I rarely get my ducks in a row in time to put up a WoW post, or if there is a book I want to WoW, it's already been WoWed by plenty of other people.
But this week I came across a book that is literally wow. The Windup Girl is a debut novel by Paolo Bacigalupi, published by Night Shade Books, an indie that does genre fiction. (They have some seriously good-looking books on their website. Do check them out.)
How gorgeous is this cover? Not only is this book dystopian, but it's steampunk too! It's not YA, unfortunately, and it's contains graphic sexual violence at one point--though is never gratuitous according to the reviews I've read. One for us older girls (and boys!) then, or teens with a strong stomach. It was released last Wednesday (October 28) so isn't technically a contender for WoW, but it's out of stock at Book Depository and I'm still waiting on it, and that's good enough for me!
From the publisher's website:
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.
This title has just been named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. Lucky, lucky reviewers who got a copy include SF Signal who said "This is a great novel and one of the best first novels in recent years, one which will surely be short listed for all the major science fiction awards" and gave it five stars, and Annalee Newitz who said "It's rare to find a writer who can create such well-shaded characters while also building a weird new future world."
Read the first NINE chapters here.
Get stock, Book Depository. GET STOCK! (It's available from the publisher too, but shipping to Australia is $35, which is a tad prohibitive.)