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The Lost Cause

Cory Doctorow

Tor Books

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ISBN10: 125086593X
ISBN13: 9781250865939


368 Pages



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It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go?

For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn't controversial. It's just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Entire cities are being moved inland from the rising seas. Vast clean-energy projects are springing up everywhere. Disaster relief, the mitigation of floods and superstorms, has become a skill for which tens of millions of people are trained every year. The effort is global. It employs everyone who wants to work. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks.

But there are still those Americans, mostly elderly, who cling to their red baseball caps, their grievances, their huge vehicles, their anger. To their "alternative" news sources that reassure them that their resentment is right and pure and that "climate change" is just a giant scam.

And they're your grandfather, your uncle, your great-aunt. And they're not going anywhere. And they’re armed to the teeth.

The Lost Cause asks: What do we do about people who cling to the belief that their own children are the enemy? When, in fact, they're often the elders that we love?


Praise for The Lost Cause

"Completely delightful . . . Neither utopian nor dystopian, it portrays life in SoCal in a future woven from our successes (Green New Deal!), failures (climate chaos anyway), and unresolved conflicts (old MAGA dudes). I loved it."Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things To Me and A Paradise Built In Hell

“This book looks like our future and feels like our present—it’s an unforgettable vision of what could be.”—Kim Stanley Robinson

"[The Lost Cause] tells a thought-provoking story, with a message of hope in a near-future that looks increasingly bleak."Library Journal, (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt

chapter 1 gramps’s secret

I love Burbank City Hall. It’s the perfect marriage of everything I love about this town: a WPA building celebrating solidarity with beautiful murals and frescoes, but also a theatrical...

About the author

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a regular contributor to the Guardian, Locus, and many other publications. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an MIT Media Lab Research Associate and a visiting professor of Computer Science at the Open University. His award-winning novel Little Brother and its sequel Homeland were New York Times bestsellers. His novella collection Radicalized was a CBC Best Fiction of 2019 selection. Born and raised in Canada, he lives in Los Angeles.