Paolo Bacigalupi, The Water Knife (2015)

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi debut novel from 2009 was popular, smart and powerful, but didn’t excite me. I found it a bit grotesque and too full of political anger. And I did not like the ending (that I’m not going to spoil here).

Novel about a world of the future, plagued by environmental collapse, food scarcity and energy shortage, with disastrous consequences for societies, reaching even greater levels of corruption, racism and violence. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? But I couldn’t really care about – or identify with – any of the characters, I  was not wholly convinced by the worldbuilding, and aforementioned ending… still, it was a powerful image, and I respected author’s passion, so I awarded it three stars on Goodreads 😉


The Water Knife has the same passion, but better characters, more thought-through plot, and after the recent leftward shift in my political views – is very emotionally satisfying. Reading about the collapse of America, and with the red states hit the most, due to global warming, just after Trump decided to withdraw from Paris Agreement – priceless.

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Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl (2009)

the-windup-girlThis post was supposed to be about something else. I’m in the middle of China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station and I hoped to have it finished already, alas – no. The beauty of Kindle is that each and every book looks physically the same: it is contained within several inches of a very complicated, but very lightweight, machine. It is great, and I’m the first to sing paeans to this little smart device, but it can be greatly misleading. As with Perdido Street Station, which I simply didn’t imagine to contain 880 pages of dense, sometimes greatly irritating, sometimes demanding, prose. So, I’m in the middle of the New Weird canonic work, and Bacigalupi’s book came to my mind more than once during this reading. And for good reasons…

Bacigalupi’s debut won both Nebula and Hugo awards in 2010 (a tie with Miéville’s The City & The City for Hugo), as well as 2010 Locus Award and several others.

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