The Windup Girl



➽ [Reading] ➿ The Windup Girl By Paolo Bacigalupi ➲ – E17streets4all.co.uk 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 rea 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 Windup PDF/EPUB or 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.The Windup Girl

Paolo Bacigalupi is an award winning author of novels for adults and young people His debut novel THE WINDUP GIRL was named by TIME Magazine as one of the ten best novels of , and also won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W Campbell Memorial Awards Internationally, it has won the Seiun Award Japan , The Ignotus Award Spain , The Kurd La witz Preis Germany , and the Grand Prix de l Imaginaire The Windup PDF/EPUB or FranceHis debut young adult novel, SHIP BREAKER, was a Micheal L Printz Award Winner, and a National Book Award Finalist, and its sequel, THE DROWNED CITIES, was a Kirkus Reviews Best of YA Book, A VOYA Perfect Ten Book, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist The final book in the series, TOOL OF WAR, will release in October of His latest novel for adults is The New York Times Bestseller THE WATER KNIFE, a near future thriller about climate change and drought in the southwestern United States.

The Windup Girl PDF Ã The Windup  PDF/EPUB or
  • Hardcover
  • 359 pages
  • The Windup Girl
  • Paolo Bacigalupi
  • English
  • 21 February 2017
  • 1597801577

10 thoughts on “The Windup Girl

  1. says:

    Long, scorching days are science fiction fantasy 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 fiction fantasy section I would take my hard earned cash from umpiring t ball games actual Long, scorching days are science fiction fantasy 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 fiction fantasy 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 fiction fantasy 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

  2. says:

    We rest in the hands of a fickle god He plays on our behalf only for entertainment, and he will close his eyes and sleep if we fail to engage his intellect In Paolo Bacigalupi s imagined future, Bangkok has become a simmering stew pot of paranoia, brutality, despair, and betrayal Genetic manipulation has brought the world to the brink of extinction With great advancements also came tragic mistakes Blister rust, Cibiscosis, the Genehack weevil brought death and famine The very compani We rest in the hands of a fickle god He plays on our behalf only for entertainment, and he will close his eyes and sleep if we fail to engage his intellect In Paolo Bacigalupi s imagined future, Bangkok has become a simmering stew pot of paranoia, brutality, despair, and betrayal Genetic manipulation has brought the world to the brink of extinction With great advancements also came tragic mistakes Blister rust, Cibiscosis, the Genehack weevil brought death and famine The very companies that created these problems are now the companies that the world has to rely on to stay one step ahead of the mutations of their mistakes Battling for calories is now an all consuming endeavor for a population that has rarely had a full belly An innocuous cough can start a stampede of fleeing people Fear is the natural state of mind.Thailand has become a significant player on the world stage because their leaders had been forward thinking enough to secure a seed bank This provides the building blocks of future plant stock that can be manipulated to survive the onslaught of mega diseases They also secured their own genius generipper who has continued to find ways to grow eatable, disease resistant food One of the characters sums up how fortunate they areWe are alive We are alive when whole kingdoms and countries are gone When Malaya is a morass of killing When Kowloon is underwater When China is split and the Vietnamese are broken and Burma is nothing but starvation The Empire of America is noThe Union