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This review is from: Pump Six and Other Stories SC (Paperback)
(3 ½ stars)
When you're trying to review a collection of stories you naturally tend to look for themes or similarities. This is perhaps unfair to some of the individual stories but I'm going to do it anyway because otherwise I need to review each story in turn and I don't have the time or the heart for that.
I suppose there are two things that stand out for me that came through in nearly all the stories. The first is that Bacigalupi's style veers toward a lot of description of the background details. This isn't something I always enjoy but I know that for some it puts you right there in that world and makes it feel rich and complete. The second is that the stories are almost all kind of morality tales. They take a trend that's occurring in our current time and extrapolate it into a possible future and show the ill effects this might have, whether that's patented GM crops in The Calorie Man or global warming's effect on water conservation with The Tamarisk Hunter. Again, potentially this isn't something I will always enjoy because it can veer toward preachy but I think it most cases it avoided being too directly that.
My favourites were Pump Six - the tale of a society in decline where no-one is any longer interested in the technology that supports their lifestyle, Pop Squad - the story of a future where the trade-off for constant re-juvenation is enforced infertility, The Fluted Girl - about body modification gone mad, and The People of Sand and Slag - about the effects of physical invulnerability.