My hope is that you, the reader, won’t interpret this as a slight in any way toward Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl, Night Shade Books, Nebula voters, Thailand, and/or typesetters. Really. It’s a great book. This series of musings on it should in no way take away from its greatness. Bacigalupi’s writing is evocative and clear. His characters are fully-fleshed and his near-future scenario is far too plausible.
Which is, in fact, the problem. His vision of calorie men and windup creations is bringing me seriously down. If he weren’t such a lovely writer, this wouldn’t happen, because he wouldn’t be able to make me care. And I do care about Anderson Lake and Hock Seng and Emiko (especially Emiko), so much so that I have stalled out in reading the novel because I strongly suspect that Bacigalupi won’t be merciful.
He shouldn’t be, mind you. I get that his meticulous creation is one where costs must be paid by all, even if any individual isn’t directly responsible. Generations of greed are being visited on these randomly lucky but mostly cursed few. A fake smiley ending would sell out all that he has wrought. It makes bleak sense — and I will be happy to have read it.
But right now, I might need to temper the reading with metaphorical happy bunny unicorn stories, lest I stuff my feet in tissue boxes and refuse to leave the bathroom because the world is plunging into the abyss. Any suggestions? And am I the only one having this response to The Windup Girl?