io9 Book Club Meeting: Paolo Bacigalupi's "Windup Girl"

Illustration for article titled io9 Book Club Meeting: Paolo Bacigalupis Windup Girl

The io9 Book Club is officially in session. This week, we'll be discussing Paolo Bacigalupi's novel The Windup Girl, which was just nominated for a Nebula Award. Let's start talking in comments.

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One of the reasons we picked this book for the reading group is that Bacigalupi has written a very ambitious novel whose contents are likely to inspire debate. He's created a future where peak oil has driven the high tech industry toward green innovations like ultrahighpower springs. And he's also thrown an unexpected curveball into his futuristic timeline: Thailand has miraculously come through the agricultural and human plagues with something more valuable than oil. The Thai government has a seed bank which contains genetic material that could help this once-downtrodden country become one of the richest in the world.

The problem is, rebuilding the world's food supplies is hindered at every turn by corruption in the Thai government and among international argibusiness concerns that want to do business with the government. There's something deliciously realistic about the way Bacigalupi weaves together stories of men who chase down the origins of genetically-engineered fruit, ghosts of government-mandated murders, and the life of a woman whose entire genome was hacked together in a lab.

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Bacigalupi will be joining us for a discussion on Friday, but in the meantime, check out the interview we did with him here, where he talks about living in Asia and his interest in environmental science. You can also see what we said about the book when we reviewed it.

So what did you guys think?

For those who want to get ready for our next meeting: The next book will be Kage Baker's Sky Coyote, and we will be meeting March 23.

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DISCUSSION

dirtybacon
dirtybacon

As far as the Emiko is concerned, I think the point of her being pushed to the point where she snaps was fascinating... that the circumstances got so extreme that her ingrained conditioning was overcome.

it was interesting that she didn't seem to break from her windup behavior to the ultra fast mode until this point in her life... while the Japanese servant (Huriko, or something like that) broke into the fast mode as soon as a cup was thrown her way.

Also, the only problem I have is that Emiko would probably have killed her whore tormentor when she went on a rampage on the Queen's protector... unless the way he treated her was so much worse - which seems hard for me to believe.