of the Europeans splintered and factionalized And yet we endure, even expand The Kingdom survives Anderson is a character that could have stepped out of Graham Greene novel He works for AgriGen a major player in the gene manipulation market out of Des Moines He is in Thailand under the cover of running a factory Energy is generated by Megodonts, genetical modified elephants whose brute strength creates joules that keep the factory wheels turning Algae is also a main source of energy for the factory and also dangerous to the workers for a change in chemistry can turn algae from a friendly product into a human killer I have personal high hopes that algae will provide some answers for our own future energy needs Anderson manipulates events, trying to grab an advantage that will allow AgriGen a foothold in the seed vaults He is duplicitous, determined, and willing to be a King maker to get what his company needs He is not interest in personal gains He is a crusader who believes his efforts could end up keeping the world safe Unintentionally he falls in lust love with Emiko, a Windup Girl, an illegal commodity in Thailand, designed by the Japanese as a pleasure, serving model She is a hybrid of genetic manipulations that has given her beauty, super human speed and strength, and a subservient matrix that allows her owner to have complete control over her actions Emiko has also been designed to respond to sexual advances making even the most inept lovers feel like they are providing her with sexual pleasure There is muchto her if he can be patientShe is an animal Servile as a dog And yet if he is careful to make no demands, to leave the air between them open, another version of the windup girl emerges As precious and rare as a living bo tree Her soul, emerging from within the strangling strands of her engineered DNAThe power of Thailand is split between the white shirts who represent the Environmental department and the Ministry of Trade They have a split in philosophy, Environmental wanting to get away from generipping and the outside influences of farangs like Anderson The department of trade wanting to embrace the outside world, letting ingoods and giving their peopleavenues of generating revenue The push and pull of the two departments leads to skirmishes and after an unforeseeable act by Emiko they flare into a civil war Bacigalupi does a wonderful job of world building I fell into this brutal world there are a couple of surprisingly graphic sex scenes , totally swept away by the tide of the plot He presents a world crippled by environmental disaster without becoming preachy He did inspire me to learnabout terminator genetics and also to continue shrinking my own environmental footprint The characters are well drawn They are motivated by the same desire to survive, but their plans for survival are uniquely their own I will end the review with a scene of Anderson in the marketplaceNgaw A mystery She hands him the fruit Anderson sniffs tentatively Inhales floral syrup Ngaw It shouldn t exist Yesterday, it didn t Yesterday, not a single stall in Bangkok sold these fruits, and yet now they sit in pyramids, piled all around this grimy woman where she squats on the ground under the partial shading of her tarp From around her neck, a gold glinting amulet of the martyr Phra Seub winks at him, a talisman of protection against the agricultural plagues of the calorie companies He slips the ngaw s slick translucent ball into his mouth A fist of flavor, ripe with sugar and fecundity The sticky flower bomb coats his tongue It s as though he s back in the HiGro fields of Iowa, offered his first tiny block of hard candy by a Midwest Compact agronomist when he is nothing, but a farmer s boy, barefoot amid the corn stalks The shell shocked moment of flavor real flavor after a lifetime devoid of it If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  3. says:

