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Hexarchate Stories

(The Machineries of Empire #3.5)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  521 ratings  ·  125 reviews
The essential short story collection set in the universe of Ninefox Gambit.

An ex-Kel art thief has to save the world from a galaxy-shattering prototype weapon...

A general outnumbered eight-to-one must outsmart his opponent...

A renegade returns from seclusion to bury an old comrade...

From the incredible imagination of Hugo- and Arthur C. Clarke-nominated author Yoon Ha Lee
Paperback, 334 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Solaris
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Yoon There will! It will be narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, who was the reader for the Machineries trilogy (the stories), and Brian Nishii (the author's…moreThere will! It will be narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, who was the reader for the Machineries trilogy (the stories), and Brian Nishii (the author's notes). I don't have a confirmed release date but I think it will be available when the book/ebook are released.(less)
Yoon The stories are in chronological order, which means some are set before the trilogy (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem, and Revenant Gun) and some are…moreThe stories are in chronological order, which means some are set before the trilogy (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem, and Revenant Gun) and some are set after. They probably work best if you read the trilogy first; the final novella, "Glass Cannon," has trilogy spoilers and should definitely be read last.(less)

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 ·  521 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Kevin Kuhn
This is the first work I have read by Yoon Ha Lee. This is important, as it significantly affects my review. I have seen references to his series, “The Machineries of Empire”, which begins with “Ninefox Gambit”. I thought choosing a collection of short stories might be a good way to decide if I wanted to pick-up that series. In hindsight, this was a mistake, as this collection is more appropriate for fans of that universe and I think the enjoyment from this collection would be greatly enhanced ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Let me come right out and say that this is definitely a book for uber-fans of the Machineries of Empire.

Most of the stories are little snippets or even flash-fiction giving us every-day glimpses of Jedao and Cheris either in the deep past or the in-between bits of the trilogy or -- my favorite part -- AFTER Revenant Gun.

Most of the stories are great for closing plot points and deepening the un-tortured figure of Jedao and are NOT action filled except for a few instances. I do not consider most
Rachel (Kalanadi)
4.5 stars. Much of the flash fiction didn't do anything for me, but the longer ones ("Battle of Candle Arc", "Extracurricular Activities") and the brand new novella sequel to Revenant Gun were great. *Please* tell me we'll get an interspecies war novel from Mikodez's perspective someday?? I need more of him!
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Hexarchate Stories is a collection of stories – from flash fiction and prose poems, both pre-existing and new, to a sequel novella – set in the universe of the Machineries of Empire series.
While many of these stories develop the worldbuilding, give a PoV to characters that were only minor in the trilogy, and give you some insight into how this series came together, they’re not necessary to understand it. Nor – I think – would mean a lot to someone who isn’t familiar with the main
Fuck it, I'm knocking this up to 5 stars; I enjoyed it too much to rate it any lower. This is a book strictly for those who've already read and loved the Machineries of Empire trilogy (if you want an intro to YHL's writing, I highly recommend Conservation of Shadows and just skip "Battle of Candle Arc" until after you've read Ninefox Gambit), but it was basically everything I was hoping for as an accompaniment to the novels. Lots of young Jedao and Cheris, plus "Glass Cannon" is a wonderful coda ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, sci-five, ebooks
An outstanding collection of short stories, novellas, and prose set within the Machineries of Empire universe.


If you haven’t read the Machineries of Empire series, or at the very least Ninefox Gambit, most of these probably won’t be as enjoyable for you as they were for me. There were a few self-contained stories (including the stellar first one), but probably not enough of them for first time Yoon Ha Lee readers. This was definitely written for fans of the trilogy.

The collection ranged
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: earc, 2019
I read this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley; my enthusiasm is genuine and unprompted and my own.

