Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In Conversation - Paolo Bacigalupi and Lauren Beukes

A Google hangout round robin interview. 3.5 out of 5

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paolo Bacigalupi on His Hopeful Dystopia The Drowned Cities - Jeff VanderMeer

"One of the best parts of The Drowned Cities is the intelligent war-beast Tool. Bacigalupi admitted to being fascinated with Tool. "He emerged on the page when I needed a thug character to be part of Richard Lopez' crew in Ship Breaker, and then he developed into something far more interesting. I've been fascinated with the idea of human-animal hybrids for some time, so in a lot of ways, Tool's bioengineered super-soldier combination of human, tiger, dog, and hyena is just another iteration of my continuing obsession"¦Tool gives me a chance to explore questions of loyalty and individuality, and I love that he stands outside of humanity, looking at us and judging us." For Bacigalupi, Tool evokes "the same qualities that I love about the ronin--the masterless samurai--mixed with the raw physical power and contempt for civilization that Conan the Barbarian evokes. I keep thinking that I'd like to write a series of stories just about Tool. At this point, I'm completely obsessed with him."" 3.5 out of 5

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Diverse Energies - Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti

“The Last Day” by Ellen Oh “Freshee’s Frogurt” by Daniel H. Wilson “Uncertainty Principle” by K. Tempest Bradford “Pattern Recognition” by Ken Liu “Gods of Dimming Light” by Greg van Eekhout “Next Door” by Rahul Kanakia “Good Girl” by Malinda Lo “A Pocket Full of Dharma” by Paolo Bacigalupi “Blue Skies” by Cindy Pon “What Arms to Hold” by Rajan Khanna “Solitude” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Best Foreign Novel: The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi, translated by Kazue Tanaka and Hiroshi Kaneko 5 out of 5

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How Cyberpunk Saved Sci-Fi - Paolo Bacigalupi

"For me as a kid, reading cyberpunk was like seeing the world for the first time. Gibson’s Neuromancer wasn’t just stylistically stunning; it felt like the template for a future that we were actively building. I remember reading Sterling’s Islands in the Net and suddenly understanding the disruptive potential of technology once it got out into the street. Cyberpunk felt urgent. It wasn’t the future 15 minutes out—it was the future sideswiping you and leaving you in a full-body cast as it passed by." 3.5 out of 5

Thursday, May 24, 2012

War Killer Children and More: An Interview with - Paolo Bacigalupi

"Paolo: I was interested in political failure here in the U.S. The way we’re failing to work together to solve even our smallest problems, let alone the complex ones. We seem to have a fascination with deepening our political schisms for the sake of short-term partisan gains. Connected to that, I was interested in how our political punditry are rewarded monetarily to also deepen those hatreds. People like Rush Limbaugh are paid a lot of money to dump bile on his political opponents and to encourage his followers to do the same. For Rush, it’s a $38million/year business. That’s a powerful financial incentive to keep deepening our political dysfunction. At some point, you have to ask the classic science fiction question “If this goes on, what will the world look like?” For me, that looks like a civil war in a nation that long ago forgot how to plan or solve complex problems like global warming, or peak oil, or financial ruin, that are sweeping down on us." 4 out of 5

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Big Idea - Paolo Bacigalupi

"When I started writing The Drowned Cities, I hadn’t planned to write about politics. Typically I write about environmental issues such as global warming or energy scarcity or GM foods, but as I was working on the book, our increasingly divided political dialogue and government paralysis intruded. These says, I can’t help noticing how much time we spend busting unions in Wisconsin or warring over contraception in universities, or checking people’s citizenship papers at traffic stops, while our geopolitical situation and future prospects change for the worse. As I’ve watched this dysfunction deepen, I’ve started to consider other aspects of where we might be headed." 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Drowned Cities - Paolo Bacigalupi

Subterranean Press is doing a version :-

"Two very different characters dominate the novel’s war torn landscape. Tool, a figure familiar to Ship Breaker’s many admirers, is an “augment,” a genetically altered creation—part animal, part human—designed to serve as the perfect killing machine. Mahlia is a “war maggot,” a crippled, castoff teenager left behind by the Peacekeepers, who tried—and failed—to impose some sort of order on the fragmented, increasingly violent society known as the Drowned Cities. Mahlia’s relationship with her newly acquired “family”—a doctor who teaches her the art of healing and a young boy named Mouse who once saved her life—keeps her connected, however tenuously, to the world of human values. When devastation descends on her village and disrupts those fragile connections, Mahlia finds herself in an unlikely alliance with Tool, who may represent her last, best chance to save a friend—and preserve her own humanity.

