Grim Futures

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi

First Look:

Looks hardcore and appropriately mixed-up for a collection of (mostly) unrelated stories.

Jacket Copy:

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 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.”


Short-story collection.

Worth Reading?

In addition to having the most fun-to-say name in sci-fi, Paolo Bacigalupi is extremely talented.  After reading The Windup Girl and Ship Breaker (Drowned Cities also on my TBR pile), I was obviously going to read Pump Six.  I was not disappointed.  Besides, look at all those nominations and awards!

Notable Things:

Variety!  The stories were set in several different futures, each very different from the last.

Creepiness!  Although horror is not my main genre, I like the delicious thrill of a well-written, creepy story occasionally–and especially when they’re so good!


Plausible futures!  Bacigalupi writes about futures that (for the most part) could actually happen, some in our lifetimes.  I especially hope that one of the future worlds where two of the stories take place (Yellow Card Man and The Calorie Man), which was also the setting for The Windup Girl.  Some of the other futures are somewhat less plausible, but still could happen.


Honestly, with someone of Bacigalupi’s talent, it shouldn’t really matter what he’s writing about.  Even if you’re not into scary futures and horror, you will probably like at least one of this man’s short stories.  Read it!  (Also his novels.)





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