The Windup Girl: 2010's science fiction "it" book brings poetry and excitement to ecotastrophe


26 Responses to “The Windup Girl: 2010's science fiction "it" book brings poetry and excitement to ecotastrophe”

  1. jjasper says:

    Windup Girl made Publishers Weekly’s top books list as well. And yeah, Paolo is a pretty awesome guy.

  2. cornellbox says:

    He’ll gain even greater accolades once people start spelling his name right. It’s Bacigalupi.

  3. angrydroid says:

    I seem to recall reading a short story set in this world scenario a year or so back. Something that was here on Boing Boing.

  4. overtonewiz says:

    This is a great book. For me, took a bit of effort to get my hooks into it but once I did it was quite rewarding and hard to put down. Now, looking at Monsanto’s (Monsatan’s) latest victory against life on planet Earth (GMO Alfalfa), the books premise becomes more likely.

  5. AndrewLiptak says:

    I loved, loved, loved this book. It’s a fantastic read, very well written, excellent story. I go over it in a bit more detail in my own review for it:

    What I really liked about this particular story was that it was so plausible, and very well thought out. I hope that this is on track for a Hugo, it certainly deserves it.

  6. EMJ says:

    Why does the future look so much like the past?
    These are the characters according to the review here:
    Anderson Lake is one such Calorie Man
    Hock Seng, a former wealthy Malay Chinese
    Jaidee, a hard-fighting, uncorruptable shock-trooper
    Three men with distinct identities and professions. And then the token female: Emiko, abandoned by her owner to the brothels of Thailand…

    • flapdragon says:

      Jaidee’s female lieutenant is actually more critical to the book’s plot than Jaidee, and IMO better “fleshed out” (pardon the pun) than Emiko.

  7. ajkoen says:

    Since I didn’t read Mindspring, I can’t comment there. However for Bacigalupi’s book, I’d almost say the opposite, it was a bit slow in the beginning, and it took me a few chapters to get into it. But once its wheels hit the road, hold on! it really takes off. You won’t expect where it takes you, but you will not feel betrayed by it either.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That sounds too bleak to be even slightly entertaining

  9. Anonymous says:

    The word play extends into Thai as well. Jaidee (ใจดี)means “kind.”

  10. the_dannobot says:

    I just realized that he’s the same guy who wrote “Pump Six”. I love that one.

  11. Ketzirah says:

    How is this not available on Kindle? You have yet to steer me wrong on a book recommendation. I want to read this!

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually bought THE WINDUP GIRL about 6 weeks ago as a Kindle book for $9.99. But when I checked today on, the Kindle version had disappeared. Must be some argument over republication rights between the publisher and Amazon. One thing’s for sure, I’m backing up the file so Amazon can’t delete it from my Kindle hard drive!

  12. Kerouac says:

    Can’t believe how many people bitch about book reviews.

    • bwcbwc says:

      Usually it’s the authors.

      I don’t think you can call this one a review. It’s more a blurb by Cory for one of his esteemed colleagues. And no, I don’t think there’s any deception here. Unless something is explicitly called a review, authors rarely “review” other authors.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why does the future look so much like the past?

    There’s nothing new under the sun.

  14. knottyboy says:

    Any chance that this will be offered on the Nook as in ebook?

  15. eltonbong says:

    Just finished reading this(thank you public library) and found it to be most excellent. Like all great speculative fiction, it is a great combination of survival stories and a hella scary brave new world. Fans of William Gibson will dig it for certain…

  16. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like he got an Environmental Issue of the Economist and turned each of the stories into characters. In other words, I can’t wait to check this out.

  17. noahpoah says:

    Mainspring is quite good for the first half or so, and now that I’ve gone back to re-read Cory’s (briefer than I remember) review, I suppose it’s not inaccurate to say that the review is “spot on.” But it’s also wildly, terribly, reader-betrayingly incomplete. Mainspring goes astonishingly far off the rails in the second half. It’s fascinating to me that a book could start off so strong and then go so badly awry.

    Is the Windup Girl like this? It sounds like the prose is top notch, and the story interesting. But I’m skeptical of Cory’s ability to judge a book in its entirety, given that he didn’t even give a hint of a warning about the awful, awful end of Mainspring.

  18. noahpoah says:

    Does this book start strong, building a compelling, richly drawn alternate reality, only to destroy any goodwill the reader may have by introducing numerous pointless new characters and settings, giving the protagonist some monkey-nookie, and repeatedly bringing the villain back in increasingly improbable ways at increasingly improbable places and times, capping it all off with an afterthought of a Stephenkingy deus ex machina resolution?

    ‘Cuz that’s what happened in Mainspring, the last book I partook of after reading a glowing Doctorow review.

    • therealjasonb says:

      Let’s hope not. I’ve often wondered if these are books he is asked to write a cover blurb for? I also noticed they all seem to go his Amazon store. Not that a blame a brother for trying to make a buck–I have heard that writing is not the best path to untold riches–but i do find it amusing.

      That said, I read Boneshaker based on his review, and thought it was entertaining but not quite all that …

  19. mdh says:

    Calorie Man is a very clever play on words.

  20. Rick York says:

    So, first, Noahpoah, if you didn’t think Mainspring was brilliant, don’t bother with The Windup Girl.

    I’m surprised this is only being reviewed by Cory now. It came out this past September. It is well written and astonishingly conceived and, Cory’s review of it, as well as his review of Mainspring, is spot on. Windup Girl is a brilliantly conceived and beautifully written book.

    Read it.

  21. Blaatann says:

    In one word, no.

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