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100 sci fi women #60: Emiko

As you can see, am attempting to make up for lost time with a few new entries. Tonight’s is from the book I finished reading last night, which I will talk about more generally in another post. For the moment I give you…

Emiko The Windup Girl Paolo Bacigalupi

Emiko is a New Person; a genetically engineered servant, a human who is not quite entirely human, designed and trained to serve. She has small pores to make her skin silkier and has been genetically programmed to have jerky movements to ensure she cannot be mistaken for a real person. She is the ultimate Other; fascinating and repulsive, frightening and frightened; excluded from society and disposable; readily pulped bythe Environment Agency her see her as an abomination with no soul, using calories that could be used by others. Emiko is treated little better than a slave, dumped when her original patron thought is cheaper to leave her behind, left to fend for herself in a highly hostile world. She is sexually exploited and abused, spat on even by those who wish to use her sexually. Yet despite her training and her breeding, Emiko keeps inside her a spark of resistance and a dream of something better. She loathes her obedience and her genetically driven impulses. She finds a way to maintain hope within herself, to look for a world which could be better for her. With this hope she also learns about her own power; her speed and strength and resilience. She learns to hide waht she is and deceive. Emiko survives because she finds a way, because despite what she is told and how she is treated, she is in many ways, a better human.

She stifles the urge to clean up the rice, to make things neat for Anderson-sama when he returns. Instead, she makes herself stare at the mess and recognise that she is no longer a slave. If he wishes rice cleaned off the floor there are others to do his dirty work. She is something else. Soemthing different. Optimal in her own way.

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