File Name: the paper menagerie and other stories .zip
Must redeem within 90 days. See full terms and conditions and this month's choices. Ken Liu is an award-winning American author of speculative fiction. His collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories , has been published in more than a dozen languages. Liu previously worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. He frequently speaks at conferences and universities on topics including futurism, cryptocurrency, the history of technology, and the value of storytelling.
Liu lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts. 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.
Those who revere shorter speculative works will definitely want this book. Emotionally unpredictable, Liu's stories take off in unexpected directions and arrive at destinations both startling and satisfying. There is a dark and sometimes shocking edge to some of these stories, but nearly all are provocative, and several are brilliant. 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.
Tell us what you like and we'll recommend books you'll love. Sign up and get a free eBook! About The Book. Not only are there perennial arguments about what qualifies as intelligence, but each moment and everywhere, civilizations rise and fall, much as the stars are born and die. Time devours all. Yet every species has its unique way of passing on its wisdom through the ages, its way of making thoughts visible, tangible, frozen for a moment like a bulwark against the irresistible tide of time.
Everyone makes books. But we know such views are parochial. A musical people, the Allatians write by scratching their thin, hard proboscis across an impressionable surface, such as a metal tablet covered by a thin layer of wax or hardened clay.
Wealthy Allatians sometimes wear a nib made of precious metals on the tip of the nose. The writer speaks his thoughts as he writes, causing the proboscis to vibrate up and down as it etches a groove in the surface. To read a book inscribed this way, an Allatian places his nose into the groove and drags it through.
The delicate proboscis vibrates in sympathy with the waveform of the groove, and a hollow chamber in the Allatian skull magnifies the sound. In this manner, the voice of the writer is re-created. The Allatians believe that they have a writing system superior to all others. It is simultaneously a score and recording. For the Allatians, reading is literally hearing the voice of the past. But there is a cost to the beauty of the Allatian book.
Because the act of reading requires physical contact with the soft, malleable surface, each time a text is read, it is also damaged and some aspects of the original irretrievably lost. In order to preserve their literary heritage, the Allatians have to lock away their most precious manuscripts in forbidding libraries where few are granted access.
Ironically, the most important and beautiful works of Allatian writers are rarely read, but are known only through interpretations made by scribes who attempt to reconstruct the original in new books after hearing the source read at special ceremonies. For the most influential works, hundreds, thousands of interpretations exist in circulation, and they, in turn, are interpreted and proliferate through new copies.
The Allatian scholars spend much of their time debating the relative authority of competing versions and inferring, based on the multiplicity of imperfect copies, the imagined voice of their antecedent, an ideal book uncorrupted by readers. They are a race of mechanical beings.
It is not known if they began as mechanical creations of another older species, if they are shells hosting the souls of a once-organic race, or if they evolved on their own from inert matter. Their planet, tracing out a complicated orbit between three stars, is subjected to immense tidal forces that churn and melt its metal core, radiating heat to the surface in the form of steamy geysers and lakes of lava.
A Quatzoli ingests water into its bottom chamber a few times a day, where it slowly boils and turns into steam as the Quatzoli periodically dips itself into the bubbling lava lakes. The steam passes through a regulating valve—the narrow part of the hourglass—into the upper chamber, where it powers the various gears and levers that animate the mechanical creature.
At the end of the work cycle, the steam cools and condenses against the inner surface of the upper chamber. The droplets of water flow along grooves etched into the copper until they are collected into a steady stream, and this stream then passes through a porous stone rich in carbonate minerals before being disposed of outside the body.
This stone is the seat of the Quatzoli mind. The stone organ is filled with thousands, millions of intricate channels, forming a maze that divides the water into countless tiny, parallel flows that drip, trickle, wind around each other to represent simple values which, together, coalesce into streams of consciousness and emerge as currents of thought.
Over time, the pattern of water flowing through the stone changes. Older channels are worn down and disappear or become blocked and closed off—and so some memories are forgotten. New channels are created, connecting previously separated flows—an epiphany—and the departing water deposits new mineral growths at the far, youngest end of the stone, where the tentative, fragile miniature stalactites are the newest, freshest thoughts.
When a Quatzoli parent creates a child in the forge, its final act is to gift the child with a sliver of its own stone mind, a package of received wisdom and ready thoughts that allow the child to begin its life. As the child accumulates experiences, its stone brain grows around that core, becoming ever more intricate and elaborate, until it can, in turn, divide its mind for the use of its children.
And so the Quatzoli are themselves books. Each carries within its stone brain a written record of the accumulated wisdom of all its ancestors: the most durable thoughts that have survived millions of years of erosion. Each mind grows from a seed inherited through the millennia, and every thought leaves a mark that can be read and seen. Some of the more violent races of the universe, such as the Hesperoe, once delighted in extracting and collecting the stone brains of the Quatzoli.
Because they could separate thought from writing, the conquering races were able to leave a record that is free of blemishes and thoughts that would have made their descendants shudder.
But the stone brains remain in their glass cases, waiting for water to flow through the dry channels so that once again they can be read and live. They have always had a complicated relationship with writing, the Hesperoe.
