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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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

I'm With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet - Kim Stanley Robinson, David Mitchell, Nathaniel Rich, T.C. Boyle, Lydia Millet, Bill McKibben, Toby Litt, Helen Simpson, Mark Martin, Wu Ming 1, Paolo Bacigalupi, Margaret Atwood

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 royalties from the sale of the book go to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.  I can't help but wonder, however, how much damage was done to the planet to manufacture this lackluster effort? Cut down enough trees to manufacture a first printing, box it up, ship it out to every major book retailer and library across the country and elsewhere. Committed fans of the ten authors represented may buy the book, but it seems unlikely it will sell much more than that. Rip the cover off the unsold copies, send it back to the distributor and throw the remaining 200 pages in the trash bin. Couldn't it at least have been printed on recycled paper or eco-friendly paper alternative? Like the stories themselves, I'm not sure this project was very well thought out.