Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

From the title and the use of spring technology, it’s clear to me why people would think of The Windup Girl as a Steampunk novel. However, I found this fascinating look at a dark future falling more into the cyberpunk side of the “punk” categories, not because of advanced technology so much as the focus on corporate entities and genetic manipulation.

The tale is set in a post-apocalyptic world where climate changes have wiped out much of civilization and that which remains is held hostage by companies that produce strains of agricultural products with temporary immunity to various rots and diseases that threaten the world’s food supply. However, instead of placing us in the Western world as is common for this type of novel, the story takes place in Thailand, a country holding the line against both the rising ocean through a sea wall with extensive pumps, and the interests of the calorie companies in laying claim to all viable food sources. (more…)

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