Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

"Instead, she makes herself stare at the mess and recognise that she is no longer a slave"

This amazing science fiction novel, that took out both the Hugo and Nebula awards, is somewhat like the genetically modified uber baby of Phillip K Dick and, well, all the amazing science fiction authors you could contemplate.

Perhaps that sounds a little too much like literary idolatry, forgive me, I'm a little prone to superlatives.

Humanising a non human construct is central to the plot and the title. Bacigalupi demonstrates, through the treatment of the windup girl, some of the truly horrific aspects of human behaviour. Created to exhibit automatic sexual response and continually demeaned and degraded, the windup girl's treatment is reminiscent of the recent gender equality results the government published - sickening.

The best science fiction turns a skewed mirror on what it means to be human. This is exactly what is on offer here.

5 out of 5 fake humans point out our flaws

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