GIVEAWAY: The Windup Girl (expanded edition) by Paolo Bacigalupi

I always enjoy being able to do giveaways for my readers. Which is why today I’m thrilled to announce that thanks to the good people at Night Shade Books, I have 2 copies of the expanded edition of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl to give away to a couple of lucky US readers!

Anderson Lake is AgriGen’s Calorie Man, sent to work undercover as a factory manager in Thailand while combing Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories.

Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. Emiko is not human; she is an engineered being, 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 this 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 and forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly-acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.

In this brand new edition celebrating the book’s reception into the canon of celebrated modern science fiction, accompanying the text are two novelettes exploring the dystopian world of The Windup Girl, the Theodore Sturgeon Award-winning “The Calorie Man” and “Yellow Card Man.” Also included is an exclusive Q&A with the author describing his writing process, the political climate into which his debut novel was published, and the future of science fiction.

I read and reviewed the original edition in 2011, and I really enjoyed it, so I’m excited to be able to be able to see the expanded edition, with the extra novelettes and the interview.

So if you’re interested in possibly getting your hands on 1 of 2 copies of this fantastic sci-fi novel, here are the rules:

  • Must have a US mailing address; no PO Boxes
  • Must provide mailing address if chosen as a winner, which will be sent to the publisher for shipping and not retained by me
  • Comment on this post to enter; must provide valid contact info in case you win
  • Limit of 1 (one) entry per person
  • Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM, PST, Sunday May 24, 2015
  • Winners will be drawn and announced on Monday May 25, 2015

Bacigalupi will also on tour through multiple US cities these next 2 months, so if you’re near where he’ll be speaking and signing, definitely go see him!

5/26/15: Denver, CO Tattered Cover, reading, Q&A, and signing
5/27/15: Boulder, CO Boulder Bookstore, reading, Q&A, and signing
5/28-29/15: New York, NY, BEA and NYC media
5/30/15: Boston, MA Brookline Booksmith, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/2/15: Chicago, IL Anderson’s Bookshop, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/3/15: Salt Lake City, UT The King’s English, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/4/15: Phoenix, AR Changing Hands Bookstore, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/6-6/7/15: San Francisco, CA, Bay Area Literary Festival
6/6-6/7/15: San Francisco, CA, Borderlands, signing
6/8/15: San Diego, CA Mysterious Galaxy, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/9/15: Los Angeles, Vroman’s, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/10/15: Portland, OR Powell’s Bookstore, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/11/15: Seattle, WA University Book Store, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/18/15: Crested Butte, CO Rumors Coffee and Tea House, reading, Q&A, and signing

The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi

  Buy from Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or IndieBound

Author’s website
Publication date – September 15, 2009

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when said bio-terrorism forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of his award-winning “The Calorie Man” and “Yellow Card Man” in order to address these questions.

Thoughts: Where a good deal of futuristic settings are largely Western in origin, Bacigalupi breaks the mold and sets The Windup Girl in Thailand, exposing readers to a new culture, language, and set of experiences and values. My own compehension of Thai being limited to “sawatdi kha” and “mai pen rai,” I managed to expand my vocabulary a little simply by reading this book. It was, I must say, a welcome change from the white-bread, Western-dominated culture often expressed in futuristic settings.

Also interestingly, while still being science fiction this book takes us back a few steps in terms of technology. The level of power that we enjoy even today is gone. Computers are run by treadles. It’s borderline steampunk in that more things are made of cogs and gears, simply out of necessity. Humanity’s control over the world has been decimated by crop failures, advanced disease, climate change. The whole Monsanto controvery is ramped up to 11 here by corporations taking control of all things edible, cracking the genetic code to make it resistant to all the blights and ills that killed crops previously, and making all the crops sterile so that people have to rely on them for food. Nobody can just take a handful of apple seeds and some land and start their own orchard.

Almost makes you wish for the kind of future where we’re just off exploring alien planets, doesn’t it?

The titular character of the novel, Emiko the windup girl, is interesting in that she’s not the main character (though we do see a fair amount from her viewpoint, so it’s fair to say that she’s a protagonist) but more of a catalyst. Resigned at first to spending her life being degraded in the sex trade, Emiko’s journey of self-discovery and -realization not only free her from sexual slavery but also serves as the jumping-off point for an entire political revolution in Thailand. And they say one person can’t make a difference…

Bacigalupi’s chilling version of the future is one that could all too easily become reality, which is, of course, the most terrifying part of speculative fiction. The future he creates is not dystopian; it doesn’t pretend to be perfect or tightly-controlled, though it does bear a few of the earmarks of a dystopian society in the making. The skill at which the author weaves the fine detail of culture and speculative future together makes for a fascinating tapestry, one which I’m very pleased to have glimpsed, even if it comes with a disturbing ending. Bacigalupi is one author you simply can’t afford to miss.

(Received for review from the publisher via NetGalley.)