The Paper Menagerie
By Ken Liu
Ken Liu’s speculative fiction has a dominant concern in the preservation of family and culture at a time when both are being put under strain.
This is obvious in the title story of this collection – the first story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards within the same year – which deals with a Chinese-American man remembering a bit of magic origami from his childhood. But the same interest in a conflict between different ways of seeing, thinking, and being invests almost all of the other stories as well, including those dealing with exotic forms of alien life and technology.
It’s a great collection, strongly reminiscent of the work of China Miéville, and the only disappointing part comes in Liu’s introduction, where he says that he no longer writes as many short stories, having chosen to focus his efforts on novels. That’s a pity.