The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories – Ken Liu
Ken Liu is maybe most well-known for his stellar translations of other superstars like Ci Lixin (Three Body Problem) but he also is a great writer in his own right.
This collection of stories are varied. Some are about: historical fiction, alternative histories, evolution of humans, robot ghosts, and even musings on the book making habits of fictional alien races.
In each story Liu can blend elements from Chinese folklore, history, and culture into all his work. He puts a piece of himself into all these stories along with his fantastic imagination. I also appreciate how he often leaves a note at the end of his stories to a link to the idea that sparked the story.
Stories in this collection:
- The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species
- State Change
- The Perfect Match
- Good Hunting
- The Literomancer
- The Regular
- The Paper Menagerie
- An Advanced Readers' Picture Book of Comparative Cognition
- The Waves
- Mono No Aware
- All the Flavors
- A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel
- The Litigation Master and the Monkey King
- The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary
NOTE: The short-story “Good Hunting” has been adapted into an episode of Netflix's “Love, Death + Robots”. It's episode 8 in the series.