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New Books and Maps » Staff Picks: Best Books

Windup Girl, The

By: Bacigalupi, Paolo
Price: $14.95

Night Shade Books, San Francisco, 2009. Robert's #1 science fiction pick, which also won the Hugo and Nebula awards for the year. Set in Thailand in the not-to-distant future, the book centers around genetic manipulation of food crops, animals, and humans, one of which is the windup girl. The oil age has passed, and corporate agriculture is trying to control the world through engineered viruses which attack food crops, though of course not their own. Thailand is one of the lone holdouts against this control, as they have their own seed bank and genetic engineers. Fast paced and riveting, and possible. Paperback, 359 pages.