Fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Posted on May 2, 2010 in News, Ship Breaker, Writing | 11 comments


SHIP BREAKER, my debut YA novel is out in the wild. I heard that it’s been popping up in stores over the last week, but now it’s officially released. Here’s the book, with my son doing the heavy lifting:

SHIP BREAKER was a chance for me to write a high-octane adventure story while still touching on themes like peak oil and global warming that fascinate me. It focuses on Nailer, a boy working scavenge on a ship breaking operation, tearing apart the last oil tankers and freighters of the Accelerated Age. It’s dirty, deadly work, and he and the rest of his crew are always one failed quota away from being kicked back to the beaches to starve. But out on the ocean, Nailer can see beautiful high-tech clipper ships sailing past–a new life, fast and clean and free. If only he can find a way to get out to it.

The book just picked up a Starred Review in Publishers Weekly and it’s been made a selection of the Junior Library Guild.



  1. Sweet! The one and only starred review for YA fiction. That’s going to catch the eyes of a few librarians. I can’t wait to read it.

  2. Looking forward to it!

  3. Looking forward to reading it. It had a starred review from Publishers Weekly. It is nice to see you writing for young adults.

  4. Just finished yesterday–awesome read!!! Ship Breaker’s the best membership renewal gift KVNF’s ever given. Thanks Paolo.

  5. Ship Breaker was a righteous read. I have to say that between you and Doctorow’s For The Win it’s a sweet time for YA reading.

    I’ll be buying whatever you put out next. As much as the Opinion of an adult lay reader of young adult novels matters: dude, well done.

  6. Have you thought about coming down this way to NOLA and giving a reading? (Have any of our local Borders or BN’s even asked? Or our indie bookstores?) I have been trying to pimp out the book to some schools and school-related people around here. Reading Ship Breaker would have been an excellent experience anyway, but living in the area right now has really given the process surreal doubleness.

  7. Will there be a sequel or anything else from this world? i know it’s soon after it was released but I loved it!

  8. I’m reading it right now and I like it. You say it’s YA because the main characters are kids, but I like it because it doesn’t read like one :) haha. Reading it gives me the same feeling as Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan. I like Tool. I like how you write the way Nailer and the people at the Beach look at their world. Brutal, real. And Orleans! Wow.

  9. Ship Breaker is so much better than Leviathan. The characters have more depth and the action is more thrilling.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed Ship Breaker, thank you for the story! However, I was wondering…will there be a sequel or companion book? In general I thought Ship Breaker was wrapped up nicely and a sequel not really needed, except in the case of Tool. I was very intrigued by the character of Tool and felt a lot of questions were left unanswered…such as, How did Tool manage to separate from his Patron? Who was his Patron? Where did he go/What happened to him after he got off the Daunteless? I was kind of hoping he had hid on board and would come out later in the story, or that he would have returned to Bright Sands Beach and we’d see him later there. Either way, Tool brought about questions about himself and half-men that I’d really like answered…maybe a companion novel of his story? Just a thought. Thanks again for a great story though!

  11. Tool got me wondering too, I’d like to know if there is going to be a sequel and/or companion nove also. But if you had any other YA novels coming out I’d like to know about them!

    Can’t wait to see with whatever you come out with next!


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