Tatiana's Reviews > Pump Six and Other Stories

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
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's review
Nov 07, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, dystopias-post-apocalyptic, locus, hugo, nebula, short-stories
Read from December 10, 2010 to January 15, 2011

It took me a loooong time to get through this book, and not because it wasn't good, but because I was bloody scared of it. I would finish one story looking like this @.@ and then put the book aside for a while to get some courage to read another one.

Bacigalupi is the author who doesn't do safe and comforting. His visions of our future are brutal, unforgiving and totally too believable.

Let's take The Fluited Girl - for me the scariest story in this anthology. The idea Bacigalupi extrapolates here is what will happen if humanity continues indulging in surgical modification of their bodies. I'll let you find out for yourself what "fluited girl" means. Hope you have strong stomachs.

Then there are stories that speculate about what people will become if they achieve immortality. Characters in The People of Sand and Slag are adapted to pollution to such a degree that they are able to survive eating just sand and waste. (They are also capable of regrowing their limbs BTW - and apparently this "feature" can be a part of sexual play, good grief, another shocker!) When these people come across an actual live dog, the disconnect between these humans and natural world comes to light in a rather horrifying way. The other story playing with the idea of immortality is The Pop Squad. Not to go into details, let me throw these questions out there - if everyone is immortal, would children be allowed to be born? what if there are some women who decide to break rules and have kids? what happens to these children? A hint: boom, boom! Not for the faint of heart.

Other stories explore the versions of future where: natural resources (water) belong to a private company (The Tamarisk Hunter), the exhaustion of fossil fuels leads to a world run by the corporations that own genetically modified crops that now fuel and feed humanity (The Calorie Man), intelligence is becoming obsolete and people revert to animal-like existence (Pump Six).

Like in all anthologies, not all stories Pump Six and Other Stories are equally good, the earlier ones are particularly transparent in their message. But they all are definitely equally thought-provoking. A great dystopian read for those not turned off by heavy subjects.
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Reading Progress

12/10/2010 page 25
12/14/2010 page 49
20.0% "The Fluted Girl - this one was horrifying"
12/27/2010 page 69
28.0% "Bacigalupi isn't holding any punches..."
05/31/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather Wow, you are on a roll with this author.

Tatiana Unfortunately, he only has 3 books and I am on #2

Penny I purchased this audiobook last night, though I have yet to start it. I'm wrapping up Windup Girl, which is so good. Also I couldn't stop myself from starting True Grit. (<----great read, by the way).

I'm psyched to start this one though.

Tatiana These stories are great, but, goodness, they scare the knickers off of me, especially "The Fluited Girl" and "The People of Sand and Slag." I need long breaks before I proceed with the rest of them.

message 5: by Tatiana (last edited Jan 03, 2011 09:48AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tatiana And I want to watch "True Grit." I hear it's very good.

message 6: by Marts (new) - added it

Marts  (Thinker) I've never read anything by this author but he sounds quite good, the review is quite interesting, and you all seem to enjoy him. So I think I'll add this one to my shelves...

Tatiana Bacigalupi is definitely one of the best young sci-fi writers out there. I highly recommend.

message 8: by Cassie (new) - added it

Cassie This sounds great.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I am SOOOOOOO going to read this now! You wrote a great review that had me googling right away to see where I could get this and see if they have it on the Sony bookstore for my ereader lol! Adding this to the 'too read' list for sure!

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Tatiana wrote: "Lindsey, you can check out some of his stories for free here:




Just read The Fluted Girl. Yikes, I'm speechless and that never happens. He's a great writer, he's just a big, for lack of a better word, sadistic. I'm afraid to read the rest LOL

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Tatiana wrote: "And I want to watch "True Grit." I hear it's very good."

And True Grit is really REALLY good! Hailee Steinfeld makes the whole movie in my eyes and that's powerful for a young girl to take center stage as a really strong protagonist with the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.

Tatiana Lindsey wrote: "Tatiana wrote: "Lindsey, you can check out some of his stories for free here:




Yeah, Lindsey, take a break. "The People of Sand and Slag" is no better.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Tatiana wrote: "Lindsey wrote: "Tatiana wrote: "Lindsey, you can check out some of his stories for free here:



I'm going to read my nice Meg Cabot book for a few days. LOL. After my Gena Showalter disappointment with her last Atlantis book and that story, I need some fluff. I have the stories bookmarked though! Thank you again! =)

Penny The Pop Squad really messed with my head because all the bang, bang going on. I found the Fluted Girl so incredibly disturbing that until reading your review just now I'd conveniently forgotten about its existence. Now my skin is crawling.

Tamarisk Hunter and Pump Six are going to haunt me 'til the day I die though. Nightmare inducing if only because both stories don't seem that outlandish. And yeah, I could see either one happening eventually. Tamarisk Hunter hits particularly close to home because I know that part of the country (Grand Junction CO) like the back of my hand.

I like Calorie Man because it ends on a positive-ish note.

Anyway, great review as always. Will you be reading The Windup Girl soon?

Also you really need to read True Grit. It is my favorite read of 2010, though yeah the movie is almost better then the book. And I never like movie adaptations of books. NEVER Until now that is. The Cohen (sp?) brothers are going to win that Oscar. So is Jeff Bridges.

Tatiana I am planning to read The Windup Girl, but want to postpone it a little bit. I won't have any Bacigalupi left to read after that for IDK how long!

And I want to read True Grit as well, but only when my memory of the movie fades a little. It was a great adaptation.

message 17: by Hannah (new)

Hannah You sure do pick 'em, T. This sounds frightening.

I need to make a new shelf called:
"Books T reads that I never will"

Tatiana LOL. You'll definitely need a very roomy shelf for that:)

message 19: by AH (new)

AH Sounds scary. How did you find this?

Tatiana Do you mean how I found this book, AH?

I've read and liked the author's YA novel Ship Breaker which got all kinds of awards. Now, of course, I have to read everything he has published.

message 21: by AH (new)

AH Oh, that's who he is. Cool. I must look into this, then. I guess I won't be reading it when I am alone in the house.

message 22: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea Caro I read one of the stories via the links you provided and I am scared to go on, oh my gosh.

message 23: by Cassie (new) - added it

Cassie I didn't realize he was the one who wrote Ship Breaker. I haven't read it yet, but am very interested in it. Pump Six just came in for me at the library :)

message 24: by Milly (new)

Milly Thanks for the review Tatiana. I don't think I have the stomach for it though. I won't be able to sleep if I did.

Inoli I would like to like this review a second time.

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