Biopunk Books

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Very similar to Cyberpunk in theme and style but with the technological focus NOT on computer/virtual reality but on bioengineering (engineering of the human body, bio-hacking, made to human specing, etc). Keep in mind that like cyberpunk, biopunk very much follows in the same literary traditions, focusing on human-machine relationship, individuality, government corruption and conspiracy, crime-infested slums, evil corporations, human-body experimentation, and a dark, dismal vision of the future
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The Windup Girl

by Paolo Bacigalupi

4.43 avg rating
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. Emiko is 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.
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, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of "The Calorie Man" (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and "Yellow Card Man" (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these poignant questions.
Nebula
Hugo
John W. Campbell
BSFA
2
4
0

Frankenstein

by Mary Shelley

4 avg rating
The original Gothic \"Biopunk\" novel. And a classic to boot!
4
3
0

The Island Of Doctor Moreau

by H.G. Wells

Shipwrecked, Edward Prendick is rescued by a passing boat bound for the island of Doctor Moreau. After a fight with the vessel s captain, Prendick is forced to go ashore on the island, where his curiosity compels him to seek the truth about Doctor Moreau s gruesome experiments. This gripping science fiction novel by H. G. Wells explores themes of cruelty, morality, and man s abuse of nature.
5
3
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Perdido Street Station

by China Mieville

3 avg rating
Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger—and more consuming—by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon—and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes . . .

A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
British Fantasy Society
Arthur C. Clarke
BSFA
BSFA
Nebula
Hugo
6
2
0

Unwind

by Neal Shusterman

5 avg rating
In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Unwinding ensures that the child's life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child's body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.

With breathtaking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents' tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.

7
3
2

Altered Carbon

by Richard K. Morgan

3.85 avg rating
In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Philip K. Dick
8
1
0

Ribofunk

by Paul Di Filippo

Following the shock wave of cyberpunk writing in the late 1980s, Paul Di Filippo's first book, The Steampunk Trilogy, burst on the scene in 1995, leading SF veteran William Gibson to declare the young writer's work "spooky, haunting, hilarious." Cyberpunk concentrated on cold hardware. Di Filippo coined "ribofunk" by fusing "ribosome" (as in cellular biology) with "funk" (as in rock and roll). In the world of Ribofunk, biology is a cutting-edge science, where the Protein Police patrol for renegade gene splicers and part-human sea creatures live in Lake Superior, dealing with toxic spills. Ribofunk depicts a sentient river; a sultry bodyguard who happens to be part wolverine; a reluctant thrill seeker who climbs a skyscraper-and finds himself stuck; and a chain-smoking Peter Rabbit who leads his fellows in a bloody rebellion against-whom else?-Mr. McGregor.
9
1
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Uglies

by Scott Westerfeld

1 avg rating

The Uglies series has more than 3 million books in print, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and spent more than fifty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now all four books feature fresh new covers and will reach an even wider audience. Tally’s adventures begin in Uglies, where she learns the truth about what life as a Pretty really means.

10
1
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Thirteen Richard Morgan

by Richard K. Morgan

The future isn’t what it used to be since Richard K. Morgan arrived on the scene. He unleashed Takeshi Kovacs–private eye, soldier of fortune, and all-purpose antihero–into the body-swapping, hard-boiled, urban jungle of tomorrow in Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies, winning the Philip K. Dick Award in the process. In Market Forces, he launched corporate gladiator Chris Faulkner into the brave new business of war-for-profit. Now, in Thirteen, Morgan radically reshapes and recharges science fiction yet again, with a new and unforgettable hero in Carl Marsalis: hybrid, hired gun, and a man without a country . . . or a planet.

Marsalis is one of a new breed. Literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth’s distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back–and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man before a police sting landed him in prison–a fate worse than Mars, and much more dangerous.

Luckily, his “enhanced” life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in another fugitive. But this one is no common criminal. He’s another Thirteen–one who’s already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. And like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there’s no question Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption, and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is: can he remain sane–and alive–long enough to succeed?


From the Hardcover edition.
11
1
1

Cloud Atlas

by David Mitchell

4 avg rating
Now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer
 
Includes a new Afterword by David Mitchell
 
A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles and genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Haruki Murakami, Umberto Eco, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers

 
“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People
 
“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon
Nebula
Arthur C. Clarke
12
0
0

Seed

by Ania Ahlborn

With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild.

John W. Campbell
14
0
0

Dawn Octavia Butler

by Octavia E. Butler

Lilith lyapo awoke from a centuries-long sleep to find herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. Creatures covered in writhing tentacles, the Oankali had saved every surviving human from a dying, ruined Earth. They healed the planet, cured cancer, increased strength, and were now ready to help Lilith lead her people back to Earth--but for a price.
15
0
0

Growing Dread: Biopunk Visions

by Erik Scott de Bie

Let eleven visionary authors show you the dangers and wonders of nature 2.0. Harnessing the power of nature, these authors show us biological futures that could be. If the human brain is the best computer in the world, what happens when someone learns how to hack it? A submarine captain, a government employee, a vat-grown sex toy and a world without death await within...to say nothing of the unicorns and timeless beauties.Let eleven visionary authors show you the dangers and wonders of nature 2.0. Harnessing the power of nature, these authors show us biological futures that could be. If the human brain is the best computer in the world, what happens when someone learns how to hack it? A submarine captain, a government employee, a vat-grown sex toy and a world without death await within...to say nothing of the unicorns and timeless beauties.
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Leviathan

by Scott Westerfeld

1 avg rating
Biohacking YA fiction. A great read
Locus Young Adult
18
2
3

Oryx And Carke

by David Wheeler

A comparative essay exploring these two modern dystopias.
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