Sunday, May 26, 2019

Seven creepy fictional couples

Kaira Rouda's new novel is The Favorite Daughter.

At CrimeReads she tagged seven "literary couples whose relationships are deeply disturbing in the most fascinating ways possible," including:
Anderson Lake and Emiko, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi’s biopunk epic has a truly messed-up relationship at its center. The power dynamic in this one is not great from the get-go. Anderson is a powerful businessman from the United States, on a trip to Thailand to co-opt their resources. Emiko is an illegal synthetic human, a “Windup,” who is being forced to work in a sex club.

Emiko’s lack of power, choice and agency gives you a bad feeling immediately, and Anderson’s obsession with Emiko makes you feel even sicker. Emiko is kidnapped, bargained with and passed around while she longs for freedom, and Anderson seems truly convinced that he cares for her as all these things happen. The relationship is a grim reminder of how total power can corrupt, and how oblivious the person wielding this power can be to the damage they are doing.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Windup Girl is among Michael Johnston's five top books about extreme worlds, the Guardian editors' five best climate change novels, 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