Friday 22 March 2024

I'm With the Bears edited by Mark Martin


Subtitled Short Stories from a Damaged Planet, this is a collection of stories (though three are, disappointingly, actually excerpts from novels) from writers including Margaret Atwood, T C Boyle and David Mitchell. They're mostly grim, post apocalyptic stories, the intention I guess being to show us how bad it could get and instil in us an urgency to act. But there isn't exactly a great deal of hope in most of the stories. I found the collection to be overall oddly disappointing and lacklustre. With one exception. 

Hermie by Nathaniel Rich is a wonderful, very short story about a professional scientist who is visited by the hermit crab that used to be his imaginary friend. Hermie the hermit crab asks what is the scientist actually doing to save Hermie's old home that has been devastated by storms and inappropriate developments? It's a heartbreaking story, highlighting the need for hands on conservation work as against academic abstractions. 

Royalties from sales of this book go to, an international grassroots movement working to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  

I'm with the Bears edited by Mark Martin, published (2011) by Verso.

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