The Windup Girl
I’ve just finished reading Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite books ever. It’s an eerie vision of a future Thailand that is threatened with the invasion of large foreign companies and biological disasters, while it teeters on the brink of civil war.
What makes it so powerful is that Bacigalupi has rooted so much of his story in realism (as much as a story set in the future can be). The repelling of foreign invasion (particularly in the 19th century) has been a constant throughout Thailand’s history, and the pride in this history of independence is still deeply embedded in this future Thai culture. The internal political struggles mirror what Thailand has gone through in the past 100 years, with its frequent revolutions and government changes.
The following video is a an hour long talk by Bacigalupi on why he’s drawn to science fiction and how environmental issues shape his writing.