First things first: this is very much a book for a reader of Machineries of Empire trilogy, or better yet, its fan: not a primer to Yoon Ha Lee's writing. Perhaps it's readable without knowing the context, but it must then be a peculiar half-dialogue overheard on the phone; you may laugh at some of the jokes, but you won't get the conversation. I don't think one needs to refresh the
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Rounded up from 3.5stars. I love the Ninefox Gambit and following books. My favorite short stories from this compilation I had already read. Some of the other short shorts are really mostly fun for the author’s accompanying comments.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed the short pieces set before Ninefox Gambit well enough, I really loved the longer novella piece at the end that is set after the end of Revenant Gun. Worth reading if you're a fan of the Ninefox series!
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yoon Ha Lee now has to be one the most prominent science fiction writers of our time and rarely does he let fans down. Hexarchate Stories is another stellar anthology of short novella length tales which, of course, suffer from the same issues that plague all of these ambitious collections: they each differ in quality. That said, each story is enjoyable but due to personal preference, every reader will find their own gems amongst these pages. Using the world created in his Machineries of Empire ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’m not a huge fan of short stories, but every now and again I’m blown away by one. Of course Sanderson comes to mind or The Lady Astronaut of Mars which recently impressed me very much. This book is not impressive nor is it a masterpiece of writing. I’d rather describe it as “rambling about some random facts of a previously great character”. Contrary to many authors’ (and especially publishers’) believes: you can overdo it with your ongoing favourite characters (or series). At some point they ...more
Hexarchate Stories is a collection of flash fiction, short stories, and novellas all set in the Machinaries of Empire world. Some before the trilogy (starting with Ninefox Gambit) and some after. You get a story of an ex-Kel before the Hexachate was formed, stories of Jedao's and Cheris' childhoods/family's and pre-book life, and the capstone of the whole series, a short story following up two years after the final book in the trilogy.

While Lee still captures the horrors and intensity of the
Barb in Maryland
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of the author's short fiction. Most were previous published and feature Shuos Jedao and take place before the action in Ninefox Gambit.
The real gem is the original novella length story, featuring Cheris and Jedao, which takes place two years after Revenant Gun.
As I love the three novel featuring these characters, buying this was a no-brainer.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. I'm also completely and utterly biased because the Machineries of Empire trilogy are among my favourite books, and I'll take any scrap of further writing from this universe and these characters I can get. As a collection, this a little weird, because it's mostly what YHL calls "flash fiction" (i.e. stories of about 10min audio runtime), then a few longer stories, and finally the new novella. I think I'm just gonna review these parts of the books separately.
Flash fiction
I loved all of
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review coming!
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, arc
Other than "The Battle of Candle Arc" (which is available for free online, and which I recommend to people who were confused by Ninefox Gambit as an easier-to-understand introduction to this universe) these stories will either make no sense or hold no interest for readers who have not read the Machineries of Empires novels. But if you enjoyed those books, you'll enjoy these stories, which are basically fanfiction of the series (that is, bits of prequel, a sequel, and interstitial explorations) ...more
Tsana Dolichva
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee is a collection of short stories set in the same world as the Machineries of Empire series (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem and Revenant Gun). Although not all the stories require familiarity with the main series, I generally recommend having read the series before picking up Hexarchate Stories since some of the flash pieces and especially the concluding novella work better with knowledge of the characters and series events. (Though many of the stories ...more
Carolina Carvalho
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just to make something abundantly clear: I would read Lee's grocery list.

He's probably my favourite author at this point, and I'm looking forward to re-read the Machineries of Empire trilogy in order to write some in depth-reviews, that let's be honest, will end up being mindless gushing praise, despite my best efforts.

I found this anthology very entertaining, and while I was mostly interested in the stories that directly mentioned Jedao and Cheris, it was lovely to learn about their
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: june-lgbtqia
I will preface this by saying that this story collection is not a good introduction to the world of the Hexarchate. Most of the stories presume the reader is already familiar with the world of Lee’s Machineries of Empire trilogy. Like all of the Hexarchate books, content warnings for depictions of violence, PTSD, body horror, and sexual violence and coercion apply.