    The Story of Goldilocks and the Three AuthorsOnce upon a time, a little girl named Goldilocks decided to go for a walk in the forest Very soon, she came upon a house made of books She knocked at the door but no one answered, so being a rather bold and sassy little girl, she walked right in.At the table in the kitchen, there were three science fiction novels The first one was called The Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi Goldilocks began to read Ugh she exclaimed, This plot is too cold, no The Story of Goldilocks and the Three AuthorsOnce upon a time, a little girl named Goldilocks decided to go for a walk in the forest Very soon, she came upon a house made of books She knocked at the door but no one answered, so being a rather bold and sassy little girl, she walked right in.At the table in the kitchen, there were three science fiction novels The first one was called The Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi Goldilocks began to read Ugh she exclaimed, This plot is too cold, not to say clinical, lumbering, tiresome, and altogether too exegetical And she flung the book across the room So, she began to read the second novel which was called The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich by Philip K Dick Ouch This plot is too hot It s as mad as a bag of frogs I can t make head nor tail And she flung the book across the room So, Goldilocks read the last book, which was calledTiger Tigerby Alfred Bester Ahhh, this is just right said Goldilocks Fast and furious but cramful of tasty ideas too And she read until the very last page.Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right Goldilocks fell asleep.As she was sleeping, the authors came home Someone s been reading my book and they only gave it two stars growled Paolo Didn t they realise it won the Nebula AND the Hugo Someone s been reading my book too, and they threw it across the room said Philip K Dick Someone s been reading my book and they gave it a five star rating on Goodreads said little Alfred Bester They decided to look around to see if the mysterious person was still in their house and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, they found Goldilocks asleep, and went through the whole tedious routine again Finally, Someone s been sleeping in my bed and she s still there exclaimed baby Alfred.Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three authors She eyed them coolly I understand you are smarting from my judgements Your chosen genre is, I am the first to admit, not the easiest for the author or the reader Each novel has to build another new world which inevitably will recapitulate the work of your forbears, thus risking genre clich , or perhaps we shouldkindlier say that you needs must explore variations on the well known tropes dystopias, aliens, time travel and the tropes within tropes sexy cloned girls for instance So you are stuck with writing novels which are extremely heavy on exposition, and so compacted that each sentence becomes an exercise in exegesis Characters become lecturers and the futurology becomes ever denser What must we do asked Paoli Well, nil desperandum, said Goldilocks I have read your short stories and they are excellent, but your novel I could quite see how wonderfully imagined, sturdy and intricate was your future Thailand you never failed to impress me, the size of your brain is something to see but it was all so slow and turgid You clearly missed the creative writing course where they tell you to put a sex scene in at page 30 oh wait, we got that and very unpleasant it was too and a violent scene in every 40 pages after that, you missed those Why you cheeky young girl Who appointed you as the supreme arbiter of science fiction novels roared Philip K Dick Well, no one, of course, I appointed myself, as does every reader those are the rules of the playground And she jumped up and ran out of the room and down the stairs, out of the door of the house of books and ran away into the forest

