"I know this is going to sound hyperbolic, but when I’m reading Ken Liu’s stories, I feel like I’m reading a once-in-a-generation talent. I’m in awe."
– Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Questions of identity galvanize the 15 stories in this outstanding collection of fantastical fiction, giving them extraordinary gravity and resonance. In "Good Hunting," the human companion of a supernatural creature from Chinese folklore contrives an ingenious way to help her adapt to a steampunk future. The title tale (which swept the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards), in which a mother expresses love for her son through the magically animated origami animals she creates, is one of several in which the author uses Chinese-American experience to explore how all individuals assimilate into society. Whether writing about Asian culture and history, as in "The Literomancer" and "All the Flavors," or extraterrestrial civilizations, as in "The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" and "An Advanced Reader's Picture Book of Comparative Cognition," Liu (The Grace of Kings) universalizes the experiences of his characters, who realize at some point, as the protagonist of "Mono No Aware" does, that "we are defined by the places that we hold in the web of others' lives." Gracefully written and often profoundly moving, these stories are high-water marks of contemporary speculative fiction. (Mar.)
– Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW, Feb 29, 2016
These remarkable stories highlight Liu’s themes of family, love, and politics and gathered in one collection pack an even bigger punch. Those who revere shorter speculative works will definitely want this book.
– *STARRED REVIEW, Library Journal, February 26th, 2016
Emotionally unpredictable, Liu's stories take off in unexpected directions and arrive at destinations both startling and satisfying.
– Shelf Awareness, *STARRED REVIEW, March 25th, 2016
Liu’s wondrous tales eloquently explore the place where ordinary and the extraordinary meet.
– The Washington Post, March 22nd, 2016
There is a dark and sometimes shocking edge to some of these stories, but nearly all are provocative, and several are brilliant.
– The Chicago Tribune, April 6th, 2016
Liu's book compiles brilliant stories written in several different, overlapping modes, a technically dazzling collection of compulsively readable narratives, presenting characters with agonizing moral dilemmas and never forgetting the heart.
– The Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee), March 18th, 2016
Liu’s talent in evoking atmosphere and culture make these tales more than stories – they’re journeys. If you’re looking to dream of another world, or reflect on our own, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of The Paper Menagerie.
– Muggle.net, March 8th, 2016