Pump Six and Other Stories

Pump Six and Other Stories

by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Paolo Bacigalupi's debut collection demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction short story. Social criticism, political parable, and environmental advocacy lie at the center of Paolo's work. Each of the stories herein is at once a warning, and a celebration of the tragic comedy of the human experience. The eleven stories in Pump Six represent the best Paolo's work, including the Hugo nominee "Yellow Card Man," the nebula and Hugo nominated story "The People of Sand and Slag," and the Sturgeon Award-winning story "The Calorie Man."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597802376
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Publication date: 02/01/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 185,912
File size: 389 KB

About the Author

Paolo Bacigalupi’s short stories have appeared in many leading magazines and journals and he has written both science fiction and young adult novels. His work has won numerous awards, including The Hugo Award, The Nebula Award, and The Michael L. Printz Award. His essays have been syndicated in numerous western newspapers including the Idaho Statesman, the Albuquerque Journal, and the Salt Lake Tribune. He lives in Western Colorado with his wife and son.

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Pump Six and Other Stories 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
AWSPL More than 1 year ago
Excellent stories, very enjoyable. A must read.
RenLovesScary More than 1 year ago
Loved this collection of short stories by Paolo Bacigalupi! Every story makes you think. Pump Six was the perfect story to end this collection. I'm hooked on this author. I will forever read anything this man writes! I previously read his book The Wind-up Girl, which I could not put down, and have since read his young adult novel The Ship Breaker. I hope he has something else coming soon... :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Immersive, didn't want it to end.
g33kgrrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once again wonderful world-building and possible futures from Bacigalupi, including a visit to the world of The Windup Girl. One story was nearly too unutterably depressing for me to handle ("The People of Sand and Slag") and I recommend anyone who is sensitive to animals read that one with some comfort at hand. Besides that, I personally loved "The Fluted Girl" and "Pump Six" itself, but quite frankly all of the stories are good, even if they are depressing. I definitely recommend this collection.
Tatiana_G on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It took me a loooong time to get through this book, and not because it wasn't good, but because I was bloody scared of it. I would finish one story looking like this @.@ and then put the book aside for a while to get some courage to read another one.Bacigalupi is the author who doesn't do safe and comforting. His visions of our future are brutal, unforgiving and totally too believable.Let's take "The Fluited Girl" - for me the scariest story in this anthology. The idea Bacigalupi extrapolates here is what will happen if humanity continues indulging in surgical modification of their bodies. I'll let you find out for yourself what "fluited girl" means. Hope you have strong stomachs.Then there are stories that speculate about what people will become if they achieve immortality. Characters in "The People of Sand and Slag" are adapted to pollution to such a degree that they are able to survive eating just sand and waste. (They are also capable of regrowing their limbs BTW - and apparently this "feature" can be a part of sexual play, good grief, another shocker!) When these people come across an actual live dog, the disconnect between these humans and natural world comes to light in a rather horrifying way. The other story playing with the idea of immortality is "The Pop Squad." Not to go into details, let me throw these questions out there - if everyone is immortal, would children be allowed to be born? what if there are some women who decide to break rules and have kids? what happens to these children? A hint: boom, boom! Not for the faint of heart.Other stories explore the versions of future where: natural resources (water) belong to a private company ("The Tamarisk Hunter"), the exhaustion of fossil fuels leads to a world run by the corporations that own genetically modified crops that now fuel and feed humanity ("The Calorie Man"), intelligence is becoming obsolete and people revert to animal-like existence ("Pump Six").Like in all anthologies, not all stories "Pump Six and Other Stories" are equally good, the earlier ones are particularly transparent in their message. But they all are definitely equally thought-provoking. A great dystopian read for those not turned off by heavy subjects.
kd9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Welcome to a series of cautionary futures. Even though I have read most of these stories before, I eagerly read them all again and enjoyed the ones I hadn't read. Most of the protagonists sense that something is wrong with their world, but can find very little to do to change it. From the modified humans of "The People of Sand and Slag" who find a dog and cannot care for it to the sewage engineer of "Pump Six" who understands that his culture no longer has the intelligence to run the failing technology around them, they see the future dimly. Each person in these stories is fully rounded and engaged with their world. Each story is memorable, many of them nominated for awards. My favorite is "The Calorie Man", the tale of a world where natural crops were destroyed to further the goals of agribusiness and the people who exists in the cracks of that world. If you have not experienced the magic of Bacigalupi's writing, this is the perfect way to start.
CBJames on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The future does not look good, not as far as Paulo Bacigalupi sees it. The ten stories that make up Pump Six present a dystopian vision that should give any reader pause while they entertain. Entertain they do. Mr. Bacigalupi's (sound it out) stories work best when they explore the extreme edge of what it is to be human. From the moment humans became human we have sought to alter the natural world around us as well as our own bodies, painting ourselves different colors, piercing ourselves to add bits of metal to our bodies. Today we can have extensive surgeries done to change just about any aspect of our physical body. Tomorrow, genetic alteration? The same has been done to the natural world. Our ancestors planted seeds of foods they enjoyed, altered the paths of rivers, leveled hillsides. We continue to do so while at the same time creating artificial pockets of nature just to keep a little place for vacations. By the time Mr. Bacigalupi's future arrives, what is human, what is natural, will be as unrecognizable to us as our world would be to our own ancestors."The Fluted Girl" along with "The People of Sand and Slag" reviewed here look at the extreme body alteration our future may hold. In "The Fluted Girl" a kind of serfdom has taken hold in parts of Asia. Those in power are able to subject the people they control to just about anything they like. No one is truly free. An ageing entertainer plans to make twin girls stars so she can retire with the money they make. She has altered the girls, changed their bodies to turn them into living musical instruments. No longer able even to walk as a human being walks, the fluted girl must decide if she will strike out against her masters or surrender to the future they've provided her and become a star.In "Yellow Card Man" overpopulation and pollution have devasted the earth, reducing a once powerful shipping magnet to a poor refugee looking for work in Bangkok, where there are thousands of applicants for every job opening. Thinking he has information about a job no one else has, he puts on the good suit he has saved for years and heads across town. Believing the clothes make the man, he hopes the suit will give him the edge he needs to get the job. But the suit only attracts attention he does not want, attention that will not do him any good. The title story "Pump Six" presents civilization that has run down just as humanity has. Slow poisoning, brought about by generations of contaminated food and drinking water has made humanity incapable of maintaining the machines that keep civilization running. One man, the one in charge of maintaining the city's sewage pumps, discovers this when pump six stops working, decades past the deadlines for its routine maintanence. I've already added "The People of Sand and Slag" to my on-going attempt to reach 1001 Short Stories You Must Read Before You Die. The stories I've described above along with several of the others are at least as good as "The People of Sand and Slag" but I'm going to refrain from adding any to the list as yet. Unless I get some encouragement in the comments sections; someone to second a recommendation. But I do think Paolo Bacigalupi is an author to watch. The future of humanity--lets hope not. The future of science fiction--I hope so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Each short story was a cautionary tale about maintaining our humanity and preserving the world in which we live. I loved the darkness of each story, and relished the open-endings that allowed my imagination to see the different possibilities for each protagonist. I was also happy to see the expansion of the world in which The Windup Girl is set. These stories did not disappoint and left me wanting to lose myself in other worlds created by this author.
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