  4. says:

    My grandmother reads food labels to see if they contain any genetically modified products I used to laugh at it Now, after reading The Windup Girl, I m tempted to take a closer look at the food labels myself.Paolo Bacigalupi s The Windup Girl is a bleak and depressing story set in the future run by calorie monopolies, where genetically modified products and manufactured foodborne plagues have wiped out the foodchains, wars are waged for precious seeds, and quarantines for food borne diseases a My grandmother reads food labels to see if they contain any genetically modified products I used to laugh at it Now, after reading The Windup Girl, I m tempted to take a closer look at the food labels myself.Paolo Bacigalupi s The Windup Girl is a bleak and depressing story set in the future run by calorie monopolies, where genetically modified products and manufactured foodborne plagues have wiped out the foodchains, wars are waged for precious seeds, and quarantines for food borne diseases are a must Calories are precious a hilariously sad concept in the modern obesity epidemic world where calories are our worst enemy, if you believe TV ads Genetic engineering is not limited just to food there are genetically modified humanoids as well, viewed as property in some countries and abominations that need to be destroyed in others We are nature Our every tinkering is nature, our every biological striving We are what we are, and the world is ours We are its gods Your only difficulty is your unwillingness to unleash your potential fully upon it. The Windup Girl raises a question common to sci fi novels how far can science go before it becomes threatening To which lengths can people take playing God On one hand, the scientific advances in medicine and agriculture are necessary to make our lives better, to feed the ever expanding population, to cure the ever aging population On another hand, the eventual impact of these scientific advances is unknown, and will it be too late when we figure it out Will it be too late when the genetic weapons and other scientific advances find their way into the hands of companies greedy for immediate profit It is already happening, let s not kid ourselves, but will it eventually destroy the world as we know it Or is the future change as portrayed by Bacigalupi a part of evolution, a part of the strongest survive doctrine Everyone dies The doctor waves a dismissal But you die now because you cling to the past We should all be windups by now It s easier to build a person impervious to blister rust than to protect an earlier version of the human creature A generation from now, we could be well suited for our new environment Your children could be the beneficiaries Yet you people refuse to adapt You cling to some idea of a humanity that evolved in concert with your environment over millennia, and which you now, perversely, refuse to remain in lockstep with.Blister rust is our environment Cibiscosis Genehack weevil Cheshires They have adapted Quibble as you like about whether they evolved naturally or not Our environment has changed If we wish to remain at the top of our food chain, we will evolve Or we will refuse, and go the way of the dinosaurs and Felis domesticusEvolve or die It has always been nature s guiding principle, and yet you white shirts seek to stand in the way of inevitable change. What is naturalis another question of this novel Again, it resonates with the present day obsession fad with everything green , organic, sustainable, unmodified, natural What can we reject as unnatural IS there even such a notion In Bacigalupi s novel, the genetically modified windups are viewed as something less than human, an abomination, a soulless property because they are test tube created, engineered, unnatural But is it ever fair to make such a distinction The knee jerk response isnoBut we already live in the world that denounces certain lifestyles, certain preferences, certain viewpoints as unnatural and uses that as an excuse for discrimination and unequal treatment Is is protecting the natural or blatant discrimination Depends on your viewpoint, I guess In the world of genetic destruction that Bacigalupi created, such horrifying treatment of the windups is perfectly understandable to the surviving society but terrible to us Would many of our conventions based on our ideas of natural and unnatural seem just as horrific I m afraid they would, by the wayMy body is not mine, she told him, her voice flat when he asked about the performances The men who designed me, they make me do things I cannot control As if their hands are inside me Like a puppet, yes Her fists clenched, opening and closing unconsciously, but her voice remained subdued They made me obedient, in all ways And then she had smiled prettily and flowed into his arms, as if she had made no complaint at all. The style of this novel is oppressively bleak There is nothing uplifting, nothing cheerful even the events that may lead to hope and satisfaction are only hinted at, and we don t know whether they will ever happen The badness is palpable, the goodness is hinted at This is not a novel for a leisurely read This is not a feel good story It is a story that keeps bringing you down and throw you into a depressed mood And yet I loved it, every page if it I loved that the bleakness made it so realistic, and,importantly, made you think because it s thinking that makes you human I love that there were no easy ways out of the situations, and yet little glimpses of simple humanity were so heart warming, even if not always resulting in anything tangible I loved the absence of info dumps, and Bacigalupi s obvious respect for the intelligence of his readers, and his refusal to spoon feed us the information I loved that there was never a black and white approach to anything, including the main characters who are as deeply flawed as you can ever imagine I loved how, despite my attempted refusal to go any deeper into this hopeless world, something kept bringing me back to this story day after day after day.I loved this book despite the bleakness and the complete lack of the fell good factor I highly recommend it, especially to sci fi fans 4.5 stars This book is a true gem We are alive We are alive when whole kingdoms and countries are gone When Malaya is a morass of killing When Kowloon is underwater When China is split and the Vietnamese are broken and Burma is nothing but starvation The Empire of America is noThe Union of the Europeans splintered and factionalized And yet we endure, even expand The Kingdom survives.

