The Windup Girl, Capital Cities In A Swamp And Open Thread

A beautiful and finally tolerable day in the Imperial City. Call them ‘surrender monkeys’ all you want, but when Pierre L’Enfant in 1791 began designing Washington, D.C., he’s not the one who decided the capital should be on a swamp. Here’s an open thread.

We’re tuning out for a day or two all the click-baiting, ankle-biting meme chihuahuas (Gore and Portland, this person is or is not a racist, etc.) in favor of a new book. “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi. We recommend it.

People seem to think Bacigalupi is the next William Gibson (after all, it says so in the blurbs). Perhaps he is, but so far we find him closer to Murakami’s excellent Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Also highly recommended.

Reviewers suggesting it’s a new ‘Neuromancer’ aren’t completely off. That book’s now oft quoted “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” doesn’t convey the richness of “Windup.” And Murakami’s textured (and structurally clever) “Hard Boiled Wonderland”, although not as well known to most Amerikuns, while of the same early 1980s era as Gibson went beyond just ‘jacking into the net’ and explored some of the biological themes fully developed in “Windup.” What we get with “Windup” is a more richly created dystopian world.

Is Bacigalupi another Vance as others suggest, a ‘world builder’ without peer? That’s for another post, perhaps. “Windup” is a great read filled with wry observations about a future with mindless American-Davos consumerism/branding triumphant. Dystopian to be sure but always entertaining and at times witty as well.