cover image Loosed Upon the World

Loosed Upon the World

Edited by John Joseph Adams. S&S/Saga, $24.99 (484p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5307-3

This big, impressive anthology from veteran editor Adams (The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) collects 26 glimpses of how willful ignorance and greed may be reshaping the climate, and thus the possibilities for life on Earth. It’s a grim array of futures—all hotter and ultrapolluted, with flooded coasts and desiccated heartlands where survivors struggle to maintain human values. The most effective stories, such as Paolo Bacigalupi’s “Shooting the Apocalypse,” show people whose believably shortsighted schemes in a withered American Southwest mimic the public policies that created the mess in the first place. Nor is there much comfort in proposed solutions, such as the empathetic but merciless portrait of an ecoterrorist in Gregory Benford’s “Eagle.” Charlie Jane Anders’s sardonic “The Day It All Ended” points a finger firmly at the promoters of consumerism, self-interested to the end. These works combine effective storytelling and a passionate desire to promote taking action on climate change before it’s too late. (Aug.)