  5. says:

    Caveat I am Malaysian, and I am a Hugo voter who is reading the Hugo consideration edition I hated the book so much I stopped reading it without even getting to the titular character Emiko Make of that what you will.Here is my biggest problem with this book the name of my country is MALAYSIA Not Malaya MalaySIa I don t mind as much if Andersen Lake gets it wrong he s portrayed as an asshole who doesn t bother to get the local cultural details right anyway, and he seems quite racist to me Caveat I am Malaysian, and I am a Hugo voter who is reading the Hugo consideration edition I hated the book so much I stopped reading it without even getting to the titular character Emiko Make of that what you will.Here is my biggest problem with this book the name of my country is MALAYSIA Not Malaya MalaySIa I don t mind as much if Andersen Lake gets it wrong he s portrayed as an asshole who doesn t bother to get the local cultural details right anyway, and he seems quite racist to me That s fine while he is wholly unsympathetic in my book, there s nothing wrong with writing an unsympathetic character.However, Tan Hock Seng is another matter.When is this book set anyway Considering the technology, I would say the book is set sometime in the 21st century Post 2000, then How old is Tan Hock Seng I shall be charitable and say that he is 70 years old, give or take a few Assuming Tan Hock Seng was 70 in 2010, that would mean he was born in 1940.Malaysia came into being in 1957 when we achieved independence from the British While we were still called Malaya back in World War II, that was then Since 1957 we have been Malaysia Tan Hock Seng would have been using Malaysia for YEARS after independence Malaya is what the British called us Malaya is the name of a colonial territory Malaya is not an independent nation Malaysians call themselves Malaysians, not Malayans.So WHY ON EARTH is TAN using MALAYA and not Malaysia It says in the book he was a Big Deal my emphasis back in the day, before the riots Big Deals do not use Malaya They say Malaysia If this is AU and Malaysia never gained its independence back in the 1950s, then the history has not been laid out for me adequately I can only go so far in the book page 42 out of 312 before I stop and find I can go no further Did not finish, because reading this book makes me so very, very angry ETA Zen and Eleanor pointed out separately to me that my dates are mixed up Zen s comment in particular was instructive because of a link to an article that illustrates exactly the sort of indoctrination most Malaysians get error, unexpectedly, makes my point for me, but I felt the need for factual correction nonetheless The year should have been 1963 ETA2, April 25, 2013 I feel the need to add and explain, because even though I ve covered this in comments, people continue to come by and call me names, three years after the original review, because they didn t like what I ve said about a book they liked Here is what I said in this comment, somewhat edited for flow and I consider the conversation closed as far as this book and this author are concerned With me, I m afraid that at some point, rationality takes a back seat to emotion That s the case with this book Windup Girl was published at a time when political and racial tensions in Malaysia were nearing a boiling point that led me to fear a second May 13, 1969 I felt then and still feel now that Bacigalupi appropriated my country s history and culture disrespectfully, and worse, irresponsibly, and that he was stirring up a pot that I do NOT think needs to be stirred up My family still lives there, with perhaps three or four exceptions including myself , and if anything like May 13 happened again, I will lose loved ones I can understand how people feel when their culture has been taken and used If it s just play and there s no actual harm, I shrug and move on Chinese history is a fertile field for writers, dreamers, everyone Malaysian history, for the most part, is, too I have no problem with people writing about our sultans, or the Japanese occupation surprisingly enough, even though it only predates the trigger incident that gets me by about 30 years a little less than that, really It s so much easier to ignore something or not to think about it when it doesn t involve me on a personal level, and it is far enough in memory that I can look back at it with the detachment of distance.May 13, 1969 is much too fresh I wasn t alive then, but my parents were My mother has stories That, most of all, drives my emotional response to Windup Girl It is not Bacigalupi s country The people who live there are not his relatives It is not his history that will explode, not his culture that will burn, not his hometown that will be ravaged and torn apart It is mine It is my grandmother, my mother, my father, my brother and sister, my cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews It is my childhood home, my second home, the home my mother lives in, the home my father lives in with my stepmother It is my uncle s farm, my grandmother s house, my aunt s shophouse, my friends and family and relatives in their assorted and various glory It is Malaysian food, Malaysian culture, Malaysian hospitality, Malaysian ambition, Malaysian dreams, and Malaysians never saying they re not as good as anyone else out there Everything and everyone I love is in Malaysia with the exception of my husband, here by my side in the USA It is my history, and it is my life And I cannot read the book because the book makes me so very, very, VERY angry.I m glad that the book speaks to you Not only did WUG share the Hugo with a fardeserving book, it was voted Locus Magazine s 3 SF book of the 21st century, so clearly it not only speaks to you, but to a lot of people Some of your comments speak to me Thank you and the many others before you who have tried to persuade me otherwise on Bacigalupi s behalf or on behalf of the book But I m afraid I cannot read it Not for a very long while Not until Malaysia my family is actually safe for real Malaysia is a country that presents a nice face but has resentment simmering beneath the surface Until that resentment settles just by looking at the USA and its relationship with its African American population, you can tell it s going to take a LONG time I don t think I can ever read it Later I was soured by an article Bacigalupi wrote about his time in China, which, coupled with my anger over WUG, has led me to personally boycott his books It s personal, though, at this point, and I don t expect anyone else to care I do, and that s all that matters to me ETA3, June 9, 2013 People continue to be abusive to me about this review, three full years after it was published I m not sure I m the really closed minded one

  6. says:

