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The Windup Girl por Paolo Bacigalupi
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The Windup Girl (original 2009; edição 2009)

por Paolo Bacigalupi (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
5,3592721,480 (3.76)2 / 475
What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when this forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? This is a tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in a post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation.
Título:The Windup Girl
Autores:Paolo Bacigalupi (Autor)
Informação:Night Shade (2010), Edition: 1st, 359 pages
Etiquetas:Fiction, Fiction - Science Fiction, Fiction - Climate

Pormenores da obra

The Windup Girl por Paolo Bacigalupi (2009)

Adicionado recentemente porMCBacon, biblioteca privada, cweller, zhlei337, dajobat, SugarThief, SErdman, Nrsima, Sryope
  1. 131
    River of Gods por Ian McDonald (santhony)
    santhony: Very similar dystopian view of the near future in a third world environment.
  2. 81
    Neuromancer Trilogy: Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive por William Gibson (rrees)
    rrees: Gibson's global world of dirty cities and high technology are generally more optimistic that that of the Windup Girl but the styling is similar and the weaving stories of people and corporate interests are similar.
  3. 147
    Perdido Street Station por China Miéville (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although Perdido Street Station is more fantasy than science fiction, I felt there were similarities in the exoticness of the world-building and readers who enjoyed The Windup Girl may also enjoy Perdido Street Station.
  4. 104
    The Year of the Flood por Margaret Atwood (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Another novel about a dystopian future with strong environmental themes.
  5. 71
    Zodiac por Neal Stephenson (CKmtl)
    CKmtl: Fans of one of these works of Ecological SF may enjoy the other.
  6. 50
    The Dervish House por Ian McDonald (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: These two powerful, well-plotted novels each give detailed, dark visions of two different cities in the nearish future.
  7. 40
    Oryx and Crake por Margaret Atwood (bridgitshearth)
    bridgitshearth: I find I can't say it better than some of the reviewers on Amazon. Enthralling, riveting, compelling....
  8. 21
    Woman on the Edge of Time por Marge Piercy (bridgitshearth)
    bridgitshearth: This book seems to be overlooked: very quiet, no flash or catastrophe, very down to earth vision of a future with limited resources. It's one of my favorites, ever!
  9. 10
    Mosquito [short story] por Richard Calder (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Two powerful stories strike an eery chord...
  10. 32
    Bangkok 8 por John Burdett (ahstrick)
  11. 00
    Autonomous por Annalee Newitz (DemetriosX)
  12. 11
    Neuromancer por William Gibson (g33kgrrl)
  13. 00
    Boneshaker por Cherie Priest (sturlington)
    sturlington: Steampunk
Asia (30)
Ghosts (78)
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Inglês (266)  Francês (2)  Alemão (2)  Polaco (1)  Húngaro (1)  Todas as línguas (272)
Mostrando 1-5 de 272 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Actually went through and finished this. I'd given up after the plotline with Emiko and the Somdet Chaopraya, but picked it up again when nothing else was available during a long drive south.

First, let me clear up why I almost abandoned reading this: I can't abide the graphic debasement that was used here. There's a kind of plot that seeks to use rape as drama and follow it up with some form of violent revenge, as if that is enough catharsis. I don't like this. I don't need HBO levels of violent sex and sexualized violence, especially when the only purpose seems to be some form of shock factor.

The world building is fantastic, and a few of the characters do develop in interesting ways, but the majority of the viewpoint characters are both flat and unlikeable.

That's the major sin, really. I hated most of the characters, and the few I liked either died or had terrible things happen to them.

Part of the purpose of a dystopian novel, when it's done well, is to warn, to educate, to sketch out a future that reflects our now in interesting ways. I'm not entirely certain this book does that. It feels more like it tries to be a thriller in an interesting setting, but then fails for most of the novel to actually thrill. The pacing is all wrong for that, and the world building suffers from a plot that doesn't really require the backstory.

It's sad, because the ideas here felt like they could have gone somewhere.

There's just nothing good to cling to in this book, nothing that grounds the narrative. I think the titular "Windup Girl" is supposed to fill that role, but it just doesn't work for me. ( )
  MCBacon | Aug 2, 2021 |
Brilliant ecofiction. Be afraid... be very afraid of the calorie companies. ( )
  SocProf9740 | Jul 11, 2021 |
Fantastic world-building, let down by less-than fantastic characterization, and "scenes of a sexual nature" that are so overdone that they cross over into becoming completely gratuitous.

5-stars for the technical details of Bacigalupi's post-petroleum world, in which bleakly nihilist cyberpunk meets clever steampunk. Power in this world comes straight from "calories," the sheer brute strength of the human under-class, and genetically modified beasts such as the mastodon-like megadonts. The tension generated by animal- and man-power is stored in cleverly engineered "kink-spring" batteries, which power almost everything. Where battery power won't supply a solution, human ingenuity comes into play: high status buildings keep their elevators running by using human ballast as counter-weights; computers are powered by foot treadles, like old-fashioned sewing machines; travel, unless you are very wealthy and have access to a coal-diesel vehicle, is by rickshaw or sail.

It would all be very very clever, and sometimes even quite elegant, but this is a world in which horrors abound: thoughtless genetic tampering has resulted in widespread disease and cancers, and whole species of plants and animals have been wiped out. Combined with climate change and rising sea levels, this has resulted in untold death and misery everywhere: the collapse of the United States and the European Union, and the destruction of small countries all over the globe. Every page reveals some horror or other, and the terrible thing is that it's all horribly plausible (especially now ... oh, yes, hello from 2020, especially now ...)

