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Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
James Tiptree Jr.
Sarah Waters
Roadside Picnic
Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky, Olena Bormashenko, Ursula K. Le Guin
Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement (Pivotal Moments in American History)
Sally McMillen
London Falling
Paul Cornell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Reza Aslan
The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi I think I've recommended this to more people than any other book I've read (except maybe American Gods,) and yet I had to let it tumble around in my mind for months before writing about it. Sometimes it's like that, and I'm so smitten with a story, or the prose, or... something... that I have no clue what I want to say at the end. I think the idea of all of these people doing such ordinary things, day to day, in the background, as they struggle to just survive in a world that has gone so completely awry, through no fault of their own. People who are just pawns and bystanders in a calorie shell-game...The best Post-Apocalyptic sci-fi, in my reading experience, is the type that could happen, if we don't get our collective heads out of our asses and stop the plundering of earth. We all want exactly what we want, when we want it, and tomorrow will be soon enough to reduce-reuse-recycle, and develop renewable energy sources, and quit dumping toxic refuse into rivers, and quit trying to create all these resistant GMO whatevers that crossbreed/pollinate/contaminate all the other whatevers in their immediate environment, etc, etc, etc. I include myself in the collective, as I sit at my lovely laminate petroleum-based desk, in front of my two huge and gorgeous flatscreen monitors, and occasionally pat myself on the back because I turn off the lights, put on a sweater and recycle almost religiously.There's a recurring plotline in Windup Girl regarding ice - it's the ultimate luxury in this hot, humid tale. Everything is hot and humid, over and over, until the heat itself becomes another character in the book, as much as Anderson Lake, or the Windup, or Hock Seng, and ice - ice that's nearly impossible to get - becomes a metaphor for the inevitability of what has been done to the planet, and how things will never be normal, and there will never be a new normal, not even if you can finally get your hands on the seeds from the old normal, not even if you can develop new sources of energy, you'll still be caught in the gears of inexorable decline. Still, it's human nature to hope, and maybe the Garden of Eden still exists, out there hidden somewhere, even if there's no ice.