    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi is a biopunk novel that won the Hugo Award in 2010 along with China Mieville s The City the City I picked up the book because I also enjoyed City and the City and because I was intrigued by the genre Biopunk The novel is full of referenced to gene ripping and DNA experimentation and also a great deal of examples of how such experimentation can go terribly wrong as some new invasive species have taken over as readily as kudzu on a roadside hill in Alaba The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi is a biopunk novel that won the Hugo Award in 2010 along with China Mieville s The City the City I picked up the book because I also enjoyed City and the City and because I was intrigued by the genre Biopunk The novel is full of referenced to gene ripping and DNA experimentation and also a great deal of examples of how such experimentation can go terribly wrong as some new invasive species have taken over as readily as kudzu on a roadside hill in Alabama.Set in post contraction Thailand meaning that the world s expansion economy has collapsed and regions areisolated and poverty stricken the novel sets up a long foundation that examines and explores life after two centuries of global warming where sterile gene ripped agriculture has created a wasteland, calories have become currency and the world is always only one step ahead of the next mutation of plague and crop blighting infestation The world Bacigalupi has created is ugly, brutal, feral and teaming with corruption and survival strategy At the heart of the novel is Emiko, a Windup, meaning that she has been genetically engineered to be a new person Subjected to years of abuse, neglect and forced prostitution, her significance is as a vehicle for the author to explore the origins of soul and what it means to be alive in an ever changing, frequently hostile environment If this is a dystopian novel, and I could see someone placing it in this sub genre, it is at least a very pragmatic and unique vision.The novel is full of well developed characterizations and has a group dynamic that is both entertaining and compelling His ideas are fresh and thought provoking My only criticism is that he takes a long way to get where he is going, albeit that he uses the reader s time wisely by setting up the denouement in such a way that if the reader can get to the last quarter of the book he is well rewarded as the ending is satisfying and brought together well

  7. says:

    She can barely remember the last time she slept without pain or fear, and she is groggy with it The rooms are dim, lit only by the glow of the street s gaslights flickering alive like firefliesAs I begin my review, I would like to fess up and state that dystopian novels really aren t my thing Prior to reading this, I felt dystopian to be a by word for introspective, poorly written tosh.I even swore an oath that I would rather tip Tabasco onto my eyeballs than ever read anything resemblShe can barely remember the last time she slept without pain or fear, and she is groggy with it The rooms are dim, lit only by the glow of the street s gaslights flickering alive like firefliesAs I begin my review, I would like to fess up and state that dystopian novels really aren t my thing Prior to reading this, I felt dystopian to be a by word for introspective, poorly written tosh.I even swore an oath that I would rather tip Tabasco onto my eyeballs than ever read anything resembling The Handmaid s Tale, or Never Let Me Go again.So it was with a degree of trepidation that I picked up this dystopian sci fi hybrid, which was recommended to me by Apatt, who knows a great dealabout sci fi than any man I know.Phew Big sigh of relief It became clear, very quickly, that this had the makings of an intelligent and evocative read.In an ecologically damaged futureworld, Bangkok is in steep decline and gradually sinking into the sea sadly, this is something that is actually happening in real life, partly due to climate change and partly as a result of humans planting a forest of skyscrapers on land that s as spongy as a Black Forest gateau.In this cheerless metropolis, concrete towers, without electricity to power their aircon, have become hulking, airless ovens under the blistering heat of the Thai sun.The people are starving and subjugated by Stasi style white shirts, who work for the authoritative environment agency In the absence of fuel, genetically modified elephants, known as megodonts, provide the muscle to power turbines.As a Thai friendly frequent visitor to the area, I m happy to report that Bacipalupi has made a decent job of capturing the sights and sounds of an imagined Bangkok in a sad state of decay I do feel however that some of his representation of the Thai dialect owesto Google than to first hand experience It s good to see that he s made it possible for Buddhism, garland sellers and food vendors to still be able to flourish in his nightmarish vision.Emiko, our eponymous windup girl, is the beautiful product of Japanese biological engineering.Originally designed as polite company for rich Japanese men, she is abandoned then smuggled to Bangkok, where she is forced to endure terrible sexual degradation for the sadistic pleasure of voyeuristic fuckwits at a seedy drinking establishment.She s a realistic Westworld style fembot, but with human DNA She desires freedom but, alas, her marionette gait and lack of bodily climate control make it almost impossible for her to go anywhere without attracting attention.Her only hope and a wafer slim one at that appears in the form of Anderson Lake, a blue eyed, body scarred American whose clandestine mission is to find blight resistant crops in a world where you can t buy a banana or a rambutan for neither love nor money.Call me a soft, romantic fool, but the clich of an artificial female yearning to be human, tugs at my heartstrings every time, and I was fully behind Emiko, wanting only the very best for her.The most exciting scenes in the book view spoiler are the ones in which Emiko makes various bids to escape, hoping to get to encampments in the far north where windups live free from human bondage Sadly, rather than her becoming a dystopian Pretty woman, there is very little that Anderson can do for her, which is a shame I would have so liked for her to have found love and happiness, and for a revenge seeking army of windups to come barreling into Bangkok on the backs of rampaging megodonts Why did this not happen hide spoiler Faults in the book Yeah, there are some.1 The characters are one dimensional seems to be a thing in dystopian novels, God knows why.2 Malaysia is referred to as Malaya, even though it hasn t gone by that name since the early 1960s 3 Flower garlands appear to be in plentiful supply when food is not How is that even possible 4 There seems to be an all embracing lack of emotion and human passion in every dystopian novel that I ve read recently.Perhaps the fault lies with me But, c mon Enough already, you dystopian authors Yeah, I get it, the future s bleak, all hope is lost, blah bloody blah Give me a break Would it really hurt to just add a little joie de vivre from time to time 5 There is an ethical imbalance in this cautionary tale view spoiler Violence and rape forced upon poor Emiko is graphically described, yet when she metes out some righteous revenge, it s not shown at all It s only alluded to after the event In my view, this double standard can t be right, and I think that it shows poor authorial judgment hide spoiler Despite these niggles, there are rare moments of poignancy it is very well written, and The Windup Girl held my attention throughout.Sci fi buffs should love it

