The Windup Girl

Overview


Winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel, a new edition of the break-out science fiction debut featuring additional stories and a Q&A with the author.

Anderson Lake is AgriGen’s Calorie Man, sent to work undercover as a factory manager in Thailand while combing Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories.

Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and ...

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The Windup Girl

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Overview


Winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel, a new edition of the break-out science fiction debut featuring additional stories and a Q&A with the author.

Anderson Lake is AgriGen’s Calorie Man, sent to work undercover as a factory manager in Thailand while combing Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories.

Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. Emiko is not human; she is an engineered being, 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 this 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 and forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly-acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.

In this brand new edition celebrating the book’s reception into the canon of celebrated modern science fiction, accompanying the text are two novelettes exploring the dystopian world of The Windup Girl, the Theodore Sturgeon Award-winning “The Calorie Man” and “Yellow Card Man.” Also included is an exclusive Q&A with the author describing his writing process, the political climate into which his debut novel was published, and the future of science fiction.

Winner of the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novel
Winner of the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In just 300 pages, Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Girl uncoils its intertwined stories of bio-terrorism, genetic engineering, civil war, food plagues, and slavery. Set in Thailand, this stark dystopian novel has been the beneficiary of a groundswell of enthusiasm in hardcover. In paperback, we expect it to do even better. (Hand-selling tip: Critics have hailed this fiction as "disturbing...beautiful, fast-paced, exciting...and also a novel of hope." And as a "complex, literate and intensely felt tale, which recalls both William Gibson and Ian McDonald at their very best.")

From the Publisher

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY TIME, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, LIBRARY JOURNAL, LOCUS AND THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD, THE NEBULA AWARD, THE LOCUS AWARD, THE COMPTON CROOK AWARD, AND THE CAMPBELL MEMORIAL AWARD

“It’s ridiculous how good this book is. . . . Bacigalupi’s vision is almost as rich and shocking as William Gibson’s vision was in 1984 . . . I hope he writes 10 sequels.”
—Lev Grossman, TIME

“Reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s Blade Runner.... densely packed with ideas about genetic manipulation, distribution of resources, the social order, and environmental degradation ... science fiction with an environmental message, but one that does not get in the way of its compelling story.”
Sacramento Book Review

“This complex, literate and intensely felt tale, which recalls both William Gibson and Ian McDonald at their very best ... clearly one of the finest science fiction novels of the year.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A captivating look at a dystopic future that seems all too possible. East meets
West in a clash of cultures brilliantly portrayed in razor-sharp images, tension-building pacing, and sharply etched characters.”
Library Journal (starred review)

"When it hits its sweet-spot, The Windup Girl embodies what SF does best of all: it remakes reality in compelling, absorbing and thought-provoking ways, and it lives on vividly in the mind."
The Guardian

"Bacigalupi never slides into moralism or judgement ... Ultimately that's what makes this debut novel so exciting. It's rare to find a writer who can create such well-shaded characters while also building a weird new future world."
io9

Michael Dirda
Not since William Gibson's pioneering cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer (1984), has a first novel excited science fiction readers as much as Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl…Readers of science fiction will recognize multiple influences on this excellent novel: Cordwainer Smith, J. G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, China Mieville and even, possibly, Margaret Atwood…Clearly, Paolo Bacigalupi is a writer to watch for in the future. Just don't wait that long to enjoy the darkly complex pleasures of The Windup Girl.
—The Washington Post
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. (Oct.)
Library Journal
In a future of rising water levels, bioengineered plagues, widespread food shortages, and retrotechnology, calories have become currency and the rediscovery of foods thought to be extinct leads to commercial success or spectacular failure. An encounter between Anderson Lake, AgriGen's "calorie man" in Bangkok, and Emiko, a genetically engineered member of the New People, sets off a cataclysmic chain of events. VERDICT This first novel by the Locus Award-winning author of Pump Six and Other Stories provides a captivating look at a dystopic future that seems all too possible. East meets West in a clash of cultures brilliantly portrayed in razor-sharp images, tension-building pacing, and sharply etched characters. Fans of the sf techno-fiction of China Miéville and Neal Stephenson should flock to this cautionary thriller.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School—In a future Thailand, calories are the greatest commodity. Anderson is a calorie-man whose true objective is to discover new food sources that his company can exploit. His secretary, Hock Seng, is a refugee from China seeking to ensure his future. Jaidee is an officer of the Environmental Ministry known for upholding regulations rather than accepting bribes. His partner, Kanya, is torn between respect for Jaidee and hatred for the agency that destroyed her childhood home. Emiko is a windup, an engineered and despised creation, discarded by her master and now subject to brutality by her patron. The actions of these characters set in motion events that could destroy the country. Bacigalupi has created a compelling, if bleak, society in which corruption, betrayal, and despair are commonplace, and more positive behavior and emotions such as hope and love are regarded with great suspicion. The complex plot and equally complex characters require a great deal of commitment from readers. Even the most sympathetic people have darker sides, and it is difficult to determine which character or faction should triumph. This highly nuanced, violent, and grim novel is not for every teen. However, mature readers with an interest in political or environmental science fiction or those for whom dystopias are particularly appealing will be intrigued. If they are able to immerse themselves completely into the calorie-mad world of a future Bangkok, they will not be disappointed.—Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597808217
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Publication date: 5/26/2015
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 586,870

Meet the Author

Paolo Bacigalupi
Paolo Bacigalupi is a rising star in the science fiction community having just won the Nebula award for The Windup Girl. He is also the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best science fiction short story and two Locus Awards for best collection and best novelette. Paolo lives in western Colorado with his wife and son. Ship Breaker is his first novel for young adults.
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