Friday, January 8, 2016

Thai game

On advice from a trusted source, I'm currently reading Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl. It's quite enjoyable, for someone like me. Putting the plague-stricken dystopia 200 years into the future might be a little optimistic. Who knows?
There are four viewpoint characters. Three of them hail from Asian cultures: Native Thai, Malay Chinese, Japanese/artificial. The fourth is an Anglo-American businessman, Anderson Lake. As it happens, the character closest to my own culture is the one I have the least sympathy for. It's not like I have any special hostility toward my fellow whites. We are what we are. But Lake represents some unwelcome trends in real world economics. He's completely smug about this, against all evidence.


susan said...

Yeah, as far as the plagues go it does seem like one of those '20 minute into the future' things, doesn't it? On the other hand the New People, the mastodon spring winders and the cheshires were all very unique. His explanation of how the new breed of cats came about all sounded perfectly logical - and as scary as blister rust in their own way (as if the poor birds didn't already have enough trouble). You're right that Anderson Lake was by far the most despicable character taking a main part. Of course the guy who left Emiko behind sounds like quite a nasty piece of work as well.

Ben said...

The guy who left Emiko behind was a fairly minor character, albeit a pivotal one. But you're right, he really hasn't earned that "World's Greatest Boss" mug.

One of the few points in Lake's favor is that he's not viciously racist about Emiko and the New People. Although part of that is him listening to "little Anderson."

The way the building blocks of life in the novel have been manipulated is a little scary. On the other hand, if we're going to be succeeded by a genetically engineered super-race, I guess I'd take the New People over Margaret Atwood's Crakers.