Their great philosophers distrusted writing. A book, they thought, was not a living mind yet pretended to be one. It gave sententious pronouncements, made moral judgments, described purported historical facts, or told exciting stories. The Hesperoe wrote down their thoughts reluctantly, only when they could not trust the vagaries of memory.
They far preferred to live with the transience of speech, oratory, debate. At one time, the Hesperoe were a fierce and cruel people. As much as they delighted in debates, they loved even more the glories of war. Their philosophers justified their conquests and slaughter in the name of forward motion: War was the only way to animate the ideals embedded in the static text passed down through the ages, to ensure that they remained true, and to refine them for the future.
An idea was worth keeping only if it led to victory. When they finally discovered the secret of mind storage and mapping, the Hesperoe stopped writing altogether. In the moments before the deaths of great kings, generals, philosophers, their minds are harvested from the failing bodies. The paths of every charged ion, every fleeting electron, every strange and charming quark, are captured and cast in crystalline matrices.
These minds are frozen forever in that moment of separation from their owners. At this point, the process of mapping begins. Carefully, meticulously, a team of master cartographers—assisted by numerous apprentices—trace out each of the countless minuscule tributaries, impressions, and hunches that commingle into the flow and ebb of thought, until they gather into the tidal forces, the ideas that made their originators so great. Once the mapping is done, they begin the calculations to project the continuing trajectories of the traced-out paths so as to simulate the next thought.
The charting of the courses taken by the great, frozen minds into the vast, dark terra incognita of the future consumes the efforts of the most brilliant scholars of the Hesperoe. They devote the best years of their lives to it, and when they die, their minds, in turn, are charted indefinitely into the future as well. In this way, the great minds of the Hesperoe do not die. To converse with them, the Hesperoe only have to find the answers on the mind maps.
Thus, they no longer have a need for books as they used to make them—which were merely dead symbols—for the wisdom of the past is always with them, still thinking, still guiding, still exploring. And as more and more of their time and resources are devoted to the simulation of ancient minds, the Hesperoe have also grown less warlike, much to the relief of their neighbors. Perhaps it is true that some books do have a civilizing influence. They are creatures of energy.
Ethereal, flickering patterns of shifting field potentials, the Tull-Toks are strung out among the stars like ghostly ribbons. When the starships of the other species pass through, the ships barely feel a gentle tug. The Tull-Toks claim that everything in the universe can be read. Each star is a living text, where the massive convection currents of superheated gas tell an epic drama, with the starspots serving as punctuation, the coronal loops extended figures of speech, and the flares emphatic passages that ring true in the deep silence of cold space.
Each planet contains a poem, written out in the bleak, jagged, staccato rhythm of bare rocky cores or the lyrical, lingering, rich rhymes—both masculine and feminine—of swirling gas giants. And then there are the planets with life, constructed like intricate jeweled clockwork, containing a multitude of self-referential literary devices that echo and re-echo without end.
But it is the event horizon around a black hole where the Tull-Toks claim the greatest books are to be found. When a Tull-Tok is tired of browsing through the endless universal library, she drifts toward a black hole. As she accelerates toward the point of no return, the streaming gamma rays and X-rays unveil more and more of the ultimate mystery for which all the other books are but glosses.
The book reveals itself to be ever more complex, more nuanced, and just as she is about to be overwhelmed by the immensity of the book she is reading, her companions, observing from a distance, realize with a start that time seems to have slowed down to a standstill for her, and she will have eternity to read it as she falls forever toward a center that she will never reach. Finally, a book has triumphed over time. Of course, no Tull-Tok has ever returned from such a journey, and many dismiss their discussion of reading black holes as pure myth.
Caroline M. Yoachim interviewed me about this story for Uncanny. French translation in Bifrost , Spanish translation by Marcheto at Cuentos para Algernon , December 9, read. English version published by Lightspeed, March 15, read. Polish translation in Nowa Fantastyka , February
These numbers refer to awards for best novel, novella, novelette and short story only! Other awards, including the Retro Hugos, are not covered. Impressum Haftungsausschluss Datenschutz. If you encounter any errors or dead links, please email me. Comments and new links are always appreciated, but see my link policy! Winner of one Nebula and nominated for 7 more. Winner of one World Fantasy Award.
(The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).A must-have for every science fiction and +++[Gets] eBook The Paper Menagerie and Other.
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By Ken Liu. I started my career as a short story writer. Although I no longer write dozens of short stories every year since shifting most of my creative efforts to long-form fiction, short fiction still holds a special place in my heart. This collection thus has the flavor of a retrospective for me. For me, all fiction is about prizing the logic of metaphors—which is the logic of narratives in general—over reality, which is irreducibly random and senseless.
Это файл высочайшей сложности. Я должен был тебя предупредить, но не знал, что сегодня твое дежурство. Сотрудник лаборатории систем безопасности не стал выдавать дежурного. - Я поменялся сменой с новым сотрудником.
- Тебя оно не обрадует. - В ТРАНСТЕКСТЕ сбой. - ТРАНСТЕКСТ в полном порядке. - Вирус.
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