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The Hidden Girl and Other Stories

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  33 reviews
From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories.

Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years—sixteen of his best—plus a new novelette.

In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other
Hardcover, 432 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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This is my first work of fiction by Ken Liu, so I had no idea what to expect going in. THE HIDDEN GIRL is a collection of short stories, most of which are science-fiction, that dwell on themes of artificial intelligence, the transmittance of culture over time (memes), global warming and climate change, and at its most fundamental level, what it means to be human.

Reading these stories made me think of the TV show Love, Death + Robots. Not
L.S. Popovich
Ken Liu is one of my top five favorite short story writers working today. And he is really the only one of the bunch being prolific. I believe he has published over 80 stories in most reputable speculative fiction magazines over the past 10 years. He attained the remarkable feat of gaining popularity in the supersaturated medium of speculative fiction magazines. The reason he was able to rise above the rest, I believe, was his storytelling ability, which often combines traditional Chinese ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking, and often chilling, collection of soft sci-fi and fantasy, with many stories examining the unimaginable ramifications of human technological progress spun out of control. A number of stories revolve around the concept of uploaded human consciousness, AKA the "Singularity", where human minds become digitized, no longer requiring physical bodies. The three linked "The Gods.." stories in particular are fascinating looks at this, with the absolutely riveting story "Staying Behind" ...more
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this via goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.

If you want to see my individual ratings for the stories, its all in my status updates :)

This was a fun collection. Some stories were more interesting than others, but all of them kept my attention and a few got me thinking about what it would be like if they actually happened. A couple did have me scratching my head and wondering why it was in the collection (didn't dampen my enjoyment at all).

Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed these stories for the most part. I think it started really strong and then sagged a little in the middle and finished strongish- but all were worth reading. I like that there seemed to be something here for everyone.

I do think some of them were written in his earlier days and it showed. That or Liu doesn’t do sentiment well.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Average Rating : .9

After really enjoying Ken Liu’s previous short story anthology a lot, there was no way I was letting this ARC go and I jumped at the opportunity to be able to review it. This is another collection of fascinating stories by the author, most of them sci-fi/dystopian but a couple of them are fantasy as well. There are also multiple stories which are interconnected but told in no particular order, so it was fun trying to find the connections between them.

One theme that I found
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely magnificent. And any other superlatives that I might throw in. Ken Liu's short fiction at it's best reminds me of Ray Bradbury.
Megan Forrest
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was first introduced to Ken Liu through his translations of Chinese SciFi short stories when we were preparing potential classes on comparative universes as one of our teaching units, so I was very interested to read The Hidden Girl and Other Stories and gain a better understanding of his own original work. Ken Liu fits in that section of SciFi that I really prefer to classify in the speculative fiction range since a lot of his developments are based on real (or at least in the research ...more
Peter Tillman
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional collection from one of our very best SF authors. At his best, he’s as good as any writer in the business. As always, I liked some stories more than others. Rating based on my favorites, all SF: 4 stars. Most of the fantasies didn’t work for me.
Seven Birthdays (2016), A million or so years in the life of Mia and her Mom. Ken Liu dreams big in this meticulous, breathtaking hard-SF tale of the transition from organic to silicon-based
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
Author: Ken Liu
Publisher: Saga/Gallery Press
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Review Date: November 14, 2019

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blurb:
“From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories.

Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from
Megan ( Tome Infinity )
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher Saga Press for allowing me to receive this E-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
by Ken Liu

This is like most short stories collections in the way that I really loved some and others were just good or ok, I think it is nearly impossible to find a collection that is 100% stories you absolutely love and connect with.

That being said I need thoroughly enjoy a lot of the stories that this included, I thought there
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC via Netgalley. You know how you can read something and recognize that it's perfectly good and know exactly which other people will like it a lot and simultaneously not like it at all? That's how I feel about the scifi stories in this collection. (I did actually quite like the handful of fantasy stories!) They're very interested in the ethical quandaries caused by scientific advances -- "what if we figured out how to upload human consciousness to a computer" is the jumping-off point for a lot ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Good: Short scifi and fantasy stories that ask you to think about the hard questions
The Bad: Inconsistent theme throughout – very different stories
The Literary: Rare combination of hard scifi and strong characters

This second collection by Ken Liu includes sixteen previously published science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years, one new novelette, and an excerpt from the third book in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.

I adored Liu’s first collection of short
Katrina Forest
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although I'm quite familiar with Ken Liu's name, this book was my first time reading a collection of his short fiction. Two things stuck out to me as I read: the incredibly imaginative worlds and concepts each story explores and Mr. Liu's amazing ability to grab the reader's attention and pull them in within a sentence or two. I felt more attached to some of these characters within a paragraph than I've felt with protagonists in a few novels even after several chapters. The opening of "Byzantine ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars to this excellent collection of short stories. It's a sign of how good Ken Liu's writing is that even the preface introducing the collection had me spellbound.