  8. says:

    I just realized something, neologisms like bow ties are cool Explaining made up words in a glossary or through infodumps is uncool Nowadays sf authors seem to delight in making up new words and leave the readers to figure out their meaning through context Depending on the skill of the author this can be an exercise in frustration or a lot of fun for the readers who like a bit of challenge.Plenty of newly minted words in The Windup Girl, plus lots of Thai words which are equally unexplaine I just realized something, neologisms like bow ties are cool Explaining made up words in a glossary or through infodumps is uncool Nowadays sf authors seem to delight in making up new words and leave the readers to figure out their meaning through context Depending on the skill of the author this can be an exercise in frustration or a lot of fun for the readers who like a bit of challenge.Plenty of newly minted words in The Windup Girl, plus lots of Thai words which are equally unexplained except via context This then is not an easy read but for the patient readers who persevere it is very rewarding Besides, it won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for 2010, so you may want to take that into consideration As a Thai national I at least have an advantage in comprehending the Thai words and cultural references I have nothing but admiration for non Thai readers who can figure everything out without any help from Google At this point I d like to do a Shelfari style Ridiculously Simplified Synopsis but it this is a complex story with various plot strands that does not facilitate such a thing This is my single paragraph effort In the 23rd century the entire world is in decline Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is under constant threat of sinking under sea, thanks to global warming and rising sea level Petroleum sources are finally exhausted and neighboring countries have fallen from plagues and illness unleashed by bioengineering The titular windup girl an artificial human seeks her freedom from constant abuse, an old Chinese immigrant tries to restore his fortune, a Environment Ministry enforcer tries to protect his beloved city against all odds, and a western factory owner is on a secret mission to find Thailand s most precious property, seeds that can withstand the diseases unleashed by scientists.Besides being a cautionary tale of possibly impending ecological catastrophe the book is not short on human drama The theme of man s inhumanity to man and artificial humans is prevalent Though by no means the center of the story in spite of the title the abuse and degradation of Emiko the windup girl will have a lot of readers flinching The insurmountable odds against Jaidee the Environment Ministry enforcer and his prot g is all too believable and has a visceral impact The tenacity of Hock Seng the old Chinese immigrant is equally involving, the plight of the other protagonist Anderson the factory owner is less engaging for me as he is a bit of a rat.Cool Japanese cover, depicting a remarkable scene from the book.The world building is very well done and was totally immersed in the settings and the story This one feels particularly close to home as I am living here in Bangkok Paolo Bacigalupi must have spent considerable time here to have such an in depth knowledge of my country, people, and culture lots of research also helped no doubt The previous book I read set in Bangkok is Bangkok 8 by John Burdett, I did not get very far with it because I felt the author does not understand Thai language and culture as he seems to think he does, some inaccurate usage of slangs and Thai pop culture really took me out of the story Mr Bacigalupi does a much better job here, I am very impressed with his attention to details though the name Jaidee does not sound authentic to me , artistic licence I guess.The spring technology which power most machines and devices is a very interesting concept, the genetically engineered Cheshire cats based on Alice in Wonderland is wonderfully eerie The environmental disasters caused by GMOs is worrying if the world is going that way I am flattered that the author chose to set his story in Thailand and depicts it as one of the few countries still standing against global blight, probablyfrom artistic reasons than projection from the current state of affairs In any case, his 23rd century Thailand is no utopia The weird technology of The Windup GirlThis is a wonderful novel full of caution, passion and pathos.I wonder if windup girls dream of electric sheep ______________________________ No disrespect to John Burdett who seems to be highly rated by his readers, I would love to hear from other Thai readers of his books Jaidee is a common word which means kind or generous but I have never met anybody with that name.AdendumI was going to write something about this but it completely slipped my mind A lot of readers are likely to dismiss the ghosts in The Windup Girl as imaginary, especially of view spoiler Jaidee hide spoiler The thing is a huge proportion of Thais believe in ghosts and other spirits, may be 50% orThis may make us seem like silly bastards but it s a deeply ingrained cultural thing I guess.Personally, I don t believe in no ghosts but I am used to being around people who do Anyway, I am not sure whether Bacigalupi intends that view spoiler Jaidee hide spoiler is an actual ghost or a manifestation of Kanya s conscience It s not as obvious as it seems.There is a Thai idiom about superstition that translates as if you don t believe it, don t disrespect it What it actually means is Think you are so modern and sophisticated eh If some weird supernatural shit happens to you don t come crying to me ______________________________If you find the Thailand related comments in this review interesting, please check out my Kinnara review Thank you

