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?
In The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi explores the effects of bioengineering and a world in which fossil fuels are no longer viable. 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, 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 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.
Paolo Bacigalupi’s writing has appeared in High Country News, Salon.com, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. His short fiction been anthologized in various “Year’s Best” collections of short science fiction and fantasy, nominated for two Nebula and four Hugo Awards, and won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best sf short story of the year.
His debut novel The Windup Girl was named by Time Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009, won the Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, and is a finalist for the Hugo Award. His most recent novel, Ship Breaker, has just been released from Little, Brown (more). He currently lives in Western Colorado with his wife and son, where he is working on a new novel.
About Night Shade Books
Night Shade Books is an independent publisher of quality science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Founded by Jason Williams in 1997, Night Shade Books has been publishing science fiction, fantasy and horror for over a decade and currently publishes about 30-35 titles a year, and appears regularly at genre conventions.
Paolo Bacigalupi: The Windup Girl
hardcover, 376 pages, $24.95
related links: time+space, prize winners, novels