The Windup Girl

29 03 2010

The Windup Girlby Paolo Bacigalupi
ISBN 978-1597801577, Hardcover
Night Shade Books, 2009

I have just finished reading this book.
All I heard was raves about this book and author – best book of the year?? Not to me. But an interesting read nonetheless.

It’s set in Thailand, post global warming and civilization collapse. An unstable warlord society in which the displaced strive to recover past glories/power.

International commerce is via clipper ship or dirigible. Genetic engineering of crops etc has lead to plagues that have decimated populations. Theres still the risk of a new variant emerging any time.

Picture the city in Blade Runner, minus the rain and technology. The cover makes the city look grander than the image portrayed in Paolo’s prose.

The Windup Girl is a genetic engineered creature who has been bread to serve as assistant, translator and slave to her Japanese master. She is discarded in the Thai city, and becomes a show piece in a Thai strip club. Following severe abuse she kills some very important personage and flees into the city. It is just one of many triggers that sets off a power stuggle in the city.