The Drowned Cities is a story of love, war, loyalty, and survival. More importantly, it is an unforgettable portrait of a society that has lost its way, in which natural and man-made disasters have combined to leave chaos and destruction in their wake. Though aimed primarily at younger readers, this is a novel that virtually annihilates the distinction between YA and so-called “adult” fiction, offering a powerful, deeply affecting experience that will appeal to—and resonate with—adventurous readers of every age.

Limited: 300 signed numbered copies, fully bound in cloth: $125

Lettered: 26 signed copies, leatherbound, housed in a custom traycase: $250

Matching Set of Signed Numbered Editions of Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities: $250


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nebula Awards Interview - Paolo Bacigalupi

"I don’t think of myself as writing dystopias. To me, a dystopia is a deliberately designed society which is superficially perfected, but which is hell for the depicted individuals. That’s not what I do. I describe places where society has broken down or collapsed. I write about poor people. I write about places where technology went wrong, or we failed to adapt. And while it’s certainly hell for my characters, it’s not the same as what I think a dystopia is supposed to do.

I actually think of myself as writing our accidental futures. The kind you get when there’s a lack of forethought, a surfeit of poor planning, or just plain cynicism. And frankly, most of the worst details of the worlds I describe are based heavily on our present. Chittagong, Bangladesh isn’t a dystopia, its just a really poor place where we dump our scrapped ships because they have fewer worker safety and environmental controls. If I’m writing dystopia, then there’s an awful lot of our present world that fits under that umbrella. But hey, it’s a snazzy marketing term that doesn’t contain the dreaded words “science fiction” so maybe I shouldn’t complain so much. People keep telling me dystopias are hot."

3.5 out of 5

Friday, May 27, 2011

Master of Disaster - Paolo Bacigalupi

dystopian tales are infuriating, disturbing, and impossible to put down


"“Damn, the swanks and the rust rats are all the same at the end of the day. Everyone’s looking to get a little blood on their hands.” What’s the message behind that?

Everybody’s doing something to survive. One thing about wealth is that we don’t really think about where it comes from. When we think of having access to cheap energy, we have to remember that cheap energy comes from someplace. Around here, in Colorado, for example, we do a lot of natural gas drilling. So, you have a business that is predicated on many things. You go down and you frack the ground. That means you’re pumping diesel into the land and creating an environmental cost to extracting something that we use for our convenience. But there’s also a social cost.

What is it?

Rig workers work these insane shifts, so there’s a problem with methamphetamine addiction. They can keep going on shifts that run 12 hours, day after day after day. That’s going to break a person. And we live on top of that. The number of injuries and deaths in the natural gas industry are also on us whenever we turn on our gas stoves. I’m really interested in the idea that some of the things we take for granted—things that seem clean and pristine—are connected to long chains of things we don’t see, or don’t want to see."

4 out of 5

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Orbit Interview With - Paolo Bacigalupi

"I’d had four novels rejected previously, and was pretty determined to only write short stories, ever after. So I took the most interesting aspect of the world and wrote a different story (one that really was a short story) called “The Calorie Man.” That story utilized some of the ideas about peak oil and agribusiness and GMOs that I was interested in, and that was that. Later, I was looking to write another story, and I’d always found the character of Tan Hock Seng interesting from that original short story, and so I went and wrote a piece of his back story, and that became “Yellow Card Man.”"

