Read The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu Corey Brill Joy Osmanski Online


Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his award-winning science fiction and fantasy tales for a groundbreaking collection—including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken’s award-wBestselling author Ken Liu selects his award-winning science fiction and fantasy tales for a groundbreaking collection—including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner), “The Waves” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), “All the Flavors” (Nebula award finalist), “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre’s history, “The Paper Menagerie” (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).A must-have for every science fiction and fantasy fan, this beautiful book is an anthology to savor....

Title : The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
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ISBN : 9781442397200
Format Type : Audiobook
Number of Pages : 16 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories Reviews

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2018-07-20 03:59

    Absolutely stunning collection of short stories which teach and entertain in equal measure. Ken Liu has an incredible imagination and these stories are all so different and yet all so amazing. I, like many others, come to Ken Liu after his superb translations of Cixin Liu's The Three Body Problem and Death's End and I can see that he was the perfect choice because his love of language and culture echoes that of Cixin Liu in many, many ways. I also saw some commonality in some of their sci fi ideas. But, it is the realistic depiction of his characters and the innate poetry of the prose that helped me plunge into each story. I loved each one and found that each asked fundamental questions:The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species - this one reminded me a lot of Italo Calvino. Questions asked: What is literature? How is it transmitted and interpreted?State Change - fantastic compact story with lovely vignettes about TS Elliott, Joan of Arc, etc. Questions asked: What is the soul? What is our capacity for change?Perfect Match - loved the reference to Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in C Minor, haunting dystopia where Google and Amazon Alexa rule the world. Questions asked: What is free choice? How much are we willing to compromise on privacy before our lives become completely passive?Good Hunting - love story with magic, steampunk, transformation. Questions asked: How big a cultural price are we willing to pay for technological progress? The Literomancer - gorgeous, painful, amazing. Love the idea of word magic, poetic. Questions asked: How does language, our choice of works, express identity? Simulacrum - spooky. Questions asked: Where do we draw the line in reality between the real and the simulated? Once love is objectified, is it still love?The Regulator - great murder mystery - idea of emotion suppressor is great, but open wifi is terrifying. Are emotions an impediment or a tool in a critical situation? Can we be redeemed?The Paper Menagerie - beautiful and magical story. What is memory? How do we see keep a sense of wonder as we grow older? Does magic exist?An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition (previously unpublished) - similar to first story but on communication, chocolate analogy. What is thought? How do we learn? Can electric sheep dream?The Waves - solar sails, greek mythology, russian doll stort stacking, seafoam was a beautiful image. Would immortality be a paradise or a hell? Is death a release or an end? Where is the boundary between machine and consciousness?Mono no aware - lovely - go and poetry and web of others eyes, kitten's tongue. How do we love? How do we express love?All the Flavors - western, Idaho City fire 1865 - awesome story about Chinese Immigrants for the railroad that end up mining and classic Chinese myths. How do we set aside preconceived ideas and open up to other cultures? Must the meeting of two disparate cultures always end in tears and bloodshed, or can it be harmonious?A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel - sci fi dystopia racism formosan. Can one redeem oneself from the unforgivable? What are the limits to human adaptability?The Litigation Master and the Monkey King - great story from Qinglong dynasty. How do we liberate history from willful forgetfulness? What is a hero?The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary -devastating but amazing. See this article to see that the Chinese are making swift progress with quantum entanglement in our era already. As for the atrocities discussed (Nanjing Massacre and especially Unit 731 in Pingfang, China) and the debate around their historicity and the guilt of the perpetrators, this is all very, very real. Note that the US is not innocent here either:"MacArthur struck a deal with Japanese informants—he secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731, including their leader, in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation."From Wikipedia article quoting Unit 731 Testimony by Hal Gold (2011)Questions asked: What are the relative values to subjective and objective perception? What boundaries define history and ownership of history? How do we deal with acts of extreme depravity without becoming deranged or depraved ourselves? Does every act of preservation necessary involve and act of destruction? How do we assign guilt when the victims are dead, their names and remains vaporized and the perpetrators neatly all dead? How do we validate history? What is truth? What is justice? Yeah, this one opens up a LOT of questions for the reader!I hope that wasn't too hard to read. Some things I infer about Ken Liu from these stories that may or may not be true:1/ he has lived in New England and Idaho2/ he is an incredible linguist with fluency in at least English, Chinese and Japanese3/ he is extremely well-read4/ his major social concerns are around cultural preservation, the indelible value of memory, the persistence of love5/ it would be absolutely fascinating to have a conversation with him over beers, whiskey or wine :-)Read these stories and be transported to different times and different worlds. Question everything. Lastly remember Socrates: The unexamined life is not worth living.Nota bene: I listened to this on Amazon Audible and found the dual narrators great - especially in pronouncing the Chinese names. But honestly, this is a book that I have purchased on paper because I want to see if the ideogram analysis he performs in The Literomancer and All the Flavors is illustrated with the Chinese characters he mentions. I have passed it to a friend already and she loves it and can't put it down!

  • Petrik
    2018-07-30 05:58

    The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is a powerful and beautiful anthology that encompassed some of the most relatable stories to our society, and some even felt very personal to me.Excluding translation works, this anthology is my first experience reading Ken Liu’s original stories. Right after reading Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Cixin Liu, I knew right from that moment that I must read more of Ken Liu’s original work because of the fantastic job he did on translating The Three-Body Problem and Death’s End. Ken Liu truly has a way with words, he weaved these short stories to become something that’s impactful by implementing Asian element and important topics in them. One of the main topics that are featured heavily in this collection is the struggle of adapting and coping with Eastern and Western culture; whether it's cultural, language, or just racial prejudice. Full disclosure here: English is my third language, I’m a Chinese, born and lived in Indonesia, and grew up learning Chinese, Indonesian and Western culture because of my environment and education. These are why some of the short stories here resonated more with me because I understand how hard it was to learn and adapt to different cultures and languages; I’m still learning up to this day. I think it’s safe to say that most of my friends and followers on Goodreads are not Asian, but even if you’re not, this collection is a must read if you’re looking to understand more about Asian history, our way of life, superstition, struggle or just want some beautiful and great fictions in general.“Our lives are ruled by these small, seemingly ordinary moments that turn out to have improbably large effects.”I’m generally not a fan of short stories and novellas, most of the time they’re too short to have an impact on me. However, this anthology has plenty of wonderfully written stories that are memorable, philosophical, and even features one of the most emotional stories I’ve ever read. Whether it’s Sci-Fi, magical realism, low fantasy, noir thriller, historical fiction, this anthology has everything. I highly think that some of these stories will definitely be a hit for speculative fiction readers like it did for me. I won’t be doing any short reviews on the 15 stories included in this anthology for the reason they're too short already, except for two of my favorite at the end.Here are my ratings on them:The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species: 3 starsState Change: 3.5 StarsThe Perfect Match: 4.5 StarsGood Hunting: 4 StarsThe Literomancer: 4.5 Stars.Simulacrum: 4 StarsThe Regular: 3 StarsThe Paper Menagerie: 5 Stars (Favorites)An Advance Readers’ Picture Book of Comparative Cognition: 2.5 StarsThe Waves: 3.5 StarsMono No Aware: 4 StarsAll the Flavors (A Tale of Guan Yu, the Chinese God of War, in America): 4 starsA Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel = 2 StarsThe Litigation Master and the Monkey King = 4 starsThe Man Who Ended History: A Documentary = 5 Stars (Favorites)As you can see, I considered most of the stories here great to amazing. However, like all anthology, some or few of the stories will eventually fell short. Before I close this review, I’m going to give a short review on two of my favorite stories out of this collection.The Paper Menagerie:For those of you who don’t know, The Paper Menagerie is the only work of fiction to ever win all Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards in a single year. There are many great reasons why this anthology is titled ‘The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories’; this is simply a work of art. Just within 15 pages, Ken Liu has created something emotional, important, and powerful. As an Asian, this one speaks tons of volume to me. Acceptance of your own race, empathy, motherly love; this is an imaginative, poignant, and magnificent short story that almost made me cry. Hands down, one of the best short stories I’ve ever read.The Man Who Ended History: A DocumentaryAnother super important topic on Unit 731, a lethal human experimentation that’s responsible for some of the vilest and notorious crimes done by the Japanese during World War II. It’s dark, violent, depressing, and made every grimdark novels looks like Winnie the Pooh. The crazy part, however, this Unit 731 incident is real, it happened. The world definitely knows about Nazi and Auschwitz concentration camp, but I doubt a lot of non-Asian in our current society knows about this atrocious incident. I’m not here to say anyone who doesn’t know is ignorant, absolutely not. I’m here to say, please if you don’t know about it, take a few minutes and look it up. It will remind you once again to always be grateful. Ken Liu has written something brilliant and impactful here within this short story. One of the most powerful short story I’ve ever read and truly the best way to close this anthology.“And yet, whatever has been lost in translation in the long journey of my thoughts through the maze of civilization to your mind, I think you do understand me, and you think you do understand me. Our minds managed to touch, if but briefly and imperfectly.Does that thought not make the universe seem just a bit kinder, a bit brighter, a bit warmer and more human?”I’ve said all I needed to say. By the end of this anthology, I will definitely read more of Ken Liu’s works, especially his Dandelion Dynasty trilogy. Although a few short stories fell short, it doesn’t change the fact that The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is definitely one of the best anthologies I’ve ever read and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for some diversity, brilliant and eye-opener topics in the stories they read. You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest

