Saturday, February 11, 2017

Five of the best climate change novels

Three Guardian editors came up with five of the best climate change novels, including:
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

In his acknowledgments, Bacigalupi stresses that his novel “should not be construed as representative of present-day Thailand or the Thai people”. His vision of Thailand’s future is less beaches and good curry, and more oil-starved, corruption-riddled nightmare.

At its heart, The Wind Up Girl is a biopunk thriller following a undercover corporate agent and a genetically modified woman – but its detailed, bleak depiction of the effects of climate change sets it apart. Set during “the contraction” – when the world runs out of fossil fuels – Bacigalupi’s Bangkok is one of only a few south-east Asian cities left, now below sea level and desperately holding off the rising waters with a series of spring-powered pumps.

Thailand’s environment ministry works like a guerrilla force to ensure the country’s survival, burning entire villages to the ground at the first sight of crop plagues. Ships transport goods, computers run on treadle-power and all the while, everyone resolutely acts as if nothing is wrong – so there is a little realism in this science fiction.
Read about another book on the list.

The Windup Girl is among Maddie Stone's seven great novels that show the real terrifying prospect of climate change, Diana Biller's 22 great science fiction and fantasy stories that can help you make sense of economics, Torie Bosch's twelve great pandemic novels, Madeleine Monson-Rosen's top 15 books that take place in science fiction and fantasy versions of the most fascinating places on Earth and Annalee Newitz's lists of books to prepare you for the economic apocalypse and the 35 essential posthuman novels.

--Marshal Zeringue