The Water Knife

Author(s): Paolo Bacigalupi

Fiction - Contemporary

From the international bestselling author of the Hugo and Nebula award-winning The Windup Girl, comes an electrifying thriller set in a world on the edge of collapse.


The American Southwest has been decimated by drought, Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches.

When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez is sent to investigate.

With a wallet full of identities and a tricked-out Tesla, Angel arrows south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive. There, Angel encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist who knows far more about Phoenix's water secrets than she admits, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant who dreams of escaping north to those places where water still falls from the sky.

As bodies begin to pile up and bullets start flying, the three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than any of them could have imagined. With Phoenix teetering on the verge of collapse and time running out, their only hope for survival rests in one another's hands.

But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.



In a not-too-distant future, the American South West is dry and dying. Years of drought have forced people west to the Colorado River, where duelling city-states fight over water rights and refugees crowd the streets of the dying cities and make deals with murderous Coyotes. Angel is a Water Knife, tasked with preserving the flow of water to Las Vegas, the most powerful of the city-states. Lucy is a journalist, investigating the violent death of a friend who thought he had stumbled onto something that would smash the balance of power. And Maria is a Texan refugee, willing to do anything to escape the gang controlled ghettos of Phoenix for water-rich California. This is an amazing read; a finely crafted thriller mixed with a cautionary eco tale and it is scarily plausible. - Lucy


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Product Information

* Featured on and in the Orbit ezine * Review copies mailed to genre and national press * Author website at

Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl was one of the most celebrated SF debuts of all time, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Following a number of award-winning novels for younger readers, The Water Knife marks his return to adult fiction. He is a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist, and lives in Colorado with his wife and son.

General Fields

  • : 9780356502120
  • : Little, Brown Book Group
  • : Orbit
  • : May 2015
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : May 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : en
  • : 813.6
  • : 369
  • : Paolo Bacigalupi
  • : Paperback
  • : 1