  • Lyn
    2018-08-08 10:09

    A beautifully written, powerful anthology of first-rate speculative fiction stories.Ken Liu is an impressive guy, besides writing he is also a lawyer and a programmer. Many readers first read his translation of Liu Cixin’s Hugo award winning novel The Three-Body Problem. I read his 2014 short work Reborn and so had a good idea he can produce a gem on his own.Building on ubiquitous themes of Asian-American cultural pluralities and Chinese myth and legend, Liu does an impressive job creating a continuing and pervasive sense of inventiveness. These fifteen stories, some sketches and others novella sized range from cool sci-fi to wildly imaginative fantasy and everything in between.“State Change” features a girl whose soul was an ice cube. One of my favorites was “The Perfect Match" which describes a futuristic Siri type all inclusive app called Sintillian that takes surveillance to a whole new level and Liu throws in some interesting twists.“Good Hunting” is a smooth blend of Asian myth and steampunk.“The Literomancer” is a heartbreaking story that shows an old man tortured and a red headed Texan girl in a morality play on Cold War policies.Another of my favorites was “The Regular", a novella length cyborg murder mystery.“The Paper Menagerie” was the story that got all the press and some awards, but it was not my favorite by far. A bittersweet fantasy about generational and cultural chasms.“An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition” (previously unpublished) is a very Poul Anderson kind of story, reminiscent especially of Anderson’s 1970 Tau Zero. “The Waves” is another Poul Anderson inspired work, this one like The Boat of a Million Years. “Mono no aware” is a Bradburyesque tale of space.“All the Flavors” is a western from the perspective of a little girl. My favorite TV show of all time is Kung Fu, and the Chinese characters in this western setting reminded me pleasingly of the show.“A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel” was a very Heinleinesque, optimistic alternate history story about – what else?“The Litigation Master and the Monkey King" – fantastic and fun, litigators should always be in the protagonist role. Liu the juris doctor shows his stripes.Liu saved his best and most powerful for the last. “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” Stories of Nazi atrocities are well known in the west but Liu reminds us about horrific injustices committed by the Japanese. Using some ingenious time travel ideas, Liu revisits the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and paints a brutal portrait of inhumanity. I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany a few years ago and it took months to gear myself up for the task and then months afterwards to recover. There is only so much horror the mind can take. I will someday read The Rape of Nanking that documents this same occupation, but reading Liu’s story has set this reading back further.For readers of modern speculative fiction, this is a must read.

  • Matthew Quann
    2018-08-11 09:11

    A review of all short stories in this collection featuring my parents!Herein contains a review unlike any other I’ve done! I get home so infrequently that I drummed up the idea of involving my parents in some of my reading. My parents enjoy the odd book, but aren’t what I would describe as avid readers. So I proposed that I would read them a story a night (for 15 nights) from acclaimed sci-fi and fantasy author Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie. All they knew about the book prior to the reading was that it was going to be fantastical. They had no idea that Liu’s eponymous story won the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award all in the same year nor, I hazard, would they have cared. Then, following the reading, I asked them two questions: 1) Did you like the story?2) What did or didn’t you like?What follows are my parents’ thoughts (collected interview style post-read) and mine in brief. I’ve done my best to capture my parents’ voices and reactions as accurately as possible, though I’ve truncated some thoughts where appropriate. These stories were read between a brief summer working holiday and the Christmas break. Enjoy!NOTE: my (brief) overall review is at the very end if you're just looking for my thoughts!1.The Bookmaking Habits of Select SpeciesMomma Q: No (emphatically)! I think the dude that wrote it was on acid or something. People that read by smelling? *inquisitive look* Who has thoughts like that? Those can’t be drug-free thoughts, he couldn’t have not been on drugs. Dad Q: At times I did like it!“WTF?”Can I start with that? Am I allowed to say WTF? I enjoyed that people read through science, smells, traveling through stars. I think it is about all the different ways that stories can be told and the way they change like when the Romans told stories compared to someone who does science writing. Matt: Yeah, I dug this.As I was reading this, I kept thinking that my parents had to be suffering through it, but I trudged on. Liu’s fantastical creatures have me excited for the rest of the stories and it seems like a pretty smooth move to start off a short story collection with a story about books and stories. I enjoyed my parents’ reactions and I really liked my dad’s interpretation. I’m excited to see what tomorrow’s story brings. 2. State ChangeMomma Q: I liked it.I liked the fact that it ended up nice. Everyone ended up happy and not dead. I like the concept that everyone has a different object as a soul. I wonder what mine is?Dad Q: Yes, I liked it.She lived her life as a piece of ice, and it is cool that she was so closed off that people didn’t even know the colour of her eyes. I liked that even though she was a closed off person, she enjoyed reading about other peoples lives. Also, a threesome. Matt: Oh yeah, big win!I thought this story was peculiar, but smart, well realized, and the perfect example of sci-fi done right. The story had a lot of heart to it and provided a beautiful metaphor for social isolation and how different personalities interact. This story was also radically different from the first, so I hope that the next brings as much surprise!3.Perfect MatchMomma Q: I liked it.The only thing is that it is a story that has been told over and over again. Dad Q: I really liked it.I feel like that’s what we’re living right now with our cellphones. Our cellphones have passwords, doctor appointments, phone numbers; it is the world we’re living in. Matt I liked it too!I’ll have to side with mom on this one and agree that this is a type of story we see a lot of these days. With that said, this was another well-done, smart sci-fi story. I get the feeling after reading this one that it could be mined for a Hollywood adaptation.4. Good HuntingMomma Q: I did like it.I didn’t know what was going to happen. I really liked how I didn’t have any idea where the story would go. I found it very original. Dad Q: Yes, I liked it.I enjoyed that the story was about adapting to changes. It wasn’t a typical love story, but I liked how it was about the two characters adapting together. [SIDELINE: Mom and Dad debated whether or not this was a story about romantic love, or a different kind of love.]Matt That was awesome!This was such an imaginative story and an excellent blend of the fantastical with a peculiar steampunk world. It was really difficult to know where the story was going, and I admit to being genuinely surprised by the ending. Writing was, again, on point. 5. The LiteromancerMomma Q: I liked it.I don’t know much about Chinese history during the cold war, or that part of the world, really. I like the concept of ‘do unto others.’ The torture scene was awful.Dad Q: I liked it.It was a bit all over the place, but it was a good representation of even after a war is over, it has changes. It tears families apart and changes people on both sides. I feel like I learned some life lessons about people doing good.Matt: I’m into it.But man, was that ever unexpectedly heavy. It really threw me for a loop to move from the really unique fantasy/sci-fi into this highly serious historical account of the atrocities committed by American spies against the Chinese populace. The mood was dour after this reading, and rightly so. I’m very impressed with Mr. Liu. 6. SimulacrumMomma Q: I didn’t love it, that’s for sure.I think that everybody should be forgiven and I think it is a terrible tragedy when people can’t forgive one another. Dad Q: I didn’t like it.It felt like one of those “Made-in-Canada” movies. The man was stuck in a life that was fake instead of interacting with the real one. Matt Hey, I thought it was good!My parents were, obviously, not that into this one; however, I thought it was poignant. It was so inarguably sad, but the message was a good one: forgive your loved ones. I mean, 10 pages of these poor people stuck in a limbo of dysfunction with an underlying sci-fi concept was, again, a great display of Liu’s skills. 7.The RegularMomma Q: I didn’t understand it, I guess I didn’t like it.I had a hard time following it. I fell asleep a bit during the start. I just don’t understand it, that’s all.Dad Q: Liked it very much.A great story. The detective’s trauma motivated her to use the regulator to watch her emotions, but her emotions also draw her in to help the victim’s mother. I think story about forgiveness and making amends. I like that all the characters came together through their loss. Matt This was awesome!I wasn’t expecting a murder mystery in this collection, but boy, that was great stuff! I often find thrillers to be not thrilling enough, or so fixed on thrills that they just end up being a slight twist on a story you’ve read before. This was smart, the use of sci-fi was original, and there was a strong emotional core to this story. This keeps on being a winner.8. The Paper MenagerieMomma Q: I thought it was really nice.I think it is what happens to us as parents. We’re not in style, or not the prettiest. But if you’re lucky, you get to grow up and find out your parents love you. I think it is a beautiful story.Dad Q: I liked it.I think the young fella allowed peer pressure to influence him. You never know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes, and so he never got to know his mother until after she was gone. Matt Loved it.Man, this one almost had me tearing up during the reading! Such a touching story that brings home the fraught relationships we can have with our parents and the difficulties we can have in understanding one another. Also, I love learning about Chinese history and Chinese immigrant stories through Liu’s gorgeous writing. 9.An Advanced Readers’ Picture Book of Comparative CognitionMomma Q: No, I didn’t like it.I found it so complicated. I don’t know what the point was of telling us all of those science-y things if not just to show off that he knows science-y things. Dad Q: I didn’t like it.WTF! The storyline, once you start getting into chemicals, distances between planets, and all that stuff, you lose me. It’s hard to follow a storyline like that, I don’t care about that stuff. I flatlined during this story.Matt Man, my parents are wack. This was great.Okay, a bit of an explanation. These are fairy tales about extraterrestrial races who are each supposed to embody one of the cardinal sciences. These stories are also interspersed with the story of a mother who left her family for the stars. I think it would be difficult to enjoy without a strong science background, but I just fawned over it. 10. The WavesMomma Q: I liked it.I thought it was awful sad though, everyone was alone. Dad Q: I liked it.I love the stories about the gods and goddesses, the whole alien thing was cool too. Matt I just thought it was okay.The story’s take on religion and creation was neat, but this was the story that I thought had the least heart. Still, this is a lot better than some sci-fi I’ve read. 11. Mono No AwareMomma Q: I liked it (though she is crying).I found it pretty sad. It’s kind of like Jesus isn’t it? Dad Q: I liked it (not crying).A few times I found the story a bit scattered, I wasn’t sure when it was set. I liked that the character followed the path that was laid out for him and wasn’t afraid.Matt I liked it (also, not crying)A touching story, so I can totally understand why mom put on the waterworks. Once again, this is a space-faring story, but I loved the Japanese influence. I also, completely ignorant of real rocket science, feel that his science fiction is plausible.12. All The FlavorsMatt: I liked it!This was one of the long ones (~100 pages), so I just read this one on my own. What surprises me most about this collection is that I expected a straight SF/F set of stories, but I ended up getting a lot of historical fiction. All the Flavors is a tale about Chinese immigrants in the US with a Western setting. Liu’s got a talent for exposing relatively unknown historical facts with heartfelt stories. This one is no different!13.A Brief History of The Trans-Pacific TunnelMomma Q: I liked the story.I liked that the main character was able to find love and talk about his trauma.Dad Q: I liked it.I think it was about how we don’t tell stories until we find someone we can trust. Matt I liked it.I liked the alternate history take. Was this supposed to be a realistic take on “digging a tunnel to China?” I certainly thought so. I also like the way Liu includes (fictional) historical documents within his short stories. 14.The Litigation Master and The Monkey KingMomma Q: I liked it.I found it a little hard to follow with all the Chinese names. It made it difficult for me. I liked the story of a good man helping good people.Dad Q: I liked it.I found it very good how they used songs to transport the story like travelling storytellers. I really liked it actually, I enjoy stories about sacrifices by good people. Matt I liked it.You know, I should have expected some form of law-based story from Liu, who is also a practicing litigator. I wasn’t absolutely nuts for this one, but I have enjoyed the stories that aren’t SF/F and are instead about Chinese history. **As a follow-up to mom’s comments about the different names, they were all very similar sounding (pronounced by my unsophisticated tongue), but would be easily differentiated if reading. 15.The Man Who Ended History: A DocumentaryMatt: I LOVED this story.This last one is also fairly long, so I didn’t read it to my parents, though I will probably get them to read it at their leisure in the future. Simply put: this is a harrowing and ingenious story. Liu has managed to marry the atrocities of Pingfang and Unit 731 with a sci-fi concept. In a show of immense skill, Liu examines the societal, legal, and historical consequences of the sci-fi discovery. What a way to end the collection, Liu is a master. This is why I read sci-fi.OverallWhat a wonderful, beautiful, powerful, and well-written collection of short stories. You’re not likely to find anything out there quite like Liu’s work. It is unique, well thought-out, and not just SF/F as billed. Instead, there’s a mix of history, literary fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, and intersections of all the aforementioned genres. It is a superb work that I’d recommend to any and all readers!As for the unique reading/reviewing format: also a success! I had a lot of fun discussing these stories with my parents, and it was a great way to connect over some complex ideas. It was a pleasure to bring a solitary activity into a social atmosphere, plus a lovely way to hang out with the parental units. Thanks Mom and Dad for being co-authors on this review!

