The Windup Girl

by Paolo Bacigalupi

4.43 avg rating
Book 8 of 52 in the Best Cyberpunk Books
244 votes 6 comments
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.

Other books in series

Book Awards

Won 3 awards in total

Nebula
Hugo
2010
John W. Campbell

Nominated 1 times in total

BSFA

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6 comments
Anonymous | 2014-01-11 11:54:50
Not a book for simple minds. If you're smart and hungry for a great book, the windup girl will satisfy.
Anonymous | 2015-09-24 03:37:23
This is a book for simple minds,
White Pawn | 2016-02-15 12:45:53
Someone green-lighted a terrible narrator again, with this book, my audible purchase almost lulled me to sleep.
Anonymous | 2016-10-29 09:08:15
What a wonderful world builder is Bacigalupi. His imagined future version of Thailand is absolutely believable and rich with authenticity. And what a fresh breath of air to read a sci-fi book that's not set in some western culture. I do have some minor complaints, like too much description and repetition. I also dislike the use of the present tense as a main writting style, but that is quickly gotten over. For me, the Windup Girl felt like discovering sci-fi for the first time. It made me excited like few books had in the past 10 years. It has a very original setting, a diverse and believable set of characters, an excelent sci-fi premise, and a fascinating story development. Warmly recommeneded!
Anonymous | 2017-04-21 06:24:00
Very refreshing. Unique premise and some new ideas (at least for me). Good stuff.
Anonymous | 2018-08-11 10:18:55
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