This was a stressful read - it's set about 100 years in the future and you get the sense that a human die-off has happened, helped along by genetic terrorism that has damaged the food web and created plagues. A calorie man, looking for untainted seed strains in Bangkok is trying to make sure that his company keeps making money despite and from world-wide disaster. Other stories are weaved through this dark and violent future: The Japanese "wind-up girl" a manufactured human discarded and left to survive brutality in a brothel; an elderly Chinese/Malaysian refugee who is trying to create a future for himself after losing everything; a Thai environmental ministry soldier, working for more than one political rival. It's complicated and focused on this one location. You're never quite sure exactly what's going on in other parts of the world, but this one is more than enough to tell a compelling and cautionary story. Phew. I've got Bacigalupi's short story "the Calorie Man" lined up to read - curious to understand more about this world.