  • Ivan
    2018-08-08 09:11

    I rated each story separate in updates and I could make average rating but I'm not going to do that. Whole is more than sum of it's parts and as a whole this short story collection is an easy 5 stars and only short story collection that I give 5 stars that isn't written by Ray Bradbury. Best stories in this collection are among best I read overall and even "lesser" ones didn't left me indifferent.In genre stories are rather diverse. There is good ol' hard sci-fi, alternative history and historical fiction, steampunk, magical realism and even noir thriller. What they do have in common are some reoccurring themes like clash of eastern and western culture, search for self identify, troubles fitting in, racism and racial prejudice. Favorite stories:Paper menagerieState changeMono no awareHonorable mentions:SimulacrumThe waves

  • Mangrii
    2018-08-16 08:48

    4,5 / 5Quince relatos y novelas cortas de uno de los mejores escritores de ficción breve de la ciencia-ficción y fantasía que cualquier lector puede y debe disfrutar. Ken Liu es un prolífico relatista ganador de los máximos galardones del género como son el premio Nebula, el premio Hugo o el Fantasy World Award en dichas categorías. En El zoo de papel y otros relatos encontraremos una muestra amplia y perfecta de los temas y estilos que asolan toda la obra de Liu y que lo han encumbrado como uno de los mejores dentro del género. Ciencia ficción pura, fantasía histórica, ucronía, thriller, mitología, realismo mágico, new weird o historias más experimentales se dan la mano a lo largo de toda la colección.Todas las historias tienen algún componente de ciencia ficción, fantasía, mitología e historia, pero el punto fuerte de cada una es la capacidad para arraigarla con historias tan emocionales, que tocan tanto la fibra, que te dejan el corazón en un puño. ¿Como nos afecta la tecnología? ¿Qué es un héroe? ¿cuánta importancia tiene la familia en nuestra vida? Los elementos fantásticos o de ciencia ficción se dan la mano en una serie de historias profundas y cargadas de significado en una lectura profunda. Un tema común vendrá dado por su herencia China a la que aludirá tanto en forma de mitos o de episodios de historia que te dejan los pelos como escarpias.La edición de El zoo de papel y otros relatos es un botín muy goloso para todo lector, y Runas lo sabía, por lo que ha apostado muy fuerte respetando la edición original. Como toda antologia cada uno tendrá sus favoritos y preferencias, pero todo el nivel medio exhibido por Liu es de una calidad exhorbitante, tanto que yo deseo que salga una nueva antología recopilando más material del autor. Mis favoritos han sido El literomante, Como anillo al dedo, Regulada, El zoo de papel, Mono no aware y Todos los colores; pero tengo en alta estima todos los relatos, todos han tenido algo que los hace únicos y especiales.Reseña extensa en:

  • Panagiotis
    2018-07-22 06:44

    Έχω αναπτύξει μια αμφιλεγόμενη σχέση με τις συλλογές διηγημάτων. Εδώ και καιρό τις αναζητώ με λαχτάρα, καταχωρώ συνεχώς βιβλία που πέφτουν στην αντίληψή μου. Μερικές με έχουν ενθουσιάσει, οι περισσότερες, όμως, με αφήνουν με μια γλυκόπικρη αίσθηση μιας υπόσχεσης που δεν τηρήθηκε. Μα ακόμα κι έτσι συνεχίζω να εναποθέτω μεγάλο μέρος των αναγνωστικών μου προσδοκιών στην μικρή φόρμα. Ένα βιβλίο το ξεκινάω  συνήθως πολύ καιρό αφότου το έχω καταχωρήσει στα "προς ανάγνωση". Οι απρόβλεπτες διαθέσεις μου κάνουν ανακατατάξεις, χώνοντας λαχταριστά και ποθητά βιβλία στον πάτο. Έτσι ξεκινάω έχοντας υπόψη πολύ στοιχειώδη πράματα. Για τον Λιου είχα τα εξής: θυμόμουν πως τον είχα ανακαλύψει στις κριτικές των New York Times και πως ήταν γυναίκα. Αμφότερα δίνουν μια προδιάθεση. Το γένος φυσικά ήταν λάθος, ο άνθρωπος είναι άντρας. Η πηγή τουλάχιστον ήταν σωστή, προδιαθέτοντάς με για κάτι λογοτεχνικά τουλάχιστον αξιόλογο.Ο Λιου είναι πολυβραβευμένος από θεσμούς γίγαντες της Ε.Φ. - οποιοδήποτε βραβείο μπορείτε να ανακαλέσετε είμαι σίγουρος, το ΄χει κερδίσει: Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, Sidewise, Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation. Θα συμπληρωνόταν εντυπωσιακά η λίστα με ένα Locus, για το οποίο ήταν υποψήφιος. Κρατούσα στα χέρια μου έναν βαρέων-βαρών Ε.Φ. συγγραφέα, με εξώφυλλο που θα μπορούσε να κοσμεί υποψήφια Booker, με διθυραμβικές κριτικές από τον κόσμο του Φρόερ και Φράνζεν. Οι προσδοκίες μου απορυθμισμένες, ήταν ήδη πολύ ψηλά.Το πρώτο πράμα που γίνεται σαφές είναι πως ο Λιου είναι εντυπωσιακός, είναι διαβασμένος άνθρωπος και ως συγγραφέας χαρακτηρίζεται από δύο πράματα. Πρώτον  η γραφή του. Οι ιστορίες του βρίθουν από ετερόκλητους χαρακτήρες, άλλοι προσγειωμένοι, άλλοι αιθεροβάμονες, περνάνε μπροστά μας ως τυχαία δείγμα του είδους μας από διαφορετικές ιστορικές περιόδους και τόπους της γης. Η αφήγησή του Λιου μεταπηδάει με μια εξαιρετική ευκολία ανάμεσα σε διάφορες φωνές ενός φάσματος, από την ποιητικότητα μέχρι τον ορθολογιστικό τόνο ενός ντοκουμέντου. Κατά δεύτερον ο Λιου είναι οραματιστής. Γράφει αυτό που κάποτε αποκαλούσαν speculative fiction την δεκαετία του 60 μέχρι που επικράτησε οριστικά ο ήδη πιο λαοφιλής όρος science fiction. Κι όμως εδώ περισσότερο από ποτέ, είτε γράφει μελλοντολογικές ιστορίες είτε εναλλακτικές εκδοχές της πραγματικότητας, με μια εξοργιστική ευρυμάθεια ιστορίας, τεχνολογίας και θετικών επιστημών, η βάση του είναι τα μονοπάτια και τα παρακλάδια τους που ορίζουν την μοίρα της ανθρωπότητας. Από τις σελίδες του βιβλίου περνάνε μύθοι παγκόσμιοι, από την Ανατολή μέχρι τη Δύση, ιστορίες ενηλικίωσης, μικρές καθημερινές περιπέτειες, εναλλακτικές πραγματικότητες όπου μηχανολογικά και τεχνολογικά θαύματα, όπως η υποθαλάσσια σήραγγα που ενώνει την Ασία με την Αμερική, έχουν αλλάξει λίγο την ανθρωπότητα, μετατοπίζοντας πολιτικά ρεύματα και πολεμικά μέτωπα. Μα τελικά, φαίνεται να λέει ο Λιου, δεν αλλάζουν πολλά. Είμαστε η ίδια ανθρωπότητα, με τις ίδιες αδυναμίες, να παλεύουμε με την μοχθηρότητα και την καλοσύνη.Στα μισά της ανάγνωσης άρχισα να νιώθω μια δυσφορία. Είχα πλάσει στο νου μου λόγια που θα τον κατέτασσαν στους εξαιρετικούς συγγραφείς που δεν μου κάνουν κλικ, χώριζα μέσα μου αποφασιστικά τα καλά βιβλία σε αυτά που απολαμβάνω και αυτά που εκτιμώ, τσουβαλιάζοντας τον Λιου στην δεύτερη κατηγορία. Ώσπου διάβασα την τελευταία ιστορία: ένα συγκλονιστικό όραμα του παρόντος, όπου μια φυσικός έχει βρει τον τρόπο να επισκεφτούμε το παρελθόν. Ο ιστορικός άντρας της χρησιμοποιεί την μέθοδό της για να στείλει συγγενείς από τα θύματα μια φρικαλεότητας των Ιαπώνων επί Κινεζικού εδάφους κατά τον Β’ Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο. Μέσα από τις μαρτυρίες ανθρώπων που επισκέφτηκαν το παρελθόν, καταγεγραμμένα συμβούλια των μεγάλων δυνάμεων για την ορθότητα του εγχειρήματος και δημοσκοπήσεις της κοινής γνώμης, έγινα μάρτυρας ενός δράματος πολιτικών, γεωπολιτικών προεκτάσεων, πάντα με μια στέρεα επιστημονική βάση που ποτέ δεν απαιτεί μερίδιο αναγνωστικό παραπάνω από όσο χρειάζεται για να γίνει ρεαλιστικό το όραμα του Λιου. Η διεισδυτικότητα του Λιου στον τρόπο που προσεγγίζει την ιστορία του όχι μόνο προσφέρει μια από τις καλύτερες ιστορίες που έχω διαβάσει τα τελευταία χρόνια, αλλά επανατοποθέτησε μέσα μου όλο το υπόλοιπο βιβλίο.Είμαστε καλομαθημένοι εμείς οι αναγνώστες, όπως είμαστε καλομαθημένοι γενικά σαν όντα και δεν εκτιμάμε πολλές φορές τις ταινίες και τα βιβλία που μας προσφέρονται απλόχερα για να δίνουν ένα νόημα στην μουντή ζωή μας. Ήμουν έτοιμος να ρίξω τούτο το βιβλίο σε μια αρμαθιά με άλλα υποδεέστερα και άοσμα, πάνω σε μια στιγμή διαταραγμένης εχεφροσύνης. Κι αυτό ήταν άλλο ένα μάθημα που πήρα: πρέπει να παίρνουμε τον χρόνο μας, ακόμα και με τα ωραία βιβλία, γιατί οι χάρες και αρετές κρύβονται καμιά φορά σε μέρη που η γκρινιάρικη και αχάριστη πτυχή μας θα προσπεράσει. Ένα από τα πιο αξιόλογα βιβλία που διάβασα φέτος.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2018-07-22 06:08

