In May 2016, Fort McMurray, Alberta, the hub of Canada’s oil industry, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster turned entire neighbourhoods into firebombs and drove 90,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. Through the story of this apocalyptic conflagration, John Vaillant explores the past and the future of our ever-hotter, more flammable world.

For hundreds of millennia, fire has been a partner in our evolution, shaping culture and civilization. Yet in our age of intensifying climate change, we are seeing its destructive power unleashed in ways never before witnessed. Vaillant delves into the intertwined histories of the oil industry and climate science, the unprecedented devastation wrought by modern wildfires, and the lives forever changed by these disasters. 

 ‘Astounding on every page. John Vaillant is one of the great poetic chroniclers of the natural world’ David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth.



 

This is the story of Britain’s oil-soaked past, present and future. Speaking to oil company executives and traders, as well as refinery workers, filmmakers and musicians, activists and politicians, the authors put real people at the heart of a compelling story of how financial power and political muscle built an empire, extracting the wealth of the world from Iran to Nigeria and Alaska.

Today, the tide seems to be going out – Britain’s refineries have been quietly closed, the North Sea oilfields are declining and wind farms are being built in their place. As the country painfully shifts into its new post-industrial role in the shadow of Covid, Brexit and the climate crisis, many believe the age of oil to be over. But is it?

 

Not Too Late brings together climate voices from around the world to address the political, scientific, social, and emotional dimensions of the most urgent issue human beings have ever faced. Accessible, encouraging, and engaging, it’s an invitation to everyone to understand the issue more deeply, participate more boldly, and imagine the future more creatively.

“Hope, like love, means taking risks and being vulnerable to the effects of loss. It means recognizing the uncertainty of the future and making a commitment to try to participate in shaping it.”

In this concise collection of essays and interviews, Not Too Late features the voices of Indigenous activists, such as Guam-based attorney and writer Julian Aguon; climate scientists, among them Jacquelyn Gill and Edward Carr; artists, such as Marshall Islands poet and activist Kathy Jeñtil-Kijiner; and longtime organisers, including The Tyranny of Oil author Antonia Juhasz and Emergent Strategy author adrienne maree brown. An energising case for hope about the climate along with a chorus of voices calling on us to rise to the present moment.

 

This vivid collection of prose, poetry and photography centres on the intersection of modernity and nature in a rapidly changing Scotland, taking us from walking to wild swimming, from red deer to pigeons and wasps, from remote islands to back gardens. Featuring writers and artists that all call Scotland home, the anthology takes a diverse and radical look at nature and landscape within the context of the evolving ecological crisis. ‘There is eco-anxiety, ‘solastalgia’, feminism; there are the ruins of capitalist endeavour.’

It is not all doom and gloom though. The noticing and caring, Jamie argues, ‘amounts to an act of resistance to the forces of destruction.’

With contributions from Amy Liptrot, Malachy Tallack, Chitra Ramaswamy, Jim Crumley, Amanda Thomson, Karine Polwart and many more, Antlers of Water urges us to renegotiate our relationship with the more-than-human world, in writing which is by turns celebratory, radical and political.

 

The story is exactly what it sounds like: a modern retelling of the Coleridge poem. Told by a grizzled old codger to a young screen-eyed stranger in a park, Hayes takes the original eco-fable and updates it, weaving in plastic pollution and the dehumanisation of humanity when disconnected from the natural world. There are vengeful apparitions, oil slicks and raging tsunamis, not to mention the endlessly mounting corpses of the creatures of the ocean.

Hayes’s poetry is lyrical and energetic, alternately summoning laughter, tears, and moments of reflection. But the real magic at play here is the artwork. Reminiscent of Japanese woodcuts, there’s a simplicity to his highly-detailed lines that allows breathing space while demanding fervent attention.

Of course, you won’t be surprised to learn that nobody listens to our modern mariner. His tale is disregarded as the ravings of a mad hobo, and he is left alone on a park bench, listening to the wind and wondering at the strangeness of humanity. – Philip Webb Gregg

 

Eleanor Oliphant meets Killing Eve in this funny and gloriously unhinged New Zealand sensation, longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2023. The climate is in crisis and wealthy immigrants are flocking to New Zealand for shelter, stealing land and taking over. A darkly comic novel about a slacker called Alice who is drawn into action of the most radical – and dangerous – kind. Bold and brilliantly bizarre, She’s a Killer is a satirical dystopian cli-fi thriller.

 

 

Robert Frost’s classic poem receives a child-like twist through charming illustrations by Susan Jeffers. This picture book, which has been in print since 1978, is beloved by generations of children for its evocations of New England winters and a man with “promises to keep.” It’s a beautifully illustrated tale about human interconnectedness with nature, even in the depths of winter.

Suitable for Children Age 4-12

 

In this delightful consumerist caper, illustrated by David Roberts, the wonderfully hairy Inch and Grub compete to acquire possessions, from fire and chairs to phones and computers. The contest spirals to ever ridiculous heights until they each have a HUGE wobbling mountain of stuff! But their desire to go one better than the other is in danger of toppling their friendship until, at last, they realise what is most valuable of all – each other.

Suitable for Children Age 3-7

All TC Boyle’s fiction is permeated with the vibrant presence of the natural world. In Blue Skies, the over-abundance and shortage of water are the backdrop of a story of two siblings and their mother encountering a series of personal and environmental catastrophes in desiccated California and waterlogged Florida. But the real protagonists are the creatures whose threatened lives intersect with theirs – sometimes with fatal consequences. Encompassing deadly parasitism, wildlife habitats, snake-smuggling, insect protein, and the animals that flourish despite homo sapiens’ best efforts to exterminate them, Blue Skies is a propulsive story that bristles with humour underscored by the deep empathy and grace that characterises all TC Boyle’s fiction.