Commemorating the Edinburgh International Book Festival's 30th Birthday, IDP: 2043 harnesses the talents of ten acclaimed writers and artists to tell the story of what Scotland might look like 30 years from now. It's not a pretty picture: climate change has devastated Britain to the point where only the Highlands remain above water, forcing scores of newly made refugees – Internally Displaced Persons – to seek shelter in sprawling slums built from old shipping containers. Up above them those with the funds to weather the storm sit comfortably in luxurious apartments. Vertical farms have been built to feed the poor and keep the rich in business, spawning a reality show named Sky Farm which offers a glimpse of the world above to those trapped down below.
With each chapter handled by a separate set of artists and writers, the book dances vibrantly between completely different styles, re-inventing itself with each new segment and culminating in a poignant environmental warning told as a quick-witted, high voltage thriller. Expertly matching authors with the perfect artists to paint their words, each chapter of IDP: 2043 re-creates the sense of beginning something completely new and newly fascinating, without ever wandering too far from the story that makes it so compelling or the themes that make it so unnerving. [Ross McIndoe]