Starting off our science fiction reading with The Water Knife

On Tuesday I floated the idea of reading a near-future science fiction novel.  The goal was twofold: to get ideas about the future, while having fun. Readers here and elsewhere (Twitter, Facebook, email) voted for their favorites and contributed more suggestions.

Bacigalupi_The Water KnifeAfter brooding over your comments, here’s my selection for first book: The Water Knife (2015) (publisher link; Amazon; Audible) by Paulo Bacigalupi.  It’s about climate change warping the American Southwest, and how society changes as a result.  It’s also a thriller, with a good heaping of technology and politics.

Here’s a Science Friday discussion with the author. (thanks to David Allard)

Schedule: let’s dive in and read this through mid-August.  I can issue a post a week, say one for each third of the novel, to keep you all on track.

After that, here’s the list of titles that received two or more votes:

Madeline Ashby, Company Town
Ernest Cline, Ready Player One
Malka Older, Informocracy
Ada Palmer, Too Like the Lightning
Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age
Charlie Stross, Rule 34
Daniel Suarez, Daemon
Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End
Andy Weir, The Martian

Let’s think about which one to read after Water Knife.  I’m leaning towards Company Town.

In the meantime, I’ll reach out to the author on Twitter.  Let’s see if he tweets back.

And happy reading!  Already I’m making sure I have a water bottle to hand…

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19 Responses to Starting off our science fiction reading with The Water Knife

  1. CogDog says:

    I’m game for this! By copy arrives tomorrow. As mentioned via email, my friends in Colorado know him and live in the same town. I’ll see if they can make a connection.

  2. Sounds good! Is there a reader participation element in this?

    • Absolutely.
      I’m going to blog my reading, so that puts up the comment boxen.
      If other folks blog, I’ll link to ’em.
      I’ve already noted this in Goodreads.
      Should we pick out a Twitter hashtag?

  3. I’m in! At least as a lurking reader.

  4. Hi Bryan

    I clicked on the Amazon link and this is what I saw. Screenshot_20160720-124601.png

  5. Pingback: Into _The Water Knife_ | Bryan Alexander

  6. VanessaVaile says:

    I meant to put my word in for Gibson (followed by Infomocracy and Company Town but didn’t get to it. This looks good though and, coming off 15 years in New Mexico, plausibly familiar. It intersects with other areas too. I’ll post the book on my community pages — and better order it today

    • I’d love to hear your New Mexico-inflected thoughts.

      The Gibson is a treat. Infomocracy and Company Town are coming up!

      • VanessaVaile says:

        I’m putting the book reading out on my NM network — hope some will join in, especially from the (often overlapping) writing and environmental groups. Teaching in teaching in a rural NM CC, I noticed my students had a much deeper water awareness than I saw in California or see now in Colorado.

        I ordered the Gibson — never got into his last series but read most of the first two.

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