A future version of the Kingdom of Thailand is holding back the misery and destruction -- just -- and holding on to its independence from foreign powers and agriculture conglomerates because of its cunningly protected seed bank, which allows the government that rules in the name of a saintly and popularly adored (and possibly fictional? hmmm?) Child Queen, to feed its population with produce that hasn't been tainted by the modifications that have wreaked so much havoc. But this independence in always under threat from the evil gene-ripping conglomerates, and their shadowy reps, the "calorie men."

So far, so terrifically good. But then, we need a plot to justify all this, and that's where things go off the (megadont-powered) rails. Bacigalupi juggles the perspective of five characters, whose personal dramas and ulterior motives play out against the background of an attempt by an agri conglomerate to undermine the existing Thai government, exploit an ambitious opposition, and get its hands on the seedbank. That sounds good, doesn't it? -- and in the final quarter of the book, when it gets to the point, it is: a quite exciting, and thoughtful rendering of how a revolution might be triggered, how the various actors (good, bad and totally self-serving) might misread cues, misunderstand evidence, act selfishly, and set responses in motion that they subsequently have no control over.

BUT to get to that point, you have to get though a lot of buildup that feels increasingly ... awkward, and like spinning its wheels. I mentioned the "scenes of a sexual nature" -- trust me, I'm not squeamish, but I genuinely feel that they were wildly, and offensively, overdone. Emiko, the windup girl of the title, is a genetically modified humanoid who has been created to be a rich man's plaything, and her abandonment in Bangkok has resulted in a life of degradation and suffering -- I get it. Point made. We don't need a - literal -- blow by blow.

I'm also concerned about the depiction of the Asian characters in this novel. They feel cartoonish -- too very, very good, too very very bad, and even when Bacigalupi tried to introduce complications, they feel like cartoonish complications. I was deeply uncomfortable with a lot of that ...

I'm trying to be fair in my rating for this novel. It's a curate's egg of a book: excellent, in parts. If you are intrigued by my description of Bacigalupi's bleak future, I'd suggest trying his short fiction, some fine novellas collected in Pump Six and Other Stories. ( )
  maura853 | Jul 11, 2021 |
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi is the Coen Brothers meets Blade Runner.

It's the 23rd century and global warming has run amok. The great cities of the world are under water. Enormous corporate conglomerates genetically manipulate strains of wheat and rice to feed the world while extorting the last bit of cash and blood. Countries incessantly war over resources. Genetically created diseases ravish societies. And the Japanese genetically generate the New People, their perfect servants to support a rapidly aging and non-replenishing society.

Set in Bangkok, Thailand, the book follows the stories of four main characters "Song of Ice and Fire"-like: Anderson Lake, the American 'calorie man' coming for Thailand's stock of genetic diversity, Hong Seck a Chinese Refugee from the US, Jaidee Rojjanasukchai a "white shirt" Tiger of Bangkok who works for the ministry that polices the health of the country and Emiko, a discarded "windup," a genetically modified human turned into the perfect servant but now without a master.

The four main plotlines sort of wander along telling four parallel stories that cross over and intersect and explode in exciting ways while exploring this science fiction future of ecological devastation. This is not an uplifting or positive book -- it is /very/ Coen Brothers where people are generally awful in an ever increasing tide of awfulness until the plot explodes on everyone in a mess of fiasco.

It definitely does move. As a book, it is well written, if not meandering at times. The problem is that the plot does meander and some of the stories don't feel terrifically satisfying. The story of Emiko the Windup Girl is by far the best of the four stories in the book but the other three tend to fall flat at times without drive.

I knock it one star for occasionally losing its point. As a science fiction book its a thinker. A downer, but a thinker. ( )
  multiplexer | Jun 20, 2021 |
Great world building, and a compelling portrait of Thailand. (Or at least, it seemed compelling to someone who's never been there.) I actually found the notion of giant agribusiness megacorps as economic predators more compelling than the disbelief-suspension-snapping notion of creating sentient people from scratch, but not by much. Most of the characters turned out to be nicely multi-dimensional -- very few dedicated Good Guys vs Bad Guys, and I liked the open ending. I was concerned he would tie it up too neatly, and thankfully, he didn't. ( )
  qBaz | May 28, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 272 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
It is a reasonably convincing vision of a future rendered difficult and more threatening than even our troubled present.
adicionada por karenb | editarA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton (Mar 9, 2011)
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.
adicionada por souloftherose | editarThe Guardian, Adam Roberts (Dec 18, 2010)
But the third reason to pick up "The Windup Girl" is for its harrowing, on-the-ground portrait of power plays, destruction and civil insurrection in Bangkok.

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."
adicionada por SimoneA | editarThe Washington Post, Michael Dirda (Jul 8, 2010)
One of the strengths of The Windup Girl, other than its intriguing characters, is Bacigalupi's world building. You can practically taste this future Thailand he's built [...] While Bacigalupi's blending of hard science and magic realism works beautifully, the novel occasionally sags under its own weight. At a certain point, the subplots feel like tagents that needed cutting.
adicionada por PhoenixTerran | editario9, Annalee Newitz (Sep 9, 2009)

» Adicionar outros autores (7 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Paolo Bacigalupiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Chong, VincentIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Davis, JonathanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Horváth, NorbertTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lacoste, RaphaelArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Podaný, RichardTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Riffel, HannesÜbersetzerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when this forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? This is a tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in a post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation.

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