“Ship Breaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi



Nailer is a ship breaking beach rat living on Bright Sands Beach near New Orleans, a hundred years or so from now.  It’s not explicitly mentioned, but it feels like the same world from Bacigalupi’s “Windup Girl“: peak oil has come and gone, the days of cheap and easy energy are over, and devastating climate change has arrived.  Nailer and his cohort survive by scrounging among the relics of the past, primarily old oil tankers, for salvage.

One day, he and a friend find a “swank” girl in the wreckage of a clipper ship – a high tech version of the clippers of old, primarily wind-powered and able to traverse the now fully-melted Artic Ocean.  He saves her and gets involved in an internal power struggle between her CEO father and uncle.

Interesting setting, but the plot was kind of weak, despite being action-packed.


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