atwood's contribution was so short. It was good, but it's not even two whole pages, and felt more like an intro to a story than a story itself. I think I'd have been less
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Lynne
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read "Entanglements" by Vandana Singh from this anthology for a discussion with students from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. This piece reminded me of The Overstory by Richard Powers, only in this case the disparate stories of climate devastation were connected by technology as opposed to trees. Talking with the students, I realized that across generations we all negotiate the emotional landscapes of hope and despair and the practical ones of action and paralysis. These are the subt ...more
Stephanie
Whew, this one took a while to get through. I started this back in June and am just now finishing it. The stories were really hit or miss for me. I rate each story individually and the average came out to a 2.96 / 5, so not great, but not terrible. My favorites stories were Outer Rims, That Creeping Sensation, and The Day It All Ended, I gave all of those 5 stars. For me, most of these stories didn't work as short stories because the worlds were too intricate. There wasn't enough time for the bu ...more
Michael
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lengthy and painful set of stories with societies confronting a runaway climate. Sometimes there is a personal struggle, sometimes massive technological attempts. Always the climate catastrophe is bigger than anyone’s ability to combat - rising seas on the coasts, withering drought in the interior, ice caps disappearing and desperate hunts for icebergs. Some stories are set in a distant future while others are as contemporaneous as the current day.
Earl Truss
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
This is the first time I've knowingly read anything labelled as "climate fiction". Of course there are a lot of science fiction that is about various possible climate apocalypses. Many of them are better than the stories here. Many of the stories were about water catastrophes - not enough or too much.
There were a few outstanding stories but not many.

A Hundred Hundred Daisies - Nancy Kress
Eagle - Gregory Benford
The Day It All Ended - Charlie Jane Anders
...more
Kelly
Jun 18, 2021 added it
I read this as part of a book group prompt on cli fi. It’s not fair to give this a star rating because I really didn’t like the book but that’s because I can quite safely say I’m 100% uninterested in the genre. The stories were well written and there were some amazing authors in there, but it just wasn’t something I’d ever pick up normally, and unfortunately this time trying something new hasn’t resulted in a new favourite genre.
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (consisti ...more

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