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The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016)

by Ken Liu

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5746811,311 (4.27)118
Fantasy. Fiction. Science Fiction. Short Stories. HTML:Featured in the Netflix series Love, Death & Robots

Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his multiple award-winning stories 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 and Other Stories. This mesmerizing collection features many 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).

Insightful and stunning stories that plumb the struggle against history and betrayal of relationships in pivotal moments, this collection showcases one of our greatest and original voic… (more)
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» See also 118 mentions

English (66)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
3.5 Stars - for the short The Bookmaking Secrets of Select Species

I wouldn’t necessarily say this is an actual story, but the way Liu describes these species and how they communicate and pass on their culture is impressive. Such detailed originality needs to be acknowledged and appreciated. It’s a testament to sentience, where one wants to leave their indelible mark to forever remember and be remembered. ( )
  A_Reader_Obsessed | Apr 21, 2024 |
My favourite was Good Hunting. I loved how Liu infused the romance of Chinese mythology with the shiny sleekness of steampunk future. The themes were done so well, even if the plot itself felt too intentionally geared towards specifically exploring these themes. I think it's just my own bias against science fiction and the extra unnaturalness I feel about having to learn the rules of a new world. Anyway, I haven't been able to stop thinking about 狐狸精 which funnily enough is the point! Paper Menagerie was obviously also a stand out, and great for anyone who regrets being a sullen teen mistreating their mother and wants to have a good cry! ( )
  kitzyl | Apr 13, 2024 |
Ken Liu writes beautifully, angrily, tenderly, piercingly about China, Japan, the West, racism, moral choices, history and its making, re-making, telling, and denial, ordinary heroes and monsters, post-humanity and interstellar travel. It’s brilliant.

The Bookmaking Habits of Selected Species
Everyone makes books.” Would you like to read a black hole? ;) I loved the idea of books that speak with the voice of the author, but decay with every read.

State Change
What a beautiful story… What if your soul was an object outside of your body? What if the object was a finite one? A pack of cigarettes, an ice cube, a tin of coffee? What if you had the power to measure out your life and have a superpower while doing so?

The Perfect Match
I had read this one before, in some other anthology (can’t remember which one it was). Anyway, it was an interesting dystopian take on social media algorithms and a mega corporation controlling everyone and everything.

Good Hunting
Another familiar tale, I had read it and loved it in Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold. Here is wonderful blend of shape-changing foxes, Chinese mythology and steampunk. I enjoyed it immensely, even more than the first time.

The Literomancer
Too heartbreaking for words.

Simulacrum
The idea is very interesting, but the story is really about the distances (sometimes insurmountable) between people.

The Regular
This one was a page-turner, a scary murder mystery with a bitterly ironic twist. The implant regulating your emotional state was intriguing and frightening. What kind of decisions would we make without emotions?

The Paper Menagerie
A story that made me cry. There was so much love and sadness in just a few pages. I loved the origami animals.

An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition
There was a lot of cool ideas, but it did not leave much impression. I was probably still reeling after having read The Paper Menagerie.

Waves
At first it felt like I was reading a “regular” generation ship sci-fi, but then it moved into post-humanity territory. Enjoyable.

Mono no Aware
Beautiful and tragic. After reading this one, I wanted to hug everyone I know. Strangers, too.

All the Flavors
This is a slice of life novella mixing historical events, Wild West, meetings between different cultures, and Chinese legends. Very satisfying.

A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel
Alternative history dealing with sins of the past and the possibility of redemption.

The Litigator and the Monkey King
This one begins as a picaresque tale. It ends up being a story about the nature of history, memory, and who the true heroes are.

The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary
Continues the themes of the previous story. For me, it was a very emotional read. The use and abuse of history for ideological, existential, and moral reasons goes on and on and on. I also want to shake the author’s hand for writing (Ken Liu is not the first, of course) that monsters are ordinary people. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
A really great collection of stories, often grim and frequently gruesome but full of rich insight and gentle, brave, ordinary people. Must-read for LeGuin fans. ( )
  mmparker | Oct 24, 2023 |
4 - The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species
Kind of a weird way to start off the book, but also very imaginative, which I liked very much.

5 - State Change
This was probably my favorite story. The story itself was executed beautifully and should not have been any longer, but I really wanted more of it! Such a novel idea which didn't dominate the story.

2 - The Perfect Match
I thought this story was a bit tiresome, but maybe it is just that I've read and seen about the subject a lot lately. Nevertheless, it failed to impress me.

3 - Good Hunting
I liked the setting of the story a lot and it made me want to read a book entirely in a chinese-mysticism-steampunk-setting. I just got the impression that not much happened in the story.

4 - The Literomancer
For some reason which I can't really pin down I liked this story. Even though the individual elements of the story didn't do anything for me, I found the whole very moving.

3 - Simulacrum
Very Black-Mirror-y, but not as well worked out I think. I did like the style though.

4 - The Regular
Again, I don't really know why, because the story honestly wasn't very deep or interesting, but I really liked this one.

3 - The Paper Menagerie
I might just have missed the point of this story. Maybe I just couldn't identify with the theme of the story. By all accounts this seems like an excellent, well written, moving story, it just didn't do anything for me.

4 - An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition
Somewhat reminiscent of "the Bookmaking". I thought this was slightly better because it didn't feel as reading a Wikipedia page.

4 - The Waves
I guess I'm just a sucker for these kind of stories. I recently finished "Death's End" by Cixin Liu and it blew my puny mind. This did much the same albeit a gentler blow.

3 - Mono no aware
I thought this was a beautiful story, but at the same time very underwhelming. The calm end felt unrealistic and too easy.

5 - All the Flavors
This was very good. I liked that Liu took a bit more time with this one because this way the storytelling got really amazing.

3 - A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel
I kind of liked this story but it didn't really stuck with me.

4 - The Litigation Master and the Monkey King
This one surprised me, it continuously went places I didn't expect. The fact that it was based on real history made me appreciate it even more.

3 - The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary
I'm pretty torn about this one. I was grossly fascinated by the overall story and the history behind it. The time-travel idea seemed a bit much though. But the thing that made it pretty hard to read was the repetition. I got the idea that almost every aspect of the idea of this story was written down three or four times for me to read in different wordings. And, as much as i liked Chang's "Like what you see?", this was not really executed very well. ( )
  bramboomen | Oct 18, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ken Liuprimary authorall editionscalculated
Khanna, RajanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yoshimi-dori, FurusawaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I started my career as a short story writer. Although I now longer write dozens of short-stories every year since shifting most of my creative efforts to long-form fiction, short fiction still holds a special place in my heart. -Prologue
There is no definitive census of all the intelligent species in the universe. Not only are there perennial arguments about what qualifies as intelligence. but each moment and everywhere, civilizations rise and fall, much as the stars a born and die. -The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species
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Fantasy. Fiction. Science Fiction. Short Stories. HTML:Featured in the Netflix series Love, Death & Robots

Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his multiple award-winning stories 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 and Other Stories. This mesmerizing collection features many 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).

Insightful and stunning stories that plumb the struggle against history and betrayal of relationships in pivotal moments, this collection showcases one of our greatest and original voic

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Book description
A selection of the short stories of Ken Liu, including "The Paper Menagerie," the first work of fiction, of any length, to win the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards.

Contents:
The bookmaking habits of select species
State change
The perfect match
Good hunting
The literomancer
Simulacrum
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.
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