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The Windup Girl (2009)

de Paolo Bacigalupi

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
5,2662641,479 (3.75)2 / 473
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.
  1. 131
    River of Gods de Ian McDonald (santhony)
    santhony: Very similar dystopian view of the near future in a third world environment.
  2. 147
    Perdido Street Station de 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.
  3. 81
    Neuromancer Trilogy: Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive de 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.
  4. 104
    L'any del diluvi de Margaret Atwood (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Another novel about a dystopian future with strong environmental themes.
  5. 71
    Zodiac de Neal Stephenson (CKmtl)
    CKmtl: Fans of one of these works of Ecological SF may enjoy the other.
  6. 50
    The Dervish House de 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 de Margaret Atwood (bridgitshearth)
    bridgitshearth: I find I can't say it better than some of the reviewers on Amazon. Enthralling, riveting, compelling....
  8. 10
    Mosquito [short story] de Richard Calder (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Two powerful stories strike an eery chord...
  9. 21
    Woman on the Edge of Time de 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!
  10. 32
    Bangkok 8 de John Burdett (ahstrick)
  11. 00
    Boneshaker de Cherie Priest (sturlington)
    sturlington: Steampunk
  12. 11
    Neuromàntic de William Gibson (g33kgrrl)
Asia (31)
Ghosts (78)
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Anglès (256)  Francès (2)  Alemany (2)  Polonès (1)  Hongarès (1)  Totes les llengües (262)
Es mostren 1-5 de 262 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Bacigapuli has a lot of interesting ideas here, but the pacing seems way off - like he started out with some really strong ideas but had no idea how to end things. A really rich world, but not a lot going on. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Interesting, a little bit to gratuitously dark for me, and the world building sadly has a couple of flaws, but it's otherwise a compelling tale of greed and consequences.

One of my annoyances occurs early on and then throughout the book, that the heroine (I guess) and titular character is referred to as a windup girl. a, this should be wind-up with a hyphen, and b, it's completely wrong. There is plenty of actual wound up technology in this post carbon world, it's very cleverly done and imagined, but the girl herself is just a genetic construct, as human as you determine that to be, powered by food and metabolism, by biology without any springs. It's an important part of the plot that she burns calories (and gets hot) not that she needs winding. c) the author doesn't understand genetics and what can (and more importantly can't) be done with it. Both the stuttering motion and the obedience are not genetic traits, they can't just be 'borrowed' from one source and stitched into another. Likewise the physics of the cheshires - cats who become invisible - doesn't work like that invisibility involves light waves and changes on the position of the observer not the observed, rather than genetics. The latter is particularly annoying as it isn't part of the plot it's just a cool idea thrown in for cleverness and fails. Unicorns would have been more believable. There's also a 2nd wind-up girl but she only appears late on and then gets forgotten by the epilogue and we don't find out what happens to her.

But for all my griping it is a good book, cleverly plotted with well developed characters doing interesting things in an interesting world. The setting is post climate change sea level rise, but society hasn't yet collapsed. Most of the world has succumbed to agricultural corporations mutated plagues which (it seems like the unstated initial aim was 'merely' to increase dependence on their crop rather than their competitors) have run amok requiring ever new strains to feed the world. But places hold out, and the Kingdom of Thailand is one. It created a vigorous Environment Agency to prevent all genetic imports, burnt and destroyed outbreaks and generally kept the country safe behind their dykes holding back the ocean. Of course carbon burning is therefore massively restricted, and so society functions at a slower pace, powered by clockwork - tightly wound springs and the kinetic support of genetically re-created mammoths (presumably also engineered to withstand the temperature). The Environment is of course in perpetual loggerhorns with Trade who wish an influx of new and modern to improve everyone's lives at peril of ruining them all. Into this status quo of bribes and corruption on both sides comes a new actor - the latest attempt by the AgriCorp to penetrate this last holdout market. But there man Anderson hears of greater riches, for the Thai are introducing new species, not just strains, which means they must have a preserved seedback of genetic riches, the ultimate prize of new opportunity.

We jump between Anderson his current major domo an ex-chinese immigrant called Hang Sek looking only for himself and determined not to fall again to civil war that outed him from his homeland, the titular girl who isn't especially interesting, and a captain in the Environment Agency doing the best she can for her family and the country.

I'm not a great fan of multi-viewpoint novels, but this works well enough the jumps well enough signaled and no silly cutaways to characters we don't engage with. None of them are likeable as such, but together they describe the culture well from many viewpoints outside, inside not noticing what has always been, and somewhere in the middle trying to fit in.

