What a superb collection of short stories by Ken Liu! Usually with an anthology of stories, there will be more misses than hits. Not so with this. Liu puts his stamp on so many genres that is mind-boggling – drama, fantasy, detective procedural, family saga, sci-fi, historical account. Some do work better than others but Liu’s evocative writing prowess is undeniable. The stories are magical, profound, thought provoking and many times heartrending.
In The Regular, Liu tells a story of a serial killer and an ex-detective and how their lives will intersect and only one will stand. An awesome sci-fi element is even embedded to lift the usual procedural tropes to another level. Liu even took effort to deconstruct the hunter and the prey. In the back of the mind I kept thinking this would make a superb Minority Report type of movie.
The Paper Menagerie is one of my faves. I read it next to my wifey in bed and when I was done I was stunned. A sense of sadness and wonder washed over me. I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to read the next because I don’t want anything to tarnish the experience. I immediately told my wife to stop reading whatever she was reading so I could tell her the story and read the last couple of pages to her. 15 minutes later she turned to me, her eyes red, and said it is an incredible blend of family drama and fantasy. The story won the Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.
I borrowed this from the library but now I want to get the hardcover to reread again. It is that awesome. This is a writer who has the chops to go the distance; definitely one to look out for.