  9. says:

    Interesting and provoking Misleading title I kept waiting for the story to focuson the wind up girl Perhaps it should have been called The Company Man It s one of those dystopian allegories where she represents something or other to a guy that is involved in exploiting the world I think I should have wrote a better review Interesting message, uncomfortable delivery.His vision of the future is very dark, and I think he spends a lot of time, in all his works, exploring the fractures i Interesting and provoking Misleading title I kept waiting for the story to focuson the wind up girl Perhaps it should have been called The Company Man It s one of those dystopian allegories where she represents something or other to a guy that is involved in exploiting the world I think I should have wrote a better review Interesting message, uncomfortable delivery.His vision of the future is very dark, and I think he spends a lot of time, in all his works, exploring the fractures in humanity There s a lot of casual violence, oppression and filth much like the real world I think he does it on purpose as part of the message and world building, but it easily becomes overwhelming.Update to self I did finish, but wasn t up to the task of reviewing Complicated and uncomfortable.I think I ll get rid of it when I m back home I prefer to keep The Water Knife as an example of his works

  10. says:

    Wow, this book was immensely unsatisfying.And for the life of me, I don t know why it s won so many awards, accolades and general love from so many people.The story takes place in Bangkok, after the Contraction both peak oil events and the general destruction of the ecosystem, complete with plagues cause a collapse in society as we know it and quality of life , where a host of not quite interesting characters interact Everything from eco terrorist types trying to keep their country clean and Wow, this book was immensely unsatisfying.And for the life of me, I don t know why it s won so many awards, accolades and general love from so many people.The story takes place in Bangkok, after the Contraction both peak oil events and the general destruction of the ecosystem, complete with plagues cause a collapse in society as we know it and quality of life , where a host of not quite interesting characters interact Everything from eco terrorist types trying to keep their country clean and uncorrupted, to Calorie men from Monsanto like agri mega corporations that are both making the next awesome insert food staple strain that will last a couple of generations ahead of whatever blight it is that s killing the food and people, to a battered and betrayed new person who s been genetically engineered by scientists.I absolutely adore Bacigalupi s short stories, so I was really looking forward to this book But I found it tedious The narration was slow, and I had absolutely no emotional investment in any of the characters or anything, really, except for a rambutan fruit, which should tell you something.Add in an over abundance of rapey ness I freely admit an abhorrence of using rape and sexual degradation as cheap plot devices , and I just checked out for most of the novel.It s a shame the ideas presented in the novel had a lot of potential, but I just couldn t get into it I vastly enjoyed Atwood s Oryx and Crake as far as the dystopian future gene splice biopunk bleakness goes

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