There is one book industry trade magazine that reaches more booksellers, literary agents, librarians and writers than any other book journal in the world, and that’s Publishers Weekly, dubbed ”PW” in literary circles. Each month, freelance reviewers and staff reviewers review books from English-speaking nations, and one of its biggest audiences is librarians across America and Canada.
So this month, PW reviewed a Canadian anthology of cli-fi short stories — all by Canadian writers, 17 in all — and the review was a nice thumbs up for the collection, singling out one particular story by Wendy Bone for the spotlight.
PW wrote: “In his introduction to this all-original set of (at times barely) futuristic tales, Canadian poet and editor Bruce Meyer warns readers, ‘[The] imaginings of today could well become the cold, hard facts of tomorrow.’ Meyer has gathered an eclectic variety of [cli-fi short stories] from some of Canada’s top ‘genre’ writers, each of which, he writes, reminds readers that ‘the world is speaking to us and that it is our duty, if not a covenant, to listen to what it has to say.’
”In these pages, scientists work desperately against human ignorance, pockets of civilization fight to balance morality and survival, and corporations cruelly control access to basic needs such as water. The most affecting tale, Wendy Bone’s ‘Abdul,’ is also the least futuristic, an emotional story that touchingly contrasts Western guilt against the life of a captive orangutan.
“The anthology may be inescapably dark, but it is a necessary read, a clarion call to take action [on runaway, man-made climate change] rather than, as a character in Sean Virgo’s short story ‘My Atlantis’ describes it, ‘waiting unknowingly for the plague, the hive collapse, the entropic thunderbolt.’ Luckily, it’s also vastly entertaining. It appears there’s nothing like catastrophe to bring the best out in ‘cli-fi’ writers in describing the worst of humankind.”
The review was tweeted on Twitter by hundreds of Canadian fans of the book, including Margaret Atwood, who was actually the catalyst for the anthology, according to editor Meyer. And Dr Atwood has over 2 million followers on her Twitter feed, so you know this anthology is going to reach a lot of readers (and librarians who will order the book for their readers, too).
In addition to writers Bone and Virgo, the other 15 authors include: George McWhirter, Richard Van Camp, Holly Schofield, Linda Rogers, Rati Mehrotra, Geoffrey W. Cole, Phil Dwyer, Kate Story, Leslie Goodreid, Nina Munteanu, Halli Villegas, John Oughton, Frank Westcott, Peter Timmerman, and Lynn Hutchinson-Lee, with a brief ”afterword” at the end of the book by the curator of The Cli-Fi Report.