Review of Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi

August 28, 2014 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo BacigalupiPump Six and Other Stories
By Paolo Bacigalupi; Read by Jonathan Davis, James Chen, and Eileen Stevens
11 CDs – Approx. 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: December 1, 2010
ISBN: 9781441892201
Themes: / Science Fiction / Dystopia / Biopunk / Politics / Society/ Environmentalism / Technology / Food / Death / Thailand / Asia /

The eleven* stories in Pump Six chart the evolution of Paolo Bacigalupi’s work, including the Hugo nominated “Yellow Card Man,” and the Sturgeon Award-winning story “The Calorie Man,” both set in the world of his novel The Windup Girl. This collection also demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction short story. Social criticism, political parable, and environmental advocacy lie at the center of Bacigalupi’s work. Each of the stories herein is at once a warning and a celebration of the tragic comedy of the human experience.

Let me get the praise out of the way first: Paolo Bacigalupi is an imaginative genius with a message. At times the writing is brilliant. “The Fluted Girl” is excellent, well-written, surely a classic. Every idea in every story is worthy of exploration and consideration and the three narrators are just fine, thanks. His views of dystopia are clever warnings; his ideas endlessly fresh and characters sympathetic. Slow pace is forgivable in his stories, like home-cooked food, worth the wait. James Chen’s reading of the Chinese accents is a great addition to the appropriate stories.

But there are problems. I don’t like having a book of short stories that doesn’t list the names – I shouldn’t have to look on-line for names of the stories and the order in which they appear. I also feel strongly that there is a missing editor. Some of the stories feel as though they are not in final draft version. If I had the print version, my teacher’s red pen would have been in hand marking suggestions for edits. Some information seemed more than unnecessary to the stories (these are short stories after all). It is disappointing that such genius is allowed “out” without polish. Is it possible that the world he created in Pump Six, where literacy has all but disappeared, is actually at its beginning, or did Paolo do it on purpose to see if we are paying attention?

Should you listen to this audiobook? Yes. Brilliant, not perfect, but should definitely not be missed.

*Only ten stories included in the audiobook:
Pocketful Of Dharma • (1999) • novelette • read by James Chen
The Fluted Girl • (2003) • novelette • read by Eileen Stevens
The People Of Sand and Slag • (2004) • novelette • read by James Chen
The Pasho • (2004) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis
The Calorie Man • [The Windup Universe] • (2005) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis
The Tamarisk Hunter • (2006) • short story • read by Jonathan Davis
Pop Squad • (2006) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis
Yellow Card Man • [The Windup Universe] • (2006) • novelette • read by James Chen
Softer • (2007) • short story • read by James Chen
Pump Six • (2008) • novelette • read by Jonathan Davis

Posted by Elaine Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #169

July 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #169 – Jesse and Luke Burrage (from the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) talk to audiobook narrator Jonathan Davis.

Talked about on today’s show:
Not the Jonathan Davis of Korn, favourite audiobook narrators, Luke’s real job (juggling), how to become an audiobook narrator (or a professional juggler), acting, theatrical acting, voice over, New York, Testament by John Grisham, Brazil, Portuguese vs. Brazilian Portuguese, Gone For Soldiers by Jeff Shaara, long form narration, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, urban samurais and Aleutian assassins, binaural recording, The Shadow Of The Torturer by Gene Wolfe, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, London, Paris, Iowa City, Thailand, genetic engineering, Japan, accessory dogs, GMO food, graphic sex scenes in mid-juggle, Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis, Zoolander, American Psycho, a 12 page sex scene, Star Wars, Genghis Khan And The Making Of The Modern World by Jack Weatherford, straight readings vs. impersonations, Yoda, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Luke re-edits Star Wars, alien languages, Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer, When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger, Ian Mcdonald, North Africa, Egypt, Arab Spring, Bedouin, narration styles, straight narration vs. theatrical performance vs. cinematic narration, Michael Caine, scalpel vs. laser, Mike Resnick’s Starship series, voice based books, Star Trek, David Copperfield, Oliver Sacks, The Watchers by Jon Steele, Kirinyaga, The Scar by Sergey Dyachenko and Marina Dyachenko, Starship: Mutiny, Elinor Huntington, existential resonance, Harry Potter, conspiracy, dystopia, Ray Bradbury, Cool Air by H.P. Lovecraft, Starship: Rebel, no research, just fun, language, audiobooks as a collaboration between an author, a narrator and a listener, Walking Dead by Greg Rucka, espionage, comics, Neil Gaiman, Catch And Release by Lawrence Block, Hex Appeal, Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files, studio time, The Book Of The New Sun, “do your homework”, “suddenly revealed to be a Texan”, an Aleutian Rastafarian, Hiro Protagonist, Minding Tomorrow, revealing voices, American Gods, George Guidall, “the perfect audiobook experience”, Woden (aka Odin aka Mr. Wednesday), The Stand by Stephen King, reading with your ears, preferred narration styles, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, racism, Dune, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Johannesburg, South Africa, fantasy fiction shouldn’t have an American accent, Luke’s SFBRP review of The Scar, House Of Suns by Alastair Reynolds, an Arkansas accent, inner monologue vs. dialogue, the Sling Blade voice, Casaundra Freeman, audiobook narration is difficult, learning the characters over a series, George R.R. Martin, A.J. Hartley, Act Of Will, Will Power, working with authors, Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh, Book Of The Road, male and female narration, Gabra Zackman, Jonathan is the infodumper, Full Cast Audio, a one man show vs. theatrical collaboration, Scott Brick, Feyd-Rautha, a Jamaican brogue?, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, do you like computer games?, Max Payne 3, Tron, “that’s my neck fat”, Vladamir Lem, Armando Becker.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Release from Audible Frontiers: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

September 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

Steve Feldberg, the spearhead behind the thrust that is Audible Frontiers, writes in to say:

“I wanted to draw your attention to our production of Paolo Bacigalupi’s THE WINDUP GIRL, which just went in the store this week.

Every review of this book is a rave – and it’s being called one of the best if not THE best SF books of the year.

Our production is especially great since it’s narrated by Jonathan Davis; you might recall that his narration of Robert J. Sawyer’s CALCULATING GOD won the 2009 Audie Award for Sci-Fi.

This one’s definitely worth a listen.”

Cool! Davis is also the narrator for the praiseworthy “Starship” series by Mike Resnick!

Audible Frontiers - The Windup Girl by Paolo BacigalupiThe Windup Girl
By Paolo Bacigalupi; Read by Jonathan Davis
Audible Download – Approx. [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: September 15, 2009
Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko…Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe. What happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism’s genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of The Calorie Man (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and Yellow Card Man (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these poignant questions.

The novel’s title seemed familiar, so I looked on my bookshelf and spotted Infinivox’s The Fluted Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (it’s also available via Audible.com).

[Thanks Steve!]

Posted by Jesse Willis