The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

A publishing event: 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

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.
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    Michael Finocchiaro

    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 ide

    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 Idaho
    2/ he is an incredible linguist with fluency in at least English, Chinese and Japanese
    3/ he is extremely well-read
    4/ his major social concerns are around cultural preservation, the indelible value of memory, the persistence of love
    5/ 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!
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    Petrik

    Nov 07, 2017

    rated it
    really liked it

     · 
    review of another edition

    Recommended to Petrik by:
    Katherine
    Shelves:
    owned-ebooks

    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

    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 stars

    State Change: 3.5 Stars

    The Perfect Match: 4.5 Stars

    Good Hunting: 4 Stars

    The Literomancer: 4.5 Stars.

    Simulacrum: 4 Stars

    The Regular: 3 Stars

    The Paper Menagerie: 5 Stars (Favorites)

    An Advance Readers’ Picture Book of Comparative Cognition: 2.5 Stars

    The Waves: 3.5 Stars

    Mono No Aware: 4 Stars

    All the Flavors (A Tale of Guan Yu, the Chinese God of War, in America): 4 stars

    A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel = 2 Stars

    The Litigation Master and the Monkey King = 4 stars

    The 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 Documentary

    Another 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
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    Lyn

    Jul 26, 2016

    rated it
    really liked it

    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 Tor.com 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 creati

    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 Tor.com 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.

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