One of the books I’m reading at the moment is Paolo Bacigalupi‘s lush, complex debut novel, The Windup Girl (Night Shade Books), which seems to have won every related major award being handed out this year. It has won the Hugo for Best Novel, the Nebula for Best Novel, the John W. Campbell Award, the Locus Award, and quite possibly, a growing pile of other, less well known awards because it’s just one of those books that comes out, lights up the critics, and runs the table.
And I don’t intend that in a snarky way at all. It’s a remarkable thing. The sort of thing lots of writers (all?) hope will happen with one of their books someday but almost never does. You can’t plan for it. Can’t set it out there as a goal. And I imagine, when it happens, it looks and feels completely different than what someone imagines when they were daydreaming or making a pitch to their spouse, parents, friends, or other source for another round of financial support so you can go and attend that special writers workshop or conference or what have you. ( Not that I know anyone like that. Ahem. No sireee. )
On top of the runaway success of The Windup Girl, Bacigalupi already has a winner of a collection in Pump-Six and Other Stories and I’m completely intrigued by Ship Breaker, his recent YA book. Here’s the author talking about it:
I don’t read much science fiction these days, but this is an author I’ve gotten excited about because of my interest in sustainability issues. He seems to consistently manage the trick of telling stories that live into futures that are completely plausible consequences of our current economic systems and lifestyles, but without coming off as judgmental. The story and the characters come first, which invites a wider audience in and lets them think and reflect rather than feel put on the spot or insulted.
May he continue to succeed, reach a wider and wider audience, and keep his head on straight.