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum of my favorite books last year was The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu, but before he published his debut novel he was already an accomplished writer of many award-winning short stories. While in general I am not a big reader of short fiction, I’d happily make the exception for some authors’ anthologies and you can definitely bet Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is one of them.Like many collections, there are stories in here that I liked more than others, but overall I feel confident saying this is one of the best anthologies I have ever read. The book contains fifteen tales, showcasing a stunningly wide spread of themes and subjects. Readers of speculative fiction will enjoy stories featuring everything from artificial intelligence and virtual reality to space exploration and time travel. Many of the stories also combine these elements with influences from with cultural and historical sources, with a strong focus on Asian philosophy, mythology, and identity. Together, they come to create this profoundly heartfelt collection filled with beauty and emotion. For a more in-depth look at my thoughts on each story, please see below.“The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” is the first story, kicking off the anthology with a series of imaginative and somewhat quirky reference-style descriptions of several alien approaches to reading, writing, and communication. It is a quick, experimental “tale” that teases Liu’s unique brand of creativity and promises more to come in the rest of this collection, while also providing a lighthearted opener for readers before delving into the more emotional and sorrowful stories.“State Change” is a story about a young woman named Rina who lives in a world where everyone’s soul manifests in a physical object from the moment you are born, from Cicero’s stone to T.S. Eliot’s coffee can. Rina’s soul is an ice cube, required to be kept close to her and frozen everywhere she goes, which understandably puts a damper on her social life. Liu uses this concept as a clever allegory to speculate how one might live with such a limitation, treating Rina’s personal journey with empathy but also some light humor.“The Perfect Match” was one of the better stories in this collection, imagining what a world would look like if, say, Apple and Amazon and Google all got together and decided to take over all our lives. The scary thing is that if this ever happened, we’d probably not even realize it. The story’s main character Sai shares every detail of his life with his phone so that the AI named Tilly can plan his day using his personal data to cater to his every needs, making suggestions that range from what he should have for dinner (she has a coupon!) to whom he should date. But what is a life without predictability and its surprises? As Sai grows closer to his paranoid and conspiracy theorist neighbor Jenny, he begins to question this himself.“Good Hunting” is a story about a father-son demon hunting team. Liang and his father are on tail of a hulijing, a kind of mischievous fox spirit in Chinese legend said take the form of beautiful women to lure unsuspecting young men. However, Liang ends up befriending a hulijing girl named Yan and discovers that magic is seeping from the world as history ushers in the age of steam and steel. As Yan loses her shapeshifting powers and Liang runs out of demons to hunt, the two reflect upon bygone times and what their futures may hold. This story hit me especially hard because I can’t help seeing it a metaphor for my own gradual abandonment of cultural traditions. My mother still observes the ritual of burning “spirit money” for the Ghost Festival like the characters do in this story, but it’s unlikely that I will continue it; I still remember the slight hint of resignation in her eyes when I told her, which strikes the same kind of melancholic tone set by this tale about cultural change.“The Literomancer” was probably even harder to read emotionally, because it is a sad story that ends with a punch in the gut. Lilly Dyer is a young American girl living with her expatriate parents in Taiwan in the early 1960s during the height of communist rule in China. Having not made many friends at school, Lilly immediately grows closer to a local boy named Teddy and his grandfather Mr. Kan who is literomancer, someone who reads fortunes based on written words. Mr. Kan tells Lilly stories, which she innocently repeats to her parents not understanding the unfortunate consequences that could lead to.“Simulacrum” explores the effects of virtual technology in this tale about Paul Larimore, the inventor of a machine capable of capturing a person’s essence and projecting it into 3D, and his relationship with his daughter, Anna Larimore. Anna is estranged from her father, and this story explains why. Interesting concept, but the ending was a little too abrupt.“The Regular” was my favorite story in this book, an easy 5 stars if I am rating it on its own. A perfect blend of sci-fi tech and crime noir, this is a compact tale starring Ruth, a private investigator on the trail of “The Watcher”, a serial killer who targets prostitutes—except what he’s after is not sex but something far stranger. It’s your standard murder mystery, but with its cybernetic sci-fi twist and fantastic protagonist, this one had me riveted from beginning to end, which isn’t something all mystery/thriller writers can achieve, even with full length novels.“The Paper Menagerie” is the titular story, and for good reason; it was the one that won Ken Liu the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards. Jack is the son of an American father and a Chinese mother who immigrated to be with her husband after he purchased her from a bride catalogue. Growing up, Jack’s mom folded elaborate origami animals that would come to life around him, but eventually he grew ashamed of these paper toys and of his Chinese heritage, preferring to play American action figures, eat American food, and speak American English in order to fit in. Again, I find it difficult sometimes to view stories like this because many of its themes hit too close to home. Suffice to say, it’s a very emotional story about cultural identity, acceptance, and growing up. Embrace those close to you and tell them how you feel; you never know when it’ll be too late.“An Advance Readers’ Picture Book of Comparative Cognition” follows in much the same vein as “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species”, this time describing the different approaches to thought and communication. However, even though it contains a narrative about a woman and her child, this story didn’t quite speak to me the same way the first one did, probably because most of the descriptions of physics and technology went over my head.“The Waves” features Captain Maggie Chao of the generation ship Sea Foam leading her passengers on a long journey to colonize a new planet many lightyears away. To pass the time, Maggie tells stories of creation to her children. When a new discovery comes to light, the crew will have to make a decision that might affect the course of their mission and alter the future of their people. Sad to say, this is another story that didn’t make much of an impression, and was probably one of the least memorable for me in this collection.“Mono No Aware” is another generation ship story, featuring a group of survivors aboard the Hopeful after a massive asteroid makes impact with earth. It’s also powerful story about sacrifice and survival, but probably not as hard-hitting for me as some of the other offerings in this anthology.“All the Flavors (A Tale of Guan Yu, the Chinese God of War, in America)” is a cool little historical tale (though it is probably one of the longer stories in this collection) about Lily Seaver, a girl living on the frontier settlements of Idaho during the gold rush of the 1860s. Her town is happy to welcome a group of Chinese miners after a great fire wipes out most of its business and homes, for their money if not for their actual presence. Lily befriends Lao Guan, who tells her stories about Guan Yu, a deified military general worshipped by the Chinese. “All the Flavors” is different from the rest of the collection in that it veers away from sci-fi territory, focusing more on mythology and history so that this story reads more like a historical fantasy.“A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel” is an alternate historical about a joint venture between Asia and the Americas to build a giant tunnel connecting the two regions. Charlie was a former foreman on the project, reliving gut-wrenching memories of his time in the construction site overseeing the work of Chinese prisoners. The completed tunnel is a work of technological wonder, but at what cost? This story proposes that great accomplishments often belie the amount of suffering and blood spilled in their achievement. It’s an interesting one, but not one of my favorites.“The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” was probably one of the more disappointing stories, given my high hopes for it. Few Chinese children grow up without hearing about the legend of Sun Wukong the Monkey King, and when I saw the title I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this. Tian is a litigator who communes with the Monkey King. He’s also a clever and soft soul who likes to represent people from the poorer villages, and one day a woman comes to him begging for help. Instead of a cheerful take on the popular myth, this one actually takes a turn for the brutally depressing. I liked its noble themes, but it was still pretty gloomy, as it is with most of the stories in this collection.“The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” closes out this anthology with a devastating look back at the atrocities committed in World War II by Unit 731, a Japanese facility that tortured and conducted human experiments on Chinese prisoners. Following the end of the war, the scientists received immunity in exchange for handling over their research. Evan Wei is a historian who is determined to use a new technology to expose these crimes against humanity to the world, calling for history to condemn the actions of Unit 731 and recognize its victims. However, this new technology has a major flaw, namely that only one person can return to the past to view a certain event, but he or she will then prevent anyone else from doing so. For a short story, this one actually contains a lot of very complex themes and philosophical dilemmas. First of foremost, the description of the kind of “time traveling” technology described here poses the question: To whom, if anyone, does history belong? A thoughtful but rather dispiriting story told in the form of a documentary transcript, “The Man Who Ended History” is a powerful conclusion that reiterates and brings together many of the themes presented in the previous fourteen tales in this collection.In sum, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is an amazing anthology, even if it is somewhat front-loaded with the more memorable stories at the beginning. Some stories worked better for me than others, that is true—but most of the tales in here are captivating in very profound ways and at times carried a personal meaning for this reviewer. I don’t often recommend short story collections, but I will for this one, and with much enthusiasm. Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is a beautiful work of art, guaranteed to touch hearts and engage minds.

