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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Hidden Girl and Other StoriesThe Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ken Liu is becoming one of my favorite short story writers. It's one thing to drop names like Harlan Ellison or Ted Chiang, but it's another thing to see such stories rise up out of so many other writers and still stick with you after years.

I guess I've been blessed to read a number of these stories from other collections, and it's great to find out that reading them again is still a pleasure. For the most part, the tone of the tales moves away from Chinese mythology or the social bits or the horrors of history or the direction things are taking in terms of China (as was the case in Paper Menagerie), and we see a lot more pure science-fiction goodies that deal with my personal favorite subjects:

The Singularity! There's a trio of stories in here that belong together and they thrilled me. There's a lot more going on with future life, uploads, ecological conservation, and even the future of art.

All of these stories are fascinating and there wasn't a dull one in the bunch.

But that's not all. Whenever Ken Liu writes fantasy, it's always as delicious as hell. I really got into the action and the adventure and if I was going to complain about anything, it's the fact I don't get to read whole novels set in these worlds. :)

My favorites:

Thoughts and Prayers - the dark underbelly of news and information filters.

Byzantine Empathy - A truly fun story detailing some rather cool possible virtual reality economics.

The Gods Will Not Be Chained, The Gods Will Not Be Slain, The Gods Have Not Died In Vain - the trio of Singularity stories, but not the only ones in this collection! So delicious.

Hidden Girl - A truly GREAT fantasy I would give anything to read more within.

Seven Birthdays - Gimmie a truly massive future history, please! Reminds me of a much-updated Asimov story. :)

The Message - This one really tugged on my heartstrings. Truly tragic, wonderful.

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