1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Works by Paolo Bacigalupi

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Hubardo, Mar 16, 2016.

    Now I've read his two adult novels, The Windup Girl and The Water Knife, and one short story called The Gambler. I just purchased a collection of his short stories and will be reading those this week. @Wreybies is the one who turned me on to Windup, and now I think I've discovered one of my new favorite authors. @GingerCoffee mentioned having read Water Knife. Wondering if anyone else is familiar with his works. I can't get enough of him right now.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I cannot eat rambutan without thinking of The Windup Girl. Now you know why! ;)

    (in the book they are called by their Thai name: ngaw)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The Doubt Factory was a lot lighter read compared to The Windup Girl. The Water Knife is sort of in the middle. It's quite the range. I really liked The Doubt Factory but if you don't like fun YA you won't find it serious enough. I also happen to be very familiar with the specific issues he addressed in that book so to some it might seem a tad hokey but in reality his depiction of the issues was very accurate.
     
  4. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know if I've ever actually read YA... Having just read the premise of Doubt Factory, it seems extremely interesting. I'm really impressed at his ability to take climate issues I had been working on from a wee grassroots activist level for 2-3 years (and am basically retired/burnt-out/too-busy-with-other-things), and convert them into action-packed thrillers, mysteries, romances and so on. He's the only official cli-fi writer I've read so far, and I'd really like to see what others have done with the genre once I'm done with his other works. Right now I'm just so fond of him I don't want to read anything else for a while. :)

    ETA: Goddamn what a good story idea, Doubt Factory! Genius MF!!
     
  5. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wish the book had pictures! I didn't realize these were those...
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yep. :) Because of very similar climate and terrain we produce them here in Puerto Rico too. When they are in season you can get them at the farmer's market in great big bags. They are sooooooooo good. :-D
     
  7. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here's a great NPR interview with Bacigalupi about The Water Knife. A nice little excerpt:

    People don't actually stay still, you know — when their area is a disaster, they go somewhere else, right? And that's just a natural human impulse. And it's also a natural human impulse for people to sort of hunker down and say "no, no, this is ours — we've got the good stuff, and we don't want to share."

    And so yeah, in this future, there's a point where there's so many refugees on the road, there's so many — some of them because of hurricanes, some of them because of high seawater levels, some of them because of drought — that you're starting to see all of the states sort of, like ... you know, sort of really getting much more muscular about their state's rights.

    They're like: "No, no, no, this is our territory. We don't want to share it with the state next to us." And you see a really weak federal government at the same time that isn't able to really coordinate or get people to sort of cooperate with one another.

    I think that, when I think about the future that The Water Knife represents, it's one where there's a lack of oversight, planning and organization. That's really the disaster. There's the drought and there's climate change, and those things are horrible — and then there's how people react to it. And this is, this world is built on the assumption that people don't plan, don't think and don't cooperate — which makes for a pretty bad future!​
     
  8. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you had mentioned that as well in another thread. Maybe they're grown somewhere in CA -- they look familiar. The thing I usually remember from Windup Girl is the use of genetic engineering as a means of exploring questions about human consciousness, in a way that's usually done with AI. I'm sure it's been done elsewhere, but it was my first exposure to it.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I was also intrigued by the way he handled the whole "GMO controversy". I for one am not afraid of GMO product, the science behind it, etc. That whole gestalt panic is silly. But... the laterally associated dynamic of parts of the biosphere coming under patent control, that is a worrying concept that I don't dismiss as regards companies like MONSANTO. I'm not afraid of a GMO potato. I am afraid of a company that says, "We now own the potato, as a species."
     
  10. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    It looks like you omitted something up to "he presented the" [mysterious blank].

    The GMO thing is something I used to see as black and white, but I'm a bit more open now.

    But I do reject the argument that all of agriculture has been a big GMO experiment (eloquently put by one of the characters at some point, I think -- synthesized out of real arguments over the last couple decades by proponents). In a biotech class I had during undergrad, we learned about the physical difference between strains developed by farmers through artificial selection, and literally shooting isolated genes into an organism. The latter approach can apparently have some adverse impacts surrounding ecological systems. One study I saw in the class was on how certain GMO strands of crops, for some unforeseeable reason, weren't very tasty to a particular kind of bug. This bug wasn't targeted as a "pest," just some bug. Let's say this bug is the main pollinator in that system. You would get big problems from that. So there may be some good reason to be afraid of GMO potatoes. Then again, our entire world is so artificial in so many ways at this point that defining what is "natural" anymore becomes difficult. Who knows what the optimal direction is.
     
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  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, bad editing on my part. I started writing, then decided to quote a portion of you test, and started over under the quote. :bigoops: That broken sentence is just a differently worded original draft of the first sentence in the second bit. :whistle:
     

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