  • Kaitlin
    2018-08-08 05:03

    This is a wonderful collection of short SFF/Speculative fiction stories all written by the highly intelligent and eloquent Ken Liu. This wasn't my first time reading from Liu as I read his translation of the Three Body Problem, but this was my first time reading his own work and I was thoroughly impressed!What I think I loved most about the stories within this collection is that each one felt unique and genuine. Every voice of the narrator was different and they all had differing themes and topics that they dealt with. The SFF elements were toned down and paired back which meant that the stories felt as though they had more room to explore. I felt as though every tale had a deeper layer and meaning beneath when you looked into it.My favourite of the stories was The Paper Menagerie (the title story) and this is the one which won 3 amazing awards, World Fantasy, Hugo and Nebula. I loved the creativity of the tale, with origami creatures coming to life and fascinating a young child, but I also adored the heart and soul of the relationships within the story. The moments where we're left to question the child's motives and the mother's wishes, and I could feel the raw love.The other story which really moved me (although to be honest SO MANY of them did!) was the final one, The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary, becuase this was about Unit 731 in Pingfang, Japan. Unit 731 was an experimental facility where drugs and nasty horrible tests took place on human ones. This is a horrendous piece of history that I had never heard of. I was astonished that not only had I not heard of it but it was hushed up for a very long time by the leaders in Japan, and sadly now that it's come to light the stories we do hear are horrific. This story touched me, it was harsh, horrific and filled with death and disinterest. I couldn't believe the reaction of some people to the claims and when I learned more about it (from my own research after finishing) I was more horrified and disgusted. I am very glad that I learned of this, people who suffered should never be forgotten...That's not to say that all the stories within this focus on negatives, we have space exploration, time machines, fantastical creatures and much more. I loved the way that Ken Liu clearly took influences and reference from modern day, current science. We see one story about a man who was recruited to build the Trans-Pacific Tunnel (a concept proposed in 2014 but not yet actually sanctioned) and some very cool molecular discussions. I find that science can often go over my head when we get into nitty-gritty details, but I think Liu's way of describing things is both detailed and interesting with a sense of ease too.On the whole there wasn't a bad story within this for me and whilst I had a few which I 'only' liked there were so many I loved I couldn't deny this a 5* rating. I would hugely recommend this to you if you want something surprising, imaginative and filled with science and fantasy. It was a unique read with the Chinese references and influences too, and all of that combined made it work so well. If Liu publishes another short story collection I will for sure be buying that one too :) Highly recommended :)

  • Mike
    2018-08-08 02:51

    In retrospect I decided to up this book to a full five stars. It truly was a wonderful read and had some many diverse and interesting stories within it. While perhaps not as strongly linked thematically as Stories of Your Life and Others (also by a Chinese-American writer), they nearly all delivered on fascinating and engaging stories.One common motif he employed was writing about various alien (and I mean ALIEN) species and civilizations. One story looked at how they created books (or their cultural/technological equivalent), another about decisions various species would make to ensure the survival of the next generation. All had really interesting ideas for alien biology and culture.The other stories ram the gamut from techno thrillers that examined the pervasiveness and control of user-tailored choice algorithms to the Chinese immigrant experience in 19th century Idaho to an alternative history dealing with a transpacific tunnel with plenty more in between All had a bit of Chinese culture or perspective in them and they all offered up some interesting questions or perspectives to ponder.I think my two favorite were Good Hunting, about a very unique serial killer and the detective that tries to hunt him down and The Man Who Ended History which put forth a fascinating technology which allows people to experience the past directly, though at the cost of consuming that moment forever. These two stories showcased Liu's ability to write compelling characters and tense scenes as well as ability to offer up innovative ideas and extrapolate out how these ideas would change the way people acted and behaved.All in all a really top notch collection of short stories that will keep you fascinated and engaged throughout. Check out my status updates for a mini-run down of each story.

  • Lindsay
    2018-08-02 04:54

    An amazing collection of Ken Liu's shorter work that is always moving but often harrowing, and at its most disturbing when he turns his beautiful prose to historical events.This collection includes the brilliant "Mono No Aware", set on a lightsail spaceship fleeing a destroyed Earth and the emotionally gutting "The Paper Menagerie", dealing with the relationship a half-Chinese man has with his Chinese mother. Both of these are Hugo winners, but they're far from the only brilliant stories in the collection, with my other favorites being "The Waves" and the historical fiction piece "The Literomancer".

  • Thomas
    2018-08-14 02:44

    I wanted to love this short story collection, but most of Ken Liu's characters fell flat. These stories contain so much good stuff: fascinating elements of science-fiction and fantasy, themes that include culture and racism and fighting for justice, surprising turns of plot that keep you on your toes - but very few of them create a lasting emotional impact. Throughout reading these individual stories, I envisioned Liu thinking "oh, this could be a really cool *insert magical realism device or under-reported aspect of history* to write about" and then conjuring characters to fit his brilliant idea, rather than letting his characters drive the stories in a more organic way. Thus, while The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories stimulated my intellect, it failed to stir any deep feelings within my heart.Overall, recommended to those who want a short story collection that features many novel concepts, in particular pertaining to technology, culture, and the past and future of the human race. The collection contained a few heart-rending moments - the cultural disconnect between a mother and her son in "The Paper Menagerie," a woman who learns to melt away her inhibitions in "State Change," a daughter who refuses to forgive her father's mistakes in "Simulacrum" - but these come far and in between. Again, these stories spoke more to my brain than my heart, so if you want that type of experience, come dive right into this unique collection.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2018-07-29 07:43

    I will keep track of notes of the stories as I go since I'm reading this between other things.The Bookmaking Habits of Select SpeciesMore about storytelling and how our sense of being informs how we save and tell stories, I know I've read this one before. The ideas are very imaginative.State ChangeWhat if your soul were a cigarette box, or an ice cube? What happens when you smoke the last one or the ice melts?The Perfect MatchThe dangers of what we trade for our privacy. This was a bit preachy but I still liked it! The end is nigh."Surveillance is surveillance. I can never understand why some people think it matters whether it's the government doing it to you or a company.""You grew up believing you were free, which made it even harder for you to see when you weren't. You were like frogs in the pot being slowly boiled."Good HuntingA hulijing (female demon-fox shape shifter) and her journey to becoming a cyborg? Okay. :)The LiteromancerThe power of words, set in Taiwan, with a young girl navigating a new language and culture. Plus the magic of literomancy. And illustrated by Chinese characters throughout (as in letters.)SimulacrumI suppose if our family members disappoint us, we can always just speak to a virtual version of them, preserved in time. Or, if we disappoint them. The RegularCyber eyes, prostitutes, a truly noir detective story set in near-future Chinatown.The Paper Menagerie A story I've read and loved before, about mothers, how we can fail them, how they create magic anyway.An Advanced Readers' Picture Book of Comparative CognitionI ended up skimming this one because it felt like one description of an imagined alien race after another, without a lot going on otherwise. The WavesThis is probably my favorite first-read of the collection (some of these I had read previously.) It harkens back to Olaf Stapledon with the million-trillion-infinity years perspective of the universe, but following one character who evolves and migrates and turns into a creator herself. Mono No AwareA reread, from award nominees. The last Japanese person in the universe.Going to skip a few that I skimmed, but one is about torture and one is a western (?)A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific TunnelAn alternate history of the post-Depression era, where Japan and the United States united to carve a tunnel through the earth. Told from the perspective of one of the tunnelers, who has his own secrets.

  • Lata
    2018-07-21 07:10

    I loved this collection of stories. Beautiful prose, interesting ideas, and at times deeply sad. Ken Liu is clearly adept at a number of styles and subgenres; the collection ranges from coming of age to mystery to time travel to others. I was particularly moved by “The Paper Menagerie” story; it was wonderful and made me teary.I listened to this, and enjoyed the the use of two narrators. (On a side note, I also listened to LeVar Burton's interpretation (on his LeVar Reads podcast) of “The Paper Menagerie” story, and it was fantastic!!!)

