The Story of Kao Yu by Peter S. Beagle Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Story of Kao Yu

The story of an ageing judge traveling through rural China and of a criminal he encounters.


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    karen

    WELCOME TO DECEMBER PROJECT!

    last year, amy(other amy) tipped me off to this cool thing she was doing: the short story advent calendar, where you sign up to this thingie here and you get a free story each day.

    i dropped the ball and by the time i came to my senses, it had already sold out, so for december project, i’m going rogue and just reading a free online story a day of my choosing. this foolhardy endeavor is going to screw up my already-deep-in-the-weeds review backlog, so i don’t think i w

    last year, amy(other amy) tipped me off to this cool thing she was doing: the short story advent calendar, where you sign up to this thingie here and you get a free story each day.

    i dropped the ball and by the time i came to my senses, it had already sold out, so for december project, i’m going rogue and just reading a free online story a day of my choosing. this foolhardy endeavor is going to screw up my already-deep-in-the-weeds review backlog, so i don’t think i will be reviewing each individual story “properly.” i might just do a picture review or – if i am feeling wicked motivated, i will draw something, but i can’t be treating each short story like a real book and spending half my day examining and dissecting it, so we’ll just see what shape this project takes as we go.

    and if you know of any particularly good short stories available free online, let me know! i’m no good at finding them myself unless they’re on the tor.com site, and i only have enough at this stage of the game to fill half my calendar. <— that part is no longer true, but i am still interested in getting suggestions!

    DECEMBER 10

    Kao Yu’s own wisdom and long experience generally governed his considerations in court, and his eventual rulings. But he was uniquely different from all other judges in all of China, in that when a problem came down to a matter of good versus evil—in a murder case, most often, or arson, or rape (which Kao Yu particularly despised), he would often submit that problem to the judgment of a unicorn.

    oh my god, wow. this is an ALL-NEW story by peter s. beagle who proves he’s still got it at 77 years old. this is a spectacular story, kids. the beautiful prose you expect from the man who gave us the much-beloved The Last Unicorn, but the “unicorn” this time out is not a unicorn-unicorn, but the chinese chi-lin, which seems more like a quirk of translation than anything resembling a horn’ed pony.

    this one is brandy-new to the tor site, and i’m completely bewildered by the low-star GR ratings on here so far. the reviews attached to them help to clarify what wasn’t working for those readers, but me? i freaking LOVED it! unreservedly. i think it is beautifully-written and i appreciate its ending, which is classic beagle – haunted, melancholy, permeated with loss. that’s exactly what i like outta my stories.

    read it for yourself here:

    http://www.tor.com/2016/12/07/the-sto…


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    …more

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Free online Tor short story, available here. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

    Kao Yu is a middle-aged judge in ancient China, renowned for his fairness and honesty. He spends much of the year traveling from town to town to assist with legal cases. Kao Yu is sometimes assisted in making decisions by a chi-lin, a multicolored Chinese unicorn who will suffer no dishonesty in its presence.
    description

    More than once—and the memories often returned to him on sleepless nights—he had pleaded with the crim


    Kao Yu is a middle-aged judge in ancient China, renowned for his fairness and honesty. He spends much of the year traveling from town to town to assist with legal cases. Kao Yu is sometimes assisted in making decisions by a chi-lin, a multicolored Chinese unicorn who will suffer no dishonesty in its presence.
    description

    More than once—and the memories often returned to him on sleepless nights—he had pleaded with the criminal slouching before him, “If you have any hope of surviving this moment, do not lie to me. If you have some smallest vision of yet changing your life—even if you have lied with every breath from your first, tell the truth now.” But few there—tragically few—were able to break the habit of a lifetime; and Judge Kao Yu would once again see the dragon-like horned head go down, and would lower his own head and close his eyes, praying this time not to hear the soft-footed rush across the courtroom, and the terrible scream of despair that followed. But he always did.

    Now it so happens that on one trip Kao Yu is asked to pass judgment on an imprisoned pickpocket, who turns out to be a young woman of surpassing beauty named Lanying. He is instantly entranced by Lanying, and unexpectedly tempers his judgment of her with mercy, cutting her sentence in half. He spends many sleepless nights thereafter dreaming of Lanying, and grumping at his devoted servants during the day. When he next passes through the area, he arranges to have dinner with Lanying, and ends up spending the night with her. But Lanying, though lovely and refined in her manners, is a hardened criminal, and the judge’s heart will end up conflicting with his duties and his devotion to justice.

    “The Story of Kao Yu” is a melancholy tale, another story of love and loss, and the choices we make when any choice will bring pain. Peter S. Beagle has told a tale of a very different unicorn here, one who embodies justice. Beagle effectively and respectfully captures the style of an ancient Chinese legend, while making some timeless points about our human weaknesses.


    …more

    Althea Ann

    Jan 13, 2017

    rated it
    really liked it

    I just googled “Kao Yu” to see if he might be a historical figure, and apparently, “kao yu” means “roast fish.” Hmm. That does not add anything to my appreciation of the story. Some pretty tasty-looking dishes, though!

    Kao Yu, here, is an upstanding judge. To fulfill his civil duties, he travels a route through rural China, making himself available to hear criminal cases. But something about him is special: he has the favor of the qilin, a mythic creature who acts as an avatar of justice; and dol

    Kao Yu, here, is an upstanding judge. To fulfill his civil duties, he travels a route through rural China, making himself available to hear criminal cases. But something about him is special: he has the favor of the qilin, a mythic creature who acts as an avatar of justice; and doles out summary execution to the dishonest. Kao Yu is grateful for this sign of divine favor, and glad to defer to Heavenly opinion on the thorniest of cases.

    But then, he is called upon to judge a petty pickpocket – who happens to be an alluringly beautiful young woman. For the first time, Kao Yu’s objectivity may be compromised…

    As with Beagle’s recent novel, ‘Summerlong’ I feel that the themes of this story may be more greatly appreciated by older readers. I liked the ‘traditional’ style of the writing.

    …more