At this point, I’m willing to suggest we may have supersaturated the market in apocalyptic fiction. Perhaps its just me, because that’s pretty much all I read, but between YA dystopias, cli-fi collapse narratives, petro-collapse-chase-scenes, genetically engineered dinosaurs, and your good old-fashion zombie uprisings, readers are utterly immersed in end times. So when I say Paolo Bacigalupi’s new novel, The Water Knife, isn’t all that particularly original (especially compared with his previous post-eco-apocalypse works), I’m not saying that it’s not worth a read. It is. It’s a sci-fi noir thriller akin to Bladerunner… without the rain, with the tears.
It’s the near future, and the South West is just about out of water. Multinational companies, mostly based in China, build large bio-dome type enclave cities amidst the new century’s dustbowl. Legal, extra-legal, and down-right criminal methods are used to cut water from communities and shunt the precious liquid to the ruthless and tenacious. Reading this in a tinderbox dry Willamette Valley in Oregon this summer was a bit nausea inducing… but that’s the goal of any good sci fi novel: to make you more attuned to the world you already live in.
Review Submitted by: Shane D. Hall
Challenge: A book published in 2015