The ending is very dramatic and not what I'd expected, well worth the long build-up. The characters are all true to themselves, even as the events turn in ways that I didn't predict but when you think about were given the clues to indicate were coming. It was well written. I've tried some of the author's short stories before and was less impressed, but will keep an eye out for further novels. ( )
1 vota reading_fox | Feb 2, 2021 |
Kändes ovärdigt och simpelt. ( )
  paven | Jan 26, 2021 |
Perhaps my reaction to The Windup Girl is influenced by the hype: I hoped for so much more than I got.

Yes, the post-Contraction world is depicted with eye-opening detail. How will manufacturing work when there is no more oil, and coal is a luxury? Bacigalupi comes up with ingenious solutions, from the mundane (computers operated with treadles, like old-fashioned sewing machines) to the outrageous (megadonts? really? when people can barely eat, where are they finding enough fodder for an elephant-mammoth hybrid?).

Yes, the Windup Girl herself is a beautiful creation, a new twist on the angry young girl who discovers her powers. Emiko is a New Person, a gene-enhancement created by the Japanese to supplement their aging population. But we are kept waiting far too long for her to figure out that she can be much more than a secretary-slash-bedwarmer. I expected her story to be the most important one. She is the title character, right? But her actions only accidentally cause the climax of the novel; her motivations are far less important than those of the many boring political personages whose chapters outweigh hers.

And there are too many of these other characters that we just don't care about. Hock Seng is probably the most interesting of them. For him, we get a back story and motivation. I sympathize with him and admire his tenacity, even when he's plotting against his boss...mainly because his boss is a bore.

The novel begins with that boss, Anderson Lake. But we never get any insight into this very important character. Why did he go to work for AgriGen? What happened to him personally in Finland? Why does he love Emiko? Important questions that are, frustratingly, never answered, and leave Lake a lacuna.

Not to mention all the political intrigue. We need more info on the feud between Akkarat and Pracha, and on the woman who works for both of them, and why she listens to the ghost of her dead captain, when he continues to get her in trouble.

The ending is ripe for sequels, of course, and smacks of Margaret Atwood's Year of the Flood trilogy: New Person and generipper, friends in a desolate city. What will happen next? I'm afraid I'm not inspired enough to find out.

( )
1 vota stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
Rohstoffknappheit, Klimaerwärmung, Seuchen, Bioterrorismus und Kriege haben die alte Weltordnung zum Einsturz gebracht. Über die Weltbevölkerung herrschen große Agrarkonzerne, die mit genmanipulierten Lebensmitteln auf Kosten der darbenden Bevölkerung Gewinne scheffeln. Einzig Thailand widersetzt sich der neuen Ordnung: Beamte des Umweltministeriums achten penibelst darauf, dass das Saatgut nicht verunreinigt wird und das Königreich autark bleibt. Doch es zeichnet sich ein innenpolitischer Konflikt ab, als Handelsminister Akkarat aus privaten und ökonomischen Gründen eine Öffnung des Landes anstrebt und sohin den erfolgreichen Sonderweg gefährdet.

Mit "Biokrieg" hat Bacigalupi einen herausragenden Zukunfts-Roman geschaffen. Es dauert zwar etwas, bis sich der Leser an die vom Autor erfunden Begriffe betreffend Krankheiten der Zukunft, (fiktiver) historischer Ereignisse und genmanipulierter Schöpfungen sowie die häufige Verwendung von Thai-Begriffen gewöhnt hat, danach wird man aber mit einer ungemein spannenden und vor allem auch schlüssigen Dystopie belohnt. Bacigalupi schafft es, die bedrückend-düstere Endzeitstimmung greifbar zu machen. Sein Bild der Zukunft ist phantasievoll aber wohl durchdacht und überzeugt auch die packende und an Wendungen reiche Handlung. Gut gelungen ist Bacigalupi auch die vielschichtige Schilderung des Lebens im Bangkok der Zukunft, welches er in all seinen Facetten und voller Dramatik an Hand unterschiedlichster Hauptprotagonisten darstellt, die er detailiert zu charakterisieren versteht. Bacigalupis Antwort auf die Frage, wohin grenzenlose Profitgier führen kann, ist jedenfalls eine der gelungensten dystopischen Romane der jüngeren Vergangenheit. ( )
  schmechi | Dec 10, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 262 (següent | mostra-les totes)
It is a reasonably convincing vision of a future rendered difficult and more threatening than even our troubled present.
 
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.
 
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."
 
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.
afegit per PhoenixTerran | editaio9, Annalee Newitz (Sep 9, 2009)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (7 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Paolo Bacigalupiautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Chong, VincentIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Davis, JonathanNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Horváth, NorbertTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lacoste, RaphaelAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Podaný, RichardTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Riffel, HannesÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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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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