Summer Reading

I’d heard really mixed things about Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Wind-Up Girl ranging from “bestest sci-fi dystopia evar” to “misogynistic neo-colonial bullshit.”

So far I’m liking it.  Not to spoil too much, but it’s a future earth where the big American agricultural companies bio-engineer crops so that they can only be grown using chemicals from said big American agricultural companies.  (This is pretty much going on as we speak, anyhow.)  But it all goes wrong and basically global starvation kicks in, as the bio-engineered crops go rogue.

I guess one of the attacks on the book is that it really misrepresents Thai language and culture (book takes places in Bangkok).  I have no leg to stand on when it comes to judging the accuracy of those things, but about half-way through I’m liking that this is a totally believable world where a long time ago it was decided that corporate profits trump human lives, always, and even the most basic of things, such as how to grow a lemon or some rice.

So there’s a summer reading rec from me, if you’re interested in a pretty bleak downer of a sci-fi novel.

After that, I’ve downloaded a few of the recently deceased Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels onto my iPad.  I’ve only read the first one, Consider Phlebas, last summer and I loved it, but I haven’t made it to any of the other books.

What can I say?  I got on a sci-fi kick about two years ago and haven’t really come off of it since.

Oh, and I’ve still got like 400 pages to go in John Keay’s India: A History, which I should have tried to finish last February when I was on vacation in, you know, India.

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