3 out of 5

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Rise and Rise of Paolo Bacigalupi - Colin Harvey

"The literary quality of most of last year’s various Hugo, Nebula and other Best Novel ballots was as usual high, but the books tended toward fantasy, slipstream or baroque SF. Of the finalists, The Windup Girl looked more relevant than most against a backdrop of oil spillages and spiralling energy prices — especially contrasted against semi-invisible Eastern European cities, contemporary American expatriates in Japan, and zombies roaming an alternative Seattle; by accident or design, Bacigalupi has become the Voice of the Zeitgeist. "

3 out of 5

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Redemption of - Paolo Bacigalupi

"One of the things you think about reading is that you want books to be worthwhile—you want them to have lots of interesting ideas, you want them to be socializing influences, all those kinds of things. But on some other level, you’re just—and this is more from my wife’s perspective—as a school teacher she just wants boys to start thinking that reading is fun. You take them where they are, you get them involved with books, you make them think that books are enjoyable, that things that are there that are going to blow their brains, and are going to be really great. And then you’ve got time to introduce them to more stuff. The idea is it’s not the last book that they’re going to read, it’s the first book that they’re going to read. If there’s anything I’d like to see it’s actually more trashy boys’ fiction in the YA space, on the assumption that much like Gossip Girl in the girls’ space, it’s not going to be the last book they read, it’s going to be the first one. I personally haven’t seen a lot of that yet, but I’m not the best read in the genre so I could be wrong."


"It’s interesting because I feel like that’s the book where I took lots of risks. I mean, I pretty much took every risk I possibly could in The Windup Girl. So when you’re taking lots of risks, you know, your failure opportunities are big. You’ve huge failure opportunities. I suppose that’s the thing that made it good in other people’s eyes was that it was risky—I mean, it was as big and as ambitious as I could make it, whether it was setting it in a foreign country where I needed to do so much research, whether it was having so many characters on the page or whether it was just being so unapologetic about the violence in it or what. It was all risky. And so you feel exposed. I think with Ship Breaker there’s actually very little that’s truly risky about it"

5 out of 5

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

BSFA shortlist nominee, 2010.

5 out of 5

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ship Breaker - Paolo Bacigalupi

"Science fiction novelist Paolo Bacigalupi's first foray into YA has come up trumphs as his novel Ship Breaker has been awarded the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in Young Adult literature."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Subterranean are doing a limited collection it appears :-

"This Subterranean Press edition will include the novel proper, as well the two short stories that preceded it, and a new introduction by the author.
Lettered: 26 leatherbound copies housed in a custom traycase, including all the features of the Deluxe Limited Edition
Deluxe Limited: 200 signed copies, numbered from 1-200, with additional full color art not in the Limited edition, bound in leather, housed in a custom slipcase
Limited: 300 signed copies, numbered from 201-500, fully cloth bound"

5 out of 5

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ship Breaker - Paolo Bacigalupi

Finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Author with the Unpronounceable Name an Interview with - Paolo Bacigalupi

"AV: Ursula K. Heise states in “From Extinction to Electronics: Dead Frogs, Live Dinosaurs, and Electric Sheep,” that there is “the possibility of a different relationship between species: one that no longer privileges the right of humans—feminine or masculine—over those of all other life forms of life, but that recognizes the value and rights of nonhuman species along with those of humans.” This takes into consideration such characters in your fiction as human and posthuman—centaurs, bio-jobs, animals, and windups. Based on the relationship of the characters in “The People of Sand and Slag,” the future for humanity does not look promising. What is your vision of the future for mankind in the 21st century and beyond?

PB: I think—if we're honest with ourselves—that we all know that we will be making do with less, even as we try to convince ourselves that we've actually got more. We'll enjoy less open space, fewer species and less diverse ecosystems, less clean water, less clean air, less ecosystem resilience, less cheap energy. Life today is probably as good as it gets. Of course, we could actually start planning and preserving and living as if we've got a long-term interest in the planet—as if we're embedded and part of a much larger web, which I think is what Ms. Heise is referring to—but we haven't showed any signs of change so far. I'm betting we're going to stay selfish, and hand our kids a shitstorm."

4 out of 5

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This is What It Takes to Write a Novel - Paolo Bacigalupi

"Lev: Less of an emphasis on prostitution and sexual slavery I'm assuming?

Paolo: Yeah, they made me take out all the child prostitution. Or most of it. I was allowed to leave just a whiff of it in. But mostly they said, if we can de-emphasize this, and emphasize things like selling kidneys, that's better.

Lev: Those big corporate publishers, they just stifle your creativity. Congratulations on the Hugo, by the way. That is just incredibly great.

3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Emiko - Paperbiscut Paperbiscuit

Sketch of the character from The Windup Girl.

3.5 out of 5

Emiko - Ronnie del Carmen

Sketch of the character from The Windup Girl.

3 out of 5

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

2010 for Best Novel for the Windup Girl.