  • Netta
    2018-07-26 02:45

    Short stories are not my cup of tea. Usually I stumble upon the collection containing few pure gems and plenty of minor things which I find neither charming nor representative. Hence I finally drew the conclusion that I should never begin the acquaintance with a new author with short stories, setting them aside till I’m sure their creator and me are getting on. Ken Liu is an exeption in this regard and exceptional in every other. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is a collection of poignant stories, carefully crafted from delicate words and vivid images which need no further decoration. Ken Liu employs what he knows and what probably troubles him and creates a piece of wonderful, glorious prose where every minor problem, every topic touched upon becomes all of a sudden relatable and universal. The opening story, The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species, is an epitome of how we read and how we treat what we read. Surely, this is the best opening one can imagine for this collection. There are, of course, some minor stories that I failed to love (though I did my best!) but I take the blame. The reason is that I’m not really into Sci-Fi no matter how deep and meaningful it is. What I prefer to concentrate on writing this review is the gems that I discovered reading the book, the stories I would remember and cherish because they made me cry or smile or think. They made me feel myself a part of something huge and universal which does not acknowledge cultural or social differences. These stories take you to the world of Ken Liu’s imagination and give you terrifying, grandiose visions of the future that hopefully would never be or the past that would better not existed. Or it takes you to the place crowded with myths, magic and imaginary beings. These stories aren’t equally good but they are very well written nonetheless and those that find a way to your heart will be worth spending time on this book. I’m going to give you two examples of what you may find in this book by sharing with you two gems that I’ve found in this journey. The first one is the story which gave the title to this book. The Paper Menagerie is what I’d call a private tragedy. It’s the story of a Chinese mother making paper animals for her desperately longing to be an American son and powerful magic of memory and love which slowly unfolds in the middle of American dream. The second one is the devastating story of time travel, Unit 731 and a man who wanted to change the way people perceive history. The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary is a perfect example of how one can employ Sci-Fi tools to tell the story which keep ringing in your ears like a bell. ”There are no monsters. The monster is us”, says Ken Liu. I’m sad to admit he’s right. In between these two stories you will find plenty of fantastic stuff. The story of what an old man can do with words when a bit of decent magic is involved. The story of love which became an object, mere shadow of reality. The story of the future where people are dominated by the machine. And many more stories embodying elegant, powerful prose. In the end, all of them are just one bigger than life story of injustice, and “one has to be careful, whenever one tells a story about a great injustice”, and one happened to be brilliant.

  • David Yoon
    2018-08-04 09:03

    Despite a shaky start — a thoughtful story that’s a tad too clinical for my liking — this collection blew me away. Ken Liu talks in the preface about prizing the logic of metaphors and you can see how carefully he prizes that in his stories. Nearly every one works on multiple levels without feeling heavy handed. Some stories he manages to write historical fiction that’s somehow science fiction at the same time, others are straight ahead sci-fi thrillers that could easily warrant an entire book. I tore through the collection and found myself surprised at the risks Liu was willing to take, yet still somehow managed to pull it all off. Magical realism, cultural commentary, steampunk, old-school sci-fi, historical fiction, cyber noir it’s all here and all wonderfully done.

  • Joaquin Garza
    2018-07-29 07:08

    Estoy fascinado con la frase ‘Todo lo que existe bajo el cielo’. Es un concepto teológico y político que resulta en una forma muy poética de referirse a China. Lo utilizó Guy Gavriel Kay para intitular su novela ambientada en una versión fantástica del reino medio y lo usó el propio Liu como título de la primera parte de La Gracia de los Reyes. El uso de la frase, fuera del contexto chinesco, viene a cuento porque esta pequeña antología de 539 páginas nos demuestra que Ken Liu es capaz de escribir ‘todo lo que existe bajo el cielo’ de la ficción especulativa. Y hacerlo con una delicia, con una cadencia y con un sentimiento que me parecen poco equiparables a los de la mayoría de los escritores contemporáneos de fantasía y ciencia ficción. Pasa algo curioso con la ficción especulativa breve. Que es casi literaria, cuando no plenamente literaria. Autores candidateados para el Nobel como Borges y Calvino escribieron cuentos que podrían estar junto a los de Bradbury y Asimov en un libro sin problema. El cuento fantástico per se tiene una formalidad y una seriedad que son difíciles de encontrar en novelas del género. Es más, de autores mucho más comerciales se nota una superioridad técnica en sus obras de ficción breve sobre los mamotretos a los que se ha empujado a la fantasía (nótese lo que opino de las novelas cortas de El Caballero de los Siete Reinos y de Shadows for Silence). Es casi como si la ficción breve de los fantasistas estuviera en una liga o un planeta distintos a los de esas novelas de miles de páginas y cientos de relleno. Y bueno… ¿Qué tanto nos ha entregado Ken Liu? Repito: todo lo que existe bajo el cielo. Ciencia ficción a lo Clarke con sus ramificaciones teológicas, ciencia ficción a lo Bradbury con los efectos de la tecnología sobre la sociedad humana con un refrescante toque contemporáneo, un par de realismos mágicos, una historia de steampunk, una historia de dieselpunk, un thriller cibernético contenido en 80 páginas, una de vaqueros con pasajes de la mitología china. Todos ellos amparados bajo el persistente tema de lo que es ser un chino en China y un estadounidense de ascendencia china, con ese enorme y doloroso bagaje cultural de siglos y siglos. Liu pone preguntas sobre la mesa con la soltura y la meticulosidad de un Gran Maestro de la Ciencia Ficción. Si bien hay pequeños detalles que me hacen creer que Liu no está a la altura de un Bradbury, digamos (lo ‘esperado’ de algunos relatos, el uso del recurso especulativo obvio, lo manido de algunas temáticas –el cuento de Perfect Match que se parece tanto al Círculo de Eggers-), lo importante no está precisamente ahí. Lo importante es que los cuentos, en su mayoría, muerden. No hay uno que sea precisamente alegre. Estas historias muerden con tramas que hablan de padres e hijos, descendientes y antepasados (esto último es muuuy chino), hermanos y hermanas. Cuentos que hablan de construir futuros y rescatar pasados y hacer presentes y las implicaciones de todo ello, viéndose siempre de cara al choque cultural. Como adición al canon de la ciencia ficción, Liu tiene bastante que dar. Y concluyo con varias frases que me saqué de la chinesca ópera Turandot. Ojalá vivas diez mil años, Ken Liu: tu obra es grave, enorme, imponente.

  • Bob Milne
    2018-07-20 03:54

    As much as I wanted to love The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, I have to be honest in that I only thought it was okay. I mean, I can see how these stories established a reputation for Ken Liu, and there’s no doubt that some of them are indeed award worthy, but I didn’t connect with nearly as many as I would have liked.Before you start getting disappointed, however, let me say that I blame the format, not necessarily the content. I’ve always been drawn to doorstopper fantasy novels like The Grace of Kings, where we have six or seven hundred pages to immerse ourselves in the world, so it’s not a surprise that many of these stories fell flat or felt a little shallow.Having said all that, I’d be remiss if I didn’t heap some praise on those stories that did work for me.“State Change” hooked me from the start, with a young woman’s strange obsession with freezers, glaciers, and ice cubes. Rina lives in a world where our souls physically manifest as small items that we must keep close at all times, which is easy enough if your soul is a rock or a cigarette package, not so much when it’s something as fragile as an ice cube. It’s the subtle twists at the end, however, where there magic happens.“Good Hunting” was probably my favorite in the collection, being a story about ghosts, demons, steam-trains, and eternal change. Once a world of magic and monsters, China has seen all of that disappear as the railroad makes its way across the land. Faced with the loss of his family’s legacy, Liang befriends a young shapeshifter and comes to understand the nature of change and the mechanics of being an agent of change.“The Regular” is a story I didn’t expect much out of, as crime stories and murder mysteries really aren’t my thing, but then we learn that Regulators are . . . and what they’ve done to Ruth’s capacity for emotion. There is a lot going on in this story, with much of it either in the past or beneath the surface of the narrative, and the climax is one of the most powerful scenes in the collection.“A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel” is comprised of stories within stories, with excerpts from A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel (1960) and The Ignoramus’s Guide to American History (1995) interspersed within the tale of interracial romance, with one man’s reminiscing being the final, darkest piece that brings it all together.An uneven collection (for me, at least), that was far heavier on politics, history, and sociology than I anticipated, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories didn’t amaze me like The Grace of Kings did, but it may be the perfect appetizer for those not yet ready to commit to one doorstopper with another on the way later this year.Thanks to Saga Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  • Pavle
    2018-08-04 03:46

