Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pump Six And Other Stories-- Paolo Bacigalupi-- Review

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi is a short story collection. It is mainly science fiction. The short story, The Calorie Man, won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. This collection comes from a relatively new press, http://www.nightshadebooks.com It looks like they have an excellent selection of new science fiction and fantasy titles. This book is c2008.

The style of writing is very dark. They address the destructive side of human nature. Contemporary issues like water pollution, agricultural seed control, water supplies, and mans relation to nature are addressed. I would think of this science ficiton as being focused on biological, environmental, and psychological issues. The stories at times are quite cruel.

There is quite a bit of irony used in the stories. For example in The People of Sand and Slag, a group of cyborgs finds a dog in a wasteland, they keep it as a pet until it ceases being satisfying to them, then they eat it.

The Story The Calorie Man and The Yellow Card Man seem to be set in the same future dystopia. It is a future of agricultural plagues and giant companies controlling the genetically modified grains which are used for both the food supply and energy supply. To be at the bottom is to be under the thumb of the environmental police.

In The Pasho, the author philosophizes on the differences between soft power; power coming from technology, culture, and philosopy, and hard power; power coming from war. A Pasho is a kind of pirest of knowledge bent on rebuilding civilization after a long collapse.

There are a total of eleven stories in the collection. I really look forward to when the author finishes writing his novel. The writing itself has surprising imagery in it. There are cheshire chameleon cats, fields of soyPRO and HiGro. The characters have varied names and backgrounds, Soldier Wang, Lao Xia, Lolo, Raphel Ka'Korem, Lalji, and others. This is a writer worth following closely.

2 comments:

Mr. Faizal said...

Hi there, just dropping by to say Hello,

I found your blog from the Big Bang Master List.

Have a nice day.

Book Calendar said...

Hello there.