5 out of 5

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Interview: talks about The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

"In many ways, though, it's not just a science-fiction novel, right? Most of the technology you describe, at least in terms of non-biological technology, is older than what we have now.
Yeah, it's more like throwback technologies. When I say science fiction, I think of classic Foundation, I think of rocket ships. But there's this other tradition of science fiction, which is sort of the stealth version. It's the stuff you see with Aldous Huxley or George Orwell, where you're extrapolating about who are we, where are we going, what our society looks like, and I feel very connected to that strain of science-fiction writing."

3.5 out of 5

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Locus Award for Best First Novel, 2010.

5 out of 5

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Shareable: Earning the Future: A Q and A with - Paolo Bacigalupi

"PB: If you’re in a closed society, you’ve got a tiny little spigot of relevant information. Everything else is state-run media trash. That’s the stuff that tells you how the children sang for the general or how much the factory has produced, and those are the kind of toothless headlines that fill the newspapers in places like Laos or China.

In a closed society, there is information available but it’s mostly trash, so you have to spend a fair amount of time trying to ferret out what and where the real news is. If somebody has been disappeared, trying to ferret out why they disappeared or how they were disappeared—that’s all going to run through a backdoor set of information sharing structures.

JAS: Give us an example, please.

PB: When SARS was hitting China in 2003, you weren’t seeing it being talked about in state-run media at all. There were a few newspaper reports of some people getting sick, but then the story just disappeared, total silence.

Meanwhile, though, all these middle-class cell phone users were calling each other with news of seeing people in this hospital or that hospital—and so this wind of rumor running across China’s cell phones is how and where the news moved. Eventually the scale of the crisis became so apparent that even the government of China couldn’t deny it anymore, and they had to admit that they had the SARS epidemic on their hands.

In other words, cell phones had democratized information sharing in China: you could text somebody, you could call somebody—there were very few barriers to moving information around amongst groups. That wasn’t true when I was first there in 1991, when you just didn’t have that physical technology to move information around."

5 out of 5

Monday, May 31, 2010

Compton Crook Award - The Windup Girl

Winner of the 2010 Award.

5 out of 5

With stark, pessimistic science fictions, Nebula winner intends a reality check - Clay Evans

"Again, take the iPad.

"Where did you get the materials for the batteries? What people were hurt in the manufacturing and shipping process? When you ask about using oil that's running out. . . . If those are your data points, the iPad is just window dressing on something very ugly," he says."

3.5 out of 5

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Near Future Weighed Down by Today's Baggage - Karen Burnham

Which is mostly about the Windup Girl, and the author has problems with the prostitution role. People getting smashed into pulp by mega-elephants or thrown off buildings and killed isn't too big a deal, it seems, comparatively. Or wives and children executed.

3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Fluted Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Foreign Short Fiction Nomination, 2010.

3.5 out of 5

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SBBT Stop - Paolo Bacigalupi

"GB: I know you and I have talked about this before, but you see a real void in the marketplace of books for teen boys. Do you want to talk a little bit about that and how it inspired Ship Breaker?

PB: It was actually my wife who made me aware of this. She's a middle-school teacher, and she kept coming home from work and describing how reluctant her boy students were to read. When I asked her what books she was trying to hook them with, she named a lot of really good, really literary, really respectable books. Smart and sensitive and nuanced books.

They were also books with a distinct lack of ass-kicking."

4.5 out of 5

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Fluted Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 17 : The Fluted Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

3.5 out of 5

The People of Sand and Slag - Paolo Bacigalupi

SF Best of 2004 : The People of Sand and Slag - Paolo Bacigalupi

4.5 out of 5

The Fluted Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

SF Best of 2003 : The Fluted Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

3.5 out of 5

The Gambler - Paolo Bacigalupi

SF and F Best 03 : The Gambler - Paolo Bacigalupi

4.5 out of 5

Yellow Card Man - Paolo Bacigalupi

SF and F Best 01 : Yellow Card Man - Paolo Bacigalupi

5 out of 5

The Calorie Man - Paolo Bacigalupi

SF Best of 2005 : The Calorie Man - Paolo Bacigalupi

5 out of 5

Pump Six - Paolo Bacigalupi

Year's Best SF 14 : Pump Six - Paolo Bacigalupi

4 out of 5