    Možda zbirno i najbolja zbirka koju sam pročitao (i prva cela knjiga koju sam preslušao u audio formatu!), od čitavih četiri-pet koji krase moju biblioteku, ali konkurencija nije nimalo slaba. Ken Liu (prva generacija svoje porodice da je rodjen u SAD) u uvodu u zbirku sam kaže da ne kategorizuje svoje priče ni u jedan žanr: ni u sajfaj, ni u fantastiku, ni u istorijsku fikciju. To su priče, njegove priče, i iako stvarno dele te neke žanrovske obrasce (i sajfaja i fantastike i itd.), to ovde uopšte nije u fokusu. Izdvaja ih nešto lično što Liu majstorski upliće u finu strukturu fabule, to kucajuće srce, srce zarobljeno izmedju istoka i zapada njegove ličnosti, u centru (skoro) svake priče. Elem: 1. The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species - enciklopedijski uvod, razmišljanje o raznim načinima čuvanja sećanja (tj. pisanja knjiga) raznih vanzemaljskih vrsta. inteligentno i britko napisano. 9/102. State Change - jak, vrlo jak koncept, i da ne kvarim ništa više. 10/103. The Perfect Match - e, ova mi se nimalo nije dopala. za Liu-a, bledo, a i već vidjeno. dosadno. 4/104. Good Hunting - neočekivano, spektakularno, sasvim drugačije. stimpank kolonizovanog istoka koji ne može više da trpi zapadnjačku opresiju. 10/105. The Literomancer - uh, ovo je bilo jako mučno. spoj naslovne priče i prethodne (4.), ostavlja utisak. 9/106. Simulacrum - da nije toliko zaboravno (što je možda povezano sa tim da je jedna od kraćih priča, strukture dokumentarca), bilo bi super. 7/107. The Regular - triler sa primesom sajfaja. čitljivo, ali meh. 6/108. The Paper Menagerie - traži suze, dobija suze. sa razlogom najnagradjivanija. 10/109. An Advance Readers' Picture Book of Comparative Cognition - jako slično sa prvom, iako malo slabija (pre svega zbog toga što pomalo deluje kao bleda verzija Ćangove Priče tvog života), i sjajan par sa sledećom pričom. 8/1010. The Waves - priča o ljudskoj rasi u egzilu i problemu besmrtnosti, vremena, lepote. 10/1011. Mono No Aware - podseća na prethodne talase tako što može da bude na neki način njen prikvel, jedan specifični kliše je vuče dole. ipak. 7,5/1012. All the Flavours – negde nakon prve trećine sam otkrio da je audio fajl kvaran i nikako da nadjem ovih dana drugu verziju. zato neko vreme i zaledjenih 67% pročitanog. bez ocene, ali nije mi delovalo kao nešto što bi mi se dopalo. ako nadjem, dodaću. /13. A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel – alternativna istorija smeštena izmedju dva svetska rata koja prati izgradnju i život u naslovnom trans-pacifičkom tunelu izmedju Japana, Kine i Amerike. intimna, ali istovremeno i društvena kritika. 8.5/1014. The Litigation Master and the Monkey King – teško svarljivo, ali upečatljivo. o prirodi herojstva i šire. 9/1015. The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary – dostojan kraj, možda malko predugačak. 8.5/10sr. ocena: 8.32/10 --/2--> 4.16/5, ali mislim da nije u redu da ostane jaka četvorka.5-

  • Andreas
    2018-08-19 06:49

    This is only a summary of the full reviews of the stories in this collection, which you'll find at my blog.I've previously read Lius's story The Regular and his last year's novel The Grace of Kings. Both make me think that this could be a must-read. I went first to the eponymous story The Paper Menagerie and after a couple of stories, I realized the author's diversity in style and topics: I became a fan of this author, as you'll never get bored, be it tin-foiled sharks or atrocities from Unit 731. Liu often contrasts Western and Eastern culture, placing a Chinese woman in the midst of USA in his awards winning story The Paper Menagerie, or the other way round, placing a U.S. family in the counterintelligence cold war of Taiwan's 60s in The Literomancer. But don't reduce the author to this topic alone: The stories' genres vary between magical realism (State Change), steampunk (Good Hunting), near future SF (The Regular, Simulacrum) or dystopia (The Perfect Match). I didn't find horror stories in it, although they are sometimes at the border to it, e.g. when describing torture scenes like in The Literomancer. This sometimes bleak realism contrasts fascinating magic or unreal setting which creep into the story, like in State Change where souls manifest in real objects.Lius's publication frequency exploded since 2010, the collection contains only one story State Change from 2004 before that year. Now that he started his novels from the Dandelion War, Liu said that he won't publish that many shorter works any more. An exception would be the excellent, but previously unpublished story An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition which will delight old fans and new. In this sense, the collection is a kind of retrospective and I can fully recommend it.One constant factor remains: How many U.S. girls curious about Chinese culture will crawl out of Liu's pen?

  • Vicky N.
    2018-08-08 08:44

    The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is a collection of 15 short stories by writer Ken Liu. In this collection there's composed mostly of speculative fiction you can also find Magical Realism and Alternate History. They are all very rich stories of Chinese culture and Asian Mythology.Each story is different than the one before it and the next one. They are all gripping and incredibly narrated.Some of my favorites in no particular order are:* The Paper Menagerie: The story that gives the name to the collection is also the winner of a Hugo, a Nebula and a World Fantasy award. And it deserves every bit of praise it has gotten. It is a magical realism story about a Chinese American kid and his lack of love for his culture. A sweet story about a kid and his mom that ultimately will want to make you go kiss your mother.* The Perfect Match: A story about an intelligent personal assistant that might not be as incredible as you might think.* The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary: The last story of the collection, but not less gripping. It is a haunting story of the horrific events that transpired in Unit 731, a facility that experimented with war prisoners. Based on a true story not many are familiar with, but it doesn't change how terrible it was and a prime example why war is never the answer.* The Regular: A story of a killer and the detective who is looking after him. Set in an universe were cops wear emotion regulators, it is a brilliant story filled with futuristic technology.* The Waves: The story of a group of humans who are travelling to 61 Virginis, a planet far away that they can colonize. Except someone is already there. It is a look into our future and raises the question of where our humanity ends.Overall, I really enjoyed this collection. Each story was new and smart and raised a question of our future in this planet. They are also very rich with Asian culture.

  • Michelle Curie
    2018-08-03 09:04

    "We are defined by the places we hold in the web of other's lives."This was, without a doubt, the best collection of short stories I have read. Ever. I consider short stories a rather tricky business: sometimes they feel mundane, too repetitive, too unsolved. In this anthology, Ken Liu shares fifteen thoroughly wonderful tales that take us from Outer Space to Japan during World War II. A master of his own kind:I can't even remember how I found out about Ken Liu and I have not read a single story written by him before diving into this collection. What made me curious about this book was its beautiful cover, but what made me stay was how well it's written. Liu's prose is warm, clear and precise. "For a moment, as I listened to her, I felt as if I could step through the distance between us and hear an echo of the world through her ears, see the stars through her eyes: an austere clarity that made my heart leap."It's also almost impossible to put this into a genre. Some stories might be called science-fiction, others are fantasy, but then to a handful none of their characteristics apply. Ken Liu has worked as a programmer and lawyer and it's fun, because you can tell he knows his shit. Everything has been well-researched and even the speculative science elements result from him thinking a step further of what already exists in our world. If you're into science, this is an absolute must-read; while if you're not, these stories might change that for you.The Western Gaze:For people interested in cultures, this might be just as intriguing. As an American writer, he draws from both Anglo-American and Chinese literary traditions and he challenges racial assumptions in a direct, new and refreshing way. Some of his protagonists have to endure prejudices, which are painfully accurate and sometimes even laughable because of that ("My mom said that it's a real shame that you can't get any decent Chinese food except back in America"). As he draws from Chinese traditions and folklore I was able to broaden my knowledge about that, too. We meet Huli jing for example, creatures who can turn from beautiful women into foxes and hear of Qingming, the Tomb-Sweeping Day on which you honor your ancestors in China.Blurring the Lines:All in all, these stories were memorable, thought provoking and brilliant. Each one created a reality that allowed me to be swept away by for the time it took me to read it and in some cases even for longer. A few made me put my book down to reflect on what I had just read before I could shift my focus to a new story. I openly admit that one story would have made me cry, hadn't I been in public at the given time (and I swear I don't cry easily). "The fact that we can never have complete, perfect knowledge does not absolve us of the moral duty to judge and to take a stand against evil."My favorites were probably the heart-breaking The Literomancer (about a young American girl who moves to Communist Taiwan in the 1960s, where she befriends her local neighbors), The Paper Menagerie (which addresses cultural identity and family) and The Perfect Match (an alarming dystopian story in which AI is able to tell us exactly what we want and how to get it). Do yourself some good and pick this up. You won't regret it."We're all just ordinary men faced with extraordinary choices. In those moments, sometimes heroic ideals demand that we become their avatars."

  • Miquel Codony
    2018-08-01 10:47

    Magnífico. Sólo le reprocho ese párrafo de más, en algunos cuentos, donde se explica demasiado.

  • Pablo Bueno
    2018-08-04 03:53

    Ken Liu es un enorme escritor de nuestro tiempo, uno de los que, sin duda, quedará para la historia. Después de tantos premios y, sobre todo, de tan enorme reconocimiento por parte de lectores de todo el mundo, nadie podría dudar algo así. Pero es en la obra corta donde, a mi juicio, despunta y brilla en toda su intensidad. Cada relato suyo es una pequeña joya, sobre todo en los que despliega ese extraño don que posee para escribir con la frialdad de una máquina y, aun así, lograr que el lector se conmueva de una forma extraordinaria.La antología es sin duda una buena muestra de su trabajo. Me ha sido muy grato reencontrarme con algunos que ya había leído, como “El zoo de papel” o “Acerca de las costumbres de elaboración de libros en determinadas especies”. Pero también ha supuesto una grata sorpresa descubrir otros como “Regulada” o incluso “todos los sabores”, que se alejan mucho de lo que conocía de él, incluso del tono narrativo al que lo asociaba, sobre todo el primero.Por otra parte, no puedo por menos que destacar la exquisita edición de Alianza editorial bajo su sello Runas, en la que destaca la labor de la traductora, María Pilar San Román, que logra una lectura cómoda y precisa.

  • Basia
    2018-07-31 10:11

    Beautiful collection by one of my new favorite authors. Splendid.