I love how Liu uses fantasy and science-fiction elements to thoroughly explore real-world issues. Internalised racism, colonialism, estrangement between parent and child, a longing for one's place within one's culture, mass shootings, online trolls, climate change—he ties all these elements seamlessly with fantastic creatures,
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to have received an advanced copy of The Hidden Girl and Other Stories from a book giveaway promoted by Goodreads. My introduction to Ken Liu was The Paper Menagerie and I absolutely loved that collection. Understandably, I was excited for a second release of short stories.
Like The Paper Menagerie, The Hidden Girl is a collection of short stories. Unlike The Paper Menagerie, quite a few of these short stories were either written within the same world (down to the same
Eric Giroux
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A superb collection with an astonishing range, Liu’s THE HIDDEN GIRL has the engrossing and interlocking thematic depth of an excellent novel. It’s that rare collection that not only starts strong but gathers force and meaning as it unfolds.

Some of the early stories, grounded in history as much as fantasy or speculative elements, have a piercing clarity as Liu presses on issues of colonialism, exploitation, memory, and identity. As the collection progresses, middle stories reach into the near
Lady Shockley
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having read and loved Ken Liu's first short story collection, The Paper Managerie and Other Stories, several years ago, I was eager to see where he is stories went in this new collection. I was not disappointed; his writing and imagination remain as active as ever.

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories did take a slightly new direction, however: many of the stories in this book build on one another, without most being dependant on previous stories, so most can be read on their own. This is
Lou Jacobs
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No fluff, here! Ken Liu comes out swinging ... using SF, Speculative fiction and Fantasy as a platform to spin yarns brimming with insight, inspiration and thoughtful commentary on society and the universe. A heady mix of thought provoking narrative and heart rendering sadness. Seventeen hand picked gems ... the best of the best from multi-award winning Ken Liu. This collection will certainly rival the acclaim garnered from his first collection, " The Paper Menagerie " There is no reason to lay ...more
Carro Herdegen
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language: R (17 swears, 2 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13
The future is uncertain. Will we end up destroying our planet? Will we continue to progress and evolve until we no longer recognize where we came from? How involved will technology be? In these 19 short stories, Lui explores avenues of a future that might be and highlights problems that we will face if we aren’t careful with our present.
These scifi and fantasy stories filled my mind with food for thought, and the element of
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't heard of Ken Liu yet, I promise that you'll hear his name everywhere soon.

This collection is breathtaking. I read (and enjoyed) Liu's first collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. It's excellent, but this assembly of stories enthralled me. I cried on an airplane, in a coffee shop, on the beach. Hope, for the future, for humanity, for the possibility that we can be better people is the throughline through all these stories. I simply can't say enough positive things about
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Each story in this volume plumbs the depths of human depravity and our worst instincts. Yet, somehow, hope remains at the end of each tale. I hope Grey Rabbit is turned into a full-length novel. I would love to spend time with the characters in that story again. Liu has a gift for world building and narrative economy that are beautifully married throughout this collection. I will put this in the hands of hardcore sci fi lovers and people who are new to the genre. This is a great entry point for ...more
Maggie Rotter
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've been following Ken Liu's career through his translations that have opened the world of contemporary Chinese science fiction to English speaking readers. These include Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem and two collections of short stories written in China by current authors. His first collection of his own stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories , is a multiple prize winner that is accessible to a broad reading audience. The Hidden Girl should extend that audience with more ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd (sadly) never heard of Ken Liu before I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. These stories are incredible. They're hauntingly evocative, beautiful, painful, hopeful - they just run the whole gambit. There's definitely a Ray Bradbury vibe going on with this one, and I couldn't have asked for more. I'm going to need to acquire Liu's other books. There's so much rich history interwoven into each story, the good with the bad, and it all comes alive in a way that I haven't seen in a very long ...more
Erin Brown
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is made up of short stories, most sci-fi and fantasy, and while they are all well written this is just not "my cup of tea" so to speak. This just is not what I was expecting. However, I do think their will be some out there who will completely disagree and love this. This just wasn't for me.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my first time reading anything by Ken Liu. I loved the different short stories and am usually a fan of short stories. I loved the sci-fi, the type that have been pretty popular in recent years. I also liked that there was enough range to peak almost anyone's interest. Even though some stories were more well written than others; overall, this was a great collection.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

I'm so glad I finally picked up one of Lui's books! This is an interesting collection of thought-provoking science fiction tales and warnings. Lui explores our relationship with technology and each other. This is the kind of book that definitely leaves you thinking.
Doug Chase
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved these stories. Some of them were linked, some stand-alone. A great melding of character and story, of fantasy and hard science fiction. This is my first dip into this author, and I want to read more.
Nov 23, 2019 marked it as to-read
A very strong set of stories from a very talented and increasingly well-known author. It has a good variety of stories and characters and settings. You don't have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy. Recommended.

I really appreciate the advanced copy for review!!
Barbara White
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories makes you think. The variety of stories creates an interesting book. I enjoyed them all. Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for my copy. I look forward to more writings from Ken Liu.
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Ken Liu ( is an American author of speculative fiction. He has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, as well as top genre honors in Japan, Spain, and France, among other places.

Ken’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty, in which engineers play the role of wizards. His debut collection, The Paper