Paolo Bacigalupi's debut collection demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction short story. Social criticism, political parable, and environmental advocacy lie at the center of Paolo's work. Each of the stories herein is at once a warning, and a celebration of the tragic comedy of the human experience. The eleven stories in Pump Six represent the best of Paolo's work, including the Hugo nominee "Yellow Card Man," the Nebula-and Hugo-nominated story "The People of Sand and Slag," and the Sturgeon Award-winning story "The Calorie Man." The title story is original to this collection. With this book, Paolo Bacigalupi takes his place alongside SF short fiction masters Ted Chiang, Kelly Link and others, as an important young writer that directly and unabashedly tackles today's most important issues.
This volume makes me remember how much I love short stories. I love how they sneak up and punch you right in the eye, then leave abruptly without even explaining themselves. They don’t have much time, so they have to be blunt. I can really appreciate that.
I won’t summarize all of the stories, but they are all intense. They are all set in not so distant futures, but are all chillingly related to present day events. The calamities taking place in these stories are exaggerated (a bit), but what’s universal is the human reaction to these events, and human nature. All the horrible truths about us are faithfully represented here. We’re not really a fun bunch as it turns out.
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