  • Paul
    2018-08-06 05:13

    I am a new short fiction reader but I think that The Paper Menagerie is the best short story collection I've read so far. I remember reading Mono No Aware about 2-3 years ago and just loving the story so much. I tried a few of his other stories over time and I knew that he was an author that just connected with my reading style and interests. I believe that Ken connects the reader to his characters in a way that few writers can. His stories rarely focus on the fantastical or the science-fictional aspect that the stories involve but instead focuses on the emotions of his characters. This makes his stories become incredibly moving to read. This is the most I've shed tears while reading a book. One thing that I really like about Ken's stories is the mixing of historical fact within the fantastical. While reading these amazing stories, you are learning about real world history because so many of his stories connect to events in the past. Ken focuses on Chinese and Japanese history in his stories and for most Western readers this creates a very refreshing narrative because not only do we want to learn more about the story but we also want to learn more about Eastern history and culture. The first story wasn't one that I cared for, so don't put this aside because of the first story. This collection is a great starting place to create or rekindle a love for short fiction.The following stories were the stories that I gave a 5-star rating to:1. "The Perfect Match" - An internet A.I. and service pushes you to make decisions that it suggests. This really made me think about what are really my own thoughts and which are influenced by the things I interact with on the internet. 2. "The Regular" - A novella or possibly novellete set in the future where it is commonplace for people to have robotics that are integrated with their brain. The story is a detective story of a private investigator tracking down a killer. If you like the show "The Fall" you would love this.3. "The Paper Menagerie" - A boy grows up with a mother that is a "mail order bride" from China that does special origami that comes to life.4. "Mono No Aware" - Earth is about to be destroyed and we send out spaceships to the far corners of the galaxy to survive. On board, a man attempts to keep his Japanese culture from dying. 5. "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary" - We have gained the ability to see what really happened in past historical events but creates international tension when we know the truth. 4-Star rating stories:1. "Simulacrum" - How do you deal with infidelity with simulations and not real people? 2. "State Change" - Life is difficult when your soul is attached to an object that must always be with you. Are you tethered to objects?3. "Good Hunting" - Chinese magic gets destroyed as industrialization happens but is replaced by steampunk.4."The Literomancer" - A young girl befriends a political refugee that shows her the magic of Chinese characters. 5. "The Waves" - The evolution of a starfaring group.3-Star rating stories:1. "All the Flavors" - The god of war from China comes to the United States to work on the railroad and find gold. He befriends a young girl and her father. 2. "A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel" - The story of the workers working under the ocean to connect Asia and North America3. " The Litigation Master and the Monkey King" - A smooth-talking lawyer finds that there is much more to life than tricking the police when he protects a secret history book. Others:1. "The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" 2. "An Advanced Reader's Picture Book of Comparative Cognition"

  • TheSkepticalReader
    2018-08-06 03:01

    3.5 starsThis collection of short stories was unlike anything I expected. For one, the ‘science fiction’ factors are very subtle and in the background. Secondly, this book is far more ‘literary,’ and thus meaningful, because of the concentration on the characters and themes. Am I snob because of this? Don't know, don't care.My favorite story would likely be the title story, The Paper Menagerie. It is a beautiful, short tale of the disconnect between a son and mother because of cultural differences. The letter the mother writes to her son in the end, and his reaction to it, truly touched my heart unlike anything else in the book did.The collection gets even darker towards the end in tackling themes of war and human suffering. A mixture of history, fiction, and technology, Liu has a good collection of stories here.

  • Metodi Markov
    2018-08-03 09:53

    Очаквах нещо много по-епично, нещо много по-фантастично. Но Кен Лиу ме покори с кроткия си начин на разказване, с интересните си истории и с това, че книгата му хвърля мостове към Китай и Япония, мостове които са рядко по силите на множеството писатели опитали се да ги съградят. Имаше нещо като от Мураками, нещо от Робърт Ван Хюлик, от Ричард Морган и от други страхотни писатели, един микс носещ ми единствено приятни емоции, като при среща със стари приятели.Американски китаец по произход, Лиу е получил отлично образование в един от водещите в света университети - Харвард и в момента е високо платен технически и правен консултант. Но това не му пречи, наред с твърдата фантастика в своите разкази да втъкава умело историята и митологията на своята родна Азия. За това, че се справя повече от успешно свидетелстват многобройните му литературни награди и най вече признането на читателите от цял свят. Сам обяснява, че понеже е преводач от китайски на английски на изявени китайски фантасти, това му помага при нареждането на нанизите думи в собствените му творби.Най ми харесаха следните разкази в сборника:ПредговораКак някои разумни видове създават книгиНаслукаРедовен клиентХартиената менажерияВълнитеМоно но авареВсички вкусовеМайсторът на съдебни спорове и Царят на маймунитеБележките под линия на преводача бяха отлични, свършил е много обемна и трудна работа, поздравления също и за превода.Благодаря и на издателството Еуниката за смелостта да издаде тази книга, в последните няколко години не се издава почти никаква нова фантастика на български, което ме дразни изключително много.

  • Margaret
    2018-07-31 10:06

    These stories are all well written, but they are melancholy. They deal with the good and evil humanity is capable of, and for the most part evil wins out, even when the tone of the piece at the beginning suggests it will be a happy story. Ultimately, the evil triumphing pieces are sticking with me more than the positive ones, which is sad. I still have 30 minutes left on the last story, and boy I do not want to finish. I will. But. :( I'm all for addressing history and dark subject matter in spec fic, but these are taking out any of the hope and wonder I love about the genre. And, again, it's not that every piece is like that in this collection, but the last ones are so dark that it makes it seem like the entire collection is hopeless.The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species: A summary of how alien civs read and view books. Maybe a reread. 3.5/5State Change: What would happen if your soul was a separate, everyday object, and yours was an icecube? Interesting magical realism story. 4/5The Perfect Match: Tilly watching you all the time, knows how you like to wake up, your favorite foods, who would make the best match, and you invited her in, just like (almost) everyone else has. Until a new neighbor moves in who has a different opinion about Tilly. Well written, good story, if a bit familiar. 4/5Good Hunting: A boy forges a friendship with a fox-girl as children, a friendship that lasts as they grow, when industrialization takes away the magic in their lives. I could've read an entire novel with this story. 4.5/5The Literomancer: When Lily moves to China with her military family during the 1960s, she misses Texas. The girls at the base school pick on her, and she wants to be a bull rider. But when she tries to ride a water buffalo one day, she makes unexpected friends with some locals. I have mixed feelings about this one. I loved the first part, but in the last 3rd people started having conversations that I didn't believe the characters would have, and that sounded nothing like dialogue. I just didn't believe the end. But the beginning was soo good. 4/5Simulacrum: The inventor of the simulacrum, a program that records people and projects them into real life, has problems with his daughter. 3/5The Regular: A Chinese escort is murdered, and her mother hires a private detective to find out why and who. To numb her pain and make her body better, the detective has artificially enhanced all her body parts, and installed a regulater--that regulates emotions so you can make calm decisions. This is common practice, though she uses it more than recommended. 3.5/5The Paper Menagerie: A boy's Chinese mother makes him origami animals that move after she breathes into them. Touching magical realism story, and a reread. 4.5/5An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition (previously unpublished): How the brains work of various aliens, combined with the story of a child and mother who wants to go to the stars. 2/5The Waves: A ship is on a 400 yr. course to a new planet, when they're informed of a new tech on Earth that will make humans immortal. This short story explores the ways humans can be remade and still be human. Very interesting read. 4.5/5Mono no aware: Reread, but still cried. With earth's imminent destruction coming, countries hurriedly build spaceships, but the US is the only one to build one in time. The young narrator is the only Japanese member of that crew to another planet. 5/5All the Flavors: A Chinese legendary hero moves to the US West to mine for gold, and makes friends with a little girl. I like the characterization on this one, though it didn't seem to have an ending. 3.5/5A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel: Reread. A worker remembers the time he spent building a tunnel connecting countries beneath the Pacific ocean. Depressing story. 3/5The Litigation Master and the Monkey King: A lawyer takes up the cases of the poor, but when his poor neighbor asks him to help her outlaw brother, he has to choose how much of a hero he wants to be. 3/5The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary: The story of Unit 731--where more than 250,000 people (Chinese mostly) were experimented on and tortured by the Japanese during WWII. This is a documentary of a man who created a time machine that enables a person to travel into the past and revisit a moment of history, but once they've been, no one else can revisit. Very depressing, but also much needed. I was aware of some of the atrocities, but not this one in particular. It's hard to accurately 'rate' this one, because I think it's an important short story, but at this point in the collection, I'm completely burned out on death, and this is the most depressing of them all. 3.5/5

  • Nikki
    2018-07-26 03:03

    Received to review via NetgalleyThe Paper Menagerie is a collection of stories by Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award winner Ken Liu. Some of the stories deal with issues of Chinese-American heritage, and one in particular goes into a lot of detail, in a very interesting documentary format, about events in China during Japanese occupation, issues of experimentation, and then through the lens of spec-fic, history and who owns it, who controls it, how we can interact with it. Some of the stories are quite long, and come with footnotes about how they originated or further sources if you’re interested in the story.There was nothing I specifically didn’t like about the stories, in general; one or two were weaker, others stronger. I was surprised that I felt ‘The Paper Menagerie’ to be a little… trite, given the awards and praise it has received, but it does evoke the feelings well. There are some moments where that comes out very strongly in Liu’s stories: there’s one story which uses a lot of descriptions of Chinese food and culture, and I could almost taste the dumplings, the rice, the vegetables, when reading that one. For the most part, though, I felt like Liu’s voice was very even in tone; I didn’t feel passionately one way or the other about quite a few of these stories. I felt like there were a few obviously great stories, and others that were entertaining enough but definitely not as strong.I’m interested to read The Grace of Kings, Liu’s novel, and his translation of Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem; I’d like to see how Liu’s voice comes across there and how it flavours a work in translation. I’m not put off Liu’s work, just not quite enthused about it.Originally posted here.