The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Paolo Bacigalupi is a Locus award winning author. He was also nominated for the Hugo award for his short story, The Calorie Man. This novel is set in the same setting as the short story, The Calorie Man. He has also writen another book which I reviewed earlier on this blog, Pump Six and Other Stories.
The setting is a dystopian future. The world has run out of oil and global warming has devastated the environment. Giant agricultural companies use crop plagues to control the food supplies. The setting is in Thailand one of the few places that is not under the thumb of the agribusiness giants.
I like the characters; they are very diverse. Andersons Lake works for the calorie companies, Emiko is a genetically engineered servant, and Hock Seng is a Chinese refugee and business man. The characters are portrayed differently than most science fiction stories I have read. They are more fleshed out and human.
There are plenty of interesting ideas; mastodons used to power electrical equipment, coal powered tanks, and environmental troops used to protect the borders. The descriptions of the future technology are completely believable. The book is in a near future setting.
I hope that Paolo Bacigalupi continues to provide other interesting novels. If you want science fiction in the new style very much tied in to now he fits in with Charles Stross, Cory Doctorow, and Bruce Sterling. The book is published by Nightshade Books. Paolo Bacigalupi's web site is called Windup Stories http://www.windupstories.com