Most of the stories are very short pieces of flash-fiction. My ebook copy didn’t have page markers, but I’d be surprised if most of
Elaine Aldred
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Anyone wanting to read this collection should first absorb and get to grips with the challenging but rewarding Machineries of the Empire trilogy. Because of the complexity of the Machineries universe, Hexarchate Stories are really a collection for the trilogy’s fans, of which I am one. Even so it took me a little while to bed into this collection which initially has the sense of warm ups for the main event. Indeed, this glimpse into Yoon Ha Lee’s writing scrapbook of experimental, or works in ...more
Bonnie McDaniel
Yoon Ha Lee is the author of the Machineries of Empire trilogy, a far-flung space opera where the technology might as well be (and might be) magic. His books are some of my favorites of the past few years. This story collection fleshes out the world and our two main characters, Shuos Jedao and Kel Cheris.

I would say this book is definitely for those already familiar with the previous novels--I think it would be very hard to dive into this uninitiated. (Anyway, the trilogy is excellent and y'all
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As the title says, this is a collection of stories set in Lee’s Hexarchate universe, most centering on Shuos Jedao at various points of his life. Some aren’t even stories as such but rather vignettes about life in the Hexarchy (and its earlier incarnation as the Heptarchy). “Glass Cannon,” the final story in the collection, is a short novella that picks up with Cheris and Jedao two years after the events of Revenant Gun and promises more adventures as they try to bring down the Hexarchs.

If you
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Okay, no.

Yoon Ha Lee has created a crazy weird SF universe and blew my sock off with it in Ninefox Gambit, but then I guess he decided to shift focus from the universe onto the characters and kept steadily losing my interest over the next two novels. I was hoping that this collection would explore that crazy weird universe a bit more, on how it ticks and what makes it so, moving through a wider variety of its cultures and inhabitants, leaving the “people” stories aside, but it actually goes the
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
About two thirds of this short story collection take place prior to the events of the original trilogy, and the remaining third is a single novella that takes place after. I’d still advise you read the series before tackling this book, because the stories and companion authors notes may spoil some of the experience of the novels, and you also will understand the context much better reading in that order. Most of the stories were small tastes back into a beloved story, a few of which I’d already ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-books
Now what do I do with my life? ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Always nice to return to the Hexarchate and this is a brilliant set of short stories and novellas exploring before, during and after the events of Machineries of Empire

Full review -
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I made a mistake in thinking this was a collection of standalone short stories when I requested this. I should make it clear that the stories herein are closely tied with Yoon Ha Lee's The Machineries of Empire series, and this isn't really the best entryway to Lee's works.

It is nonetheless a testament to Lee's writing that despite me not having read his earlier works, I could still enjoy the shorts within. The impact of some stories was lost on me since I was unfamiliar with the characters,
Now and forever, I'm your gun.

Image credit: Yoon Ha Lee

Yeah, at this point Lee could not do any wrong. He could write about Jedao masquerading as himself in Halloween and scaring everyone else or Mikodez munching all the chocolate candies in the Citadel of Eyes (with assassination orders on the side, please) or Cheris teaching snotty lil kids how to sing Mwennin songs....all the characters in his Machineries of Empire world were just that fascinating to read even doing silly, everyday thing.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoy this review, please consider visiting my blog where you can find more reviews, as well as some of my own writing (for free).

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book, but I got sick, lost track of time, and only ended up starting it after the release date. The good news is if this review makes you desperately want to read Hexarchate Stories, you can! You may have noticed that I’ve listed this anthology as book 4, that’s not because I don’t know how trilogies work, it’s
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Yoon Ha Lee is an American science fiction writer born on January 26, 1979 in Houston, Texas. His first published story, “The Hundredth Question,” appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1999; since then, over two dozen further stories have appeared. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Other books in the series

The Machineries of Empire (3 books)
  • Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire, #1)
  • Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire, #2)
  • Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire, #3)
“You always have a choice,” Jedao said. “It’s just that most of them are bad.” 0 likes
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