I got about 100 pages into Bacigalupi's Windup Girl, put the book down.. . . and never picked it back up again. I can see why it was shortlisted for a Hugo – a future where corporations and genetically modified everything is ubiquitous, artificially created people (who are people, but aren't? Maybe it's a little like being a Cylon?), the massive populations of southeast Asia and how to feed, house, and employ them all, lots of big picture effects, and story that won't be fiction if we play our cards right (or wrong). It was very William Gibson, very Ian McDonald, large scale, multiple story lines with multiple groups of characters. Massive amounts of intellectual goodies to chew on. I got no complaints there.
Maybe one day I'll pick this book up again, maybe not, but for now it will forever be listed under the too much for me category. I felt like I was being blasted with too many factions, characters, and plot lines to keep track of. Maybe they would have eventually filtered into major and minor, but since I didn't know who I was supposed to care about, I ended up not caring about anyone.
But that Emiko, she sure got my attention. I felt like I was surfing the Lifetime channel's website, grabbing sentences from each of their movie descriptions. She was like every character for every tear-jerker Lifetime movie rolled into one person. And honestly? It came off as over the top, which I'm pretty sure wasn't Bacigalupi's intention. The book is ostensibly about the will to survive, and Emiko being the posterchild for “wanting to survive”, but the over the topness that Bacigalupi painted her with was making me ill.
But you know what? First time I read Perdido Street Station it didn't do anything for me either. And I'm now a Mieville fangirl.