Short stories by Ken Liu
Ken Liu is an American author of speculative fiction. He has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, as well as top genre honors in Japan, Spain, and France, among other countries.
Liu’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, the Dandelion Dynasty, in which engineers play the role of wizards. His debut collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, has been published in more than a dozen languages. A second collection, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, followed. He also penned the Star Wars novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker.
Many of his stories have been adapted for the screen. Recent projects include “The Hidden Girl,” under development by FilmNation Entertainment as a TV series; “The Message,” under development by 21 Laps and FilmNation Entertainment; “Good Hunting,” adapted as an episode in season one of Netflix’s breakout adult animated series Love, Death + Robots; and AMC’s Pantheon, with Craig Silverstein as executive producer, adapted from an interconnected series of short stories by Liu.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Liu worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. He frequently speaks at conferences and universities on a variety of topics, including futurism, cryptocurrency, history of technology, bookmaking, narrative futures, and the mathematics of origami.
Liu is also the translator for Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem, Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing” and Vagabonds, Chen Qiufan’s Waste Tide, as well as the editor of Invisible Planets and Broken Stars, anthologies of contemporary Chinese science fiction.
Liu lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.
Listing 16 stories.
In the Old West, after witnessing an elderly Chinese prospector win a fight against a couple of outlaws, a young girl forms a deep bond with him, learns that he may be a god in disguise, and must defend him when he is called to trial over his treatment of the outlaws.
In the near future, a young mother leaves behind a book for her daughter before she embarks on her space journey to the outer solar system in an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial creatures. Sections from her book are interspersed with her husband's verbal recollections of their love story, which he addresses to their young daughter.
When a programmer creates a new type of empathy-based cryptocurrency that disrupts the workings of a charity run by her old roomate, the two are drawn into conflict over rationality, morality and justice.
In the far future, a thousand people are the only survivors of humanity, as Earth has been destroyed by an asteroid. Aboard a generation ship headed to a new solar system, a young Japanese man recounts the defining moments from his childhood.
As humans gain the ability to upload their consciousness, a man must come to grips with the end of the world as he once knew it.
A catalog of the tools different alien species use to read and write, leading to fundamental questions about what it means to make patterns of knowledge against the noise of the universe.
In a world where some individuals can access the memories of everyday objects, a man works as a cleaner who scrubs away painful memories stored in people's belongings.
Kidnapped by a dimension-hopping assassin monk, a ten-year-old girl vows to become a great assassin under the monk's training so she can steal her own life back - but when she is required to assassinate a kind general she decides to risk everything to protect him.
In a Chinese village during the Qing Dynasty, a crippled man acts as a lawyer for the poor with the help of the trickster Monkey King, but his peaceful life is turned upside down when he comes into possession of a book that details atrocities committed by the government.
In modern day Lanzhou, China, the author meets up with a zeppelin long-haul pilot who has agreed to take the author on his transpacific haul.