chipkerchner, March 22, 2013 (view all comments by chipkerchner)
The first two thirds of the book is mainly world building, which is long and somewhat dry. The windup girl is an interesting character who is barely in the story till near the end. Definitely a different mixture of genres - bio punk? I also have a problem with a world in which they can manufacture new life - plants and animals but are unable to produce solar or wind power and even have difficulties with radio cranks. I also have a hard believing that countries would adhere to carbon limits or taxes when their people are starving and the country is on the verge of collapse.
K N, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by K N)
Of all the sci-fi I've read recently, this is the most unique in its vision and one of the most thought-provoking. A little like Philip D Dick meets Margaret Atwood, with a little early William Gibson thrown in, this steam-punk meets cyber-punk dystopic vision still haunts me.
Waney, December 31, 2012 (view all comments by Waney)
What an excellent book! This is one of the best modern sci-fi/steam-punk books I have read in a very long time, as it reads like high literature with intriguing characters. The characters are very complex and Paolo Bacigalupi does an excellent job of showing the reader the many shades of gray each character inhabits. There are no blatently good, bad, black or white characters here.
TE Peters, October 8, 2012 (view all comments by TE Peters)
I found this book highly appealing to the scientist in me. I study plant breeding and genetics (so much of which has been converted to the 'gene ripping' in Bacigalupi's book.) There are some stretches, but ultimately the Calorie Companies of today own more than most are aware. Seed banks as the last vaults of our lost domesticated heritage and countries trying to protect themselves from growing plagues stand at the center of this novel while genetically engineered humans and cats fight for their right to exist in this dystopia. Well worth the read.
ny mef, August 27, 2012 (view all comments by ny mef)
Enthralling and deeply provocative, Bacigalupi's tale is convincingly set in a struggling Southeast Asia after world civilization has been wrecked and restored with the end of fossil fuel-based industrial society. This "civilization" remains tenuous and retains the basic political tensions of the previous era, however. In this brave new world a cast of richly defined indigenous and foreign characters plays out old and new dilemmas. The Windup Girl is a cutting-edge work that exemplifies the best of what imaginative fiction--what excellent fiction in general--can and ought to be.
Night Shade Books -
by Christian Benito,
I'd heard all manner of praise and complimentary comparisons for The Windup Girl, but it wasn't until I started to read the book that I began to believe, and in believing I was filled with sadness and wonder. Bacigalupi throws us into a terribly possible post-oil future and introduces a cast of characters seeking redemption in a hopelessly corrupt world. This book is definitely in the running for my favorite book of 2009.
by Christian Benito
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Noted short story writer Bacigalupi (Pump Six and Other Stories) proves equally adept at novel length in this grim but beautifully written tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in a post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation. Capt. Jaidee Rojjanasukchai of the Thai Environment Ministry fights desperately to protect his beloved nation from foreign influences. Factory manager Anderson Lake covertly searches for new and useful mutations for a hated Western agribusiness. Aging Chinese immigrant Tan Hock Seng lives by his wits while looking for one last score. Emiko, the titular despised but impossibly seductive product of Japanese genetic engineering, works in a brothel until she accidentally triggers a civil war. This complex, literate and intensely felt tale, which recalls both William Gibson and Ian McDonald at their very best, will garner Bacigalupi significant critical attention and is clearly one of the finest science fiction novels of the year." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when this forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? This is a tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in a post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation.
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