Anderson Lake is a company man AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand Under cover as a factory manager Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories There he encounters Emiko Emiko is the Windup Girl a strange and beautiful creature One of the New People Emiko is not human instead she is an engineered being creche grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok Regarded as soulless beings by some devils by others New People are slaves soldiers and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world the oil age has passed and the side effects of bio engineered plagues run rampant across the globe What Happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits when said bio terrorism's genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post human evolution? Award winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty first century

10 thoughts on “The Windup Girl

  1. says:

    Long scorching days are science fictionfantasy weather Back when I was in middle school after quitting baseball but not quite when I could take the L across town to Wax Trax I would walk the four or five miles to the Harlem Irving Plaza a couple times a week The mall had a Waldenbooks and off to the right about three quarters toward the back if you were standing at the entrance stood the science fictionfantasy section I would take my hard earned cash from umpiring t ball games actually that was a great job and purchase books from writers like Roger Zelazny and Phillip Jose Farmer Then I would walk home slip into the air conditioned house and read for hours Each summer since I pick up one or two science fictionfantasy books come July drifting toward William Gibson Neil Gaiman Stephenson etc A few weeks back I heard someone compare Bacigalupi to Gibson and noticed the novel face forward displayed at Barnes and Noble I checked the library reserve list and snagged one of the first copies in the system Score Nah only about half a score The novel functions as an interlocking set of characters’ stories in Thailand after the “contraction” in which the world’s people struggle to redefine existence without fossil fuels or an expansive food source after a series of plagues and famines The United States is fractured into different republics and the Midwestern seed companies have risen to multinational power Dirigibles carry genetically modified rice across the globe and scientists race to stay one step ahead of the next genetic disaster Thailand is hot as um the author reminds the reader about every third paragraph and the rising water serves as a constant threat to a one of the last remaining cities in Southeast Asia Bacigalupi creates a fascinating and realistic future complete with spring technology no oil remember and “Wind Up New People” created by the Japanese His vision retains elements of the past as if the elements were rusted unidentifiable metal pieces in a vacant lot and scavengers were trying to assign them value Here’s the problem Bacigalupi writes as if he’s a reporter The Wind Up Girl carries a bloodless clinical quality that I couldn’t quite transcend I didn’t care much about the characters and the money shot plot developments weren’t that alluring My heart didn’t race and while I was interested in the storyline I was interested in the “when the hell is this novel going to really start?” way The middle third is probably the best really as I felt like the book picked up around page 100 but lost steam around page 325 I admired the framework and intellect inherent in The Wind Up Girl but I admire the same about I don’t know those doorstop best sellers from David McCullough about American history that I will never read So The Wind Up Girl is good but not much fun and I feel a little cheated This might be my fault to be fair as I was looking for something like Snow Crash or Pattern Recognition and Bacigalupi is well Bacigalupi He’s smart and talented but were this book and me at a party I would politely excuse myself before the novel started telling me a long story about what he heard on NPR that day or something