Jacket design by Richard Yoo
It good to see a few mainstream publishers still producing collections. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is Ken Liu’s second, and his second with Saga Press. It follows 2016’s The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, which was nominated for a World Fantasy Award and won the Locus Award for Best Collection, and about which Amal El-Mohtar wrote, “I have never been so moved by a collection of short fiction. I was at times afraid to read more.”
There’s fine reviews of the new collection at Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, but the most insightful reviewer I’ve found is Paul Di Filippo at Locus Online, who compares Liu to Philip K. Dick, Zelazny, and Heinlein.
“The Reborn” shows us an Earth conquered by aliens who impose their own brand of mutable personalities on humans who resist them. A kind of PKD vibe of surreal memory games pervades the creepy piece…. A wave of Zelaznyian SF-fabulism overcame me as I read “Grey Rabbit, Crimson Mare, Coal Leopard,” which blends shape-changing with the lives of the “midden miners,” poor citizens scavenging the remnants of our era… “The Hidden Girl” is the first pure fantasy in this volume, set in a kind of Asian neverland evocative of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. A young girl, trained as an assassin, is forced to acknowledge a higher oath… There’s a faint flavor of Podkayne of Mars inherent in “The Message,” which finds an archaeologist father and his sulky, willful teen daughter marooned on a planet amidst alien ruins.
Here’s the book description.
From stories about time-traveling assassins, to Black Mirror-esque tales of cryptocurrency and Internet trolling, to heartbreaking narratives of parent-child relationships, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is a far-reaching work that explores topical themes from the present and a visionary look at humanity’s future.
This collection includes a selection of Liu’s speculative fiction stories from the last five years — seventeen of his best — plus a new novelette. In addition, it also features an excerpt from The Veiled Throne, the third book in Liu’s epic fantasy series the Dandelion Dynasty.
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories will be published by Saga Press on February 25, 2020. It is 411 pages, priced at $26 in hardcover and $13.99 in digital formats. The jacket design is by Richard Yoo.
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