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The Hidden Girl and Other Stories

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  397 ratings  ·  145 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, First Edition, 411 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Saga Press
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisherSaga Pressin exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5 stars

Ken Liu is incredibly good at writing short stories.

Ive been waiting for The Dandelion Dynasty to be completed for years now so I can binge read the epic fantasy series. During my waiting time, I have read The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and also some books Liu has translated: The Three-Body Problem and Deaths End by Cixin Liu. I loved them all; The Paper Menagerie, in particular, is one of the two best
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ✺❂❤❣
Quite a lot of heavily conflicted characters.

Culture - do you love your own or do you readily embrace the strange one? Be it Ancient China or a mesh of space genetics...

This actually could be on par with Bradbury if only the weaker essays were taken out: the politics-based one, the VR one, the algorithmic bullying one... Seriously, it's all so very childish.

Excellent stories:
The 'Ghost Days', a story about Ona, the half-alien girl, about bubis and else. A lot of else.
'The Reborn' - wowser.
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
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
My only experience with Ken Liu thus far has been in his translation of Cixin Lius The Three Body Problem and Deaths End.  But I know he has a few beloved books already published out there, so I jumped at the chance to read this.

I generally try to read the introduction whenever one is included, and I definitely recommend reading the intro to The Hidden Girl and Other Stories.  Liu talks a little about his writing process and how he went about selecting stories for this book.  He says that
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).

The Captain
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this short story  collection eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

One of the best short stories I have ever read was Ken Liu's the paper menagerie which in 2012 was the first work to win the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award.  Ye can read it for free by clicking here.  This lovely cover for his second short story collection caught me eye and I was excited to read more of his work.  This book has 16
Average Rating : ⭐⭐⭐.9

After really enjoying Ken Lius 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
Peter Tillman
Exceptional collection from one of our very best SF authors. At his best, hes 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 didnt 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
Updated March 26: 5 Stars. I went through the stories to put in my reading list of short stories for the year and realized that I really liked the vast majority of these.

A lot of stories tied together and a lot of them about singularity / uploading consciousness into a network. I always enjoy those type of stories. I may update this review with favorites and individual story thoughts. Grey Rabbit, Crimson Mare, Coal Leopard was the new story and it was pretty good but not amazing.
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.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars

Short story collections are always tricky to rate. There will always be certain stories that resonate with the reader and others that might miss the mark. The majority of this collection was pretty solid though. I found all of the entries to be brilliantly written, even when I stumbled upon a story that I didn't personally click with. It's obvious that Ken Liu has a gift. He's won awards for a reason. However, I wouldn't call this a particularly fun read. So, all that being said, I'm
Beth Cato
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, netgalley, 2020
Ken Liu is one of the best short story tellers out there in genre fiction right now. His new collection displays the depth and diversity of his work, though AI is a definite theme threaded throughout.

I had read a few of these stories before, but most were new to me. A few didn't quite click for me. Most, however, were fantastic. Stand-outs included "Thoughts and Prayers," "Seven Birthdays," and "The Message." I fully expect to see this book up for awards next year.
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
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
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, owned
I requested and received a copy of this book for honest review, thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author.

This was an incredible collection of mostly previously published work, primarily SF with a couple fantasy items thrown in. It being Liu there are obvious linguistic nods throughout the whole collection, but also a patchwork of similar themes explored throughout family bonds in odd time scales pop up frequently, societies grappling with dystopic conditions versus singularity as well. For
Auderoy Lin
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it

The story is co-told by the author and the reader, and every story is incomplete until a reader comes along and interprets it.

The past, thus accumulating bit by bit through recursion, becomes the future.

People were mostly friendly, but a thousand smiles, whispers, little gestures that each individually seemed so innocuous added up to you don't belong.

Which is authentic? The World or the Word? The truth or understanding?

Sometimes understanding comes to you not through thought, but through
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fine collection of emotion-infused sci-fi/fantasy stories, as expected from this intelligent and tender author.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories (2020) by Ken Liu is a collection of short stories from the master sci-fi writer. 

There are a number of short stories that feature the Singularity and how it comes about and also a few with Climate Change. Some even combine both. The collection also features some fantasy stories, stories about the Japanese Americans during WWII and stories to do with the discovery of ancient civilisations in the stars. There are also some outright fantasy stories. 

Ken Liu is a
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Man this was rough. The Paper Menagerie, Ken Liu's first collection of short stories is one of my top 3, maybe favorite book I've ever read. Every story in that collection felt somewhere on the spectrum of pretty good to awesome, at least 2-3 of them making me cry.
Every story in this collection feels somewhere on the spectrum of almost DNF to "that was alright." I'm so curious what changed, either in this collection or in my reading of Liu's work. From reading these, I think I generally
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
His short fiction is so much better than his novels imo. Some of these I'd read before I'd picked this up. There were probably 2-3 that left it from a 5 star
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
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
Ashley Searcy
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: psrc2020, giveaways

Short story collections are not my go-to. I feel like that is a needed caveat when considering my rating. And while I know most who give half ratings round up, I couldn't justify it for myself. This was my first experience with Ken Liu's writings.

Overall, I enjoyed this collection. The title story, The Hidden Girl, was, in my opinion, the most interesting. The one that pulled me in, took me along, and left me wanting to read more. It made me wish that there was a full novel about The Hidden
I dont read SFF very often, but I seem to have a thing for Ken Lius SFF short story collections because I always pick them up. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is Lius latest of seventeen stories that deal quite heavily with themes like artificial intelligence/programming/technology, war, space/time travel and crisis. This special Kinokuniya edition also includes a bonus short story, Golden Years in the Paleozoic.

Personally, I find The Hidden Girl to be a bit of a mixed bag. There were stories
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To see more reviews check them out here.

I got an ARC of this book.

I had never heard of Ken Liu before I saw that cover. I checked him out on Goodreads and saw some people I really admire loved his work, so I thought "why not?". I know ringing endorsement and super excitement on my part. I promise my excitement level rose. 

From the first time I opened the book and started reading, I was hooked. The stories are so in depth and feel so full. One of my biggest complaints with short stories is I
Dan Trefethen
Ken Liu's short fiction was highlighted in his first collection, The Paper Menagerie, the best single author collection of the year (IMHO) in science fiction. This is his second collection and shares some of his same concerns of racial injustice, but also profiles his questing mind over technology. There are stories that focus around mathematics and near-term advanced technologies, but a recurring theme in this collection is the possibility of uploading consciousness to a digital environment. ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolute adored Ken Liu's first short story collection, The Paper Menagerie, so I was thrilled to see he had another one coming out. Taken as an entire collection, I didn't like this one quite as much at the first, but I still really enjoyed it, and Liu is one of my favorite short fiction writers currently working today. His background in coding and tech was quite apparent in many of these stories, a majority of which focused on the Singularity and its implications. Some of my favorite stories ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Oh boy. I bought this one on my first day of working at The Bookstore because 1) we had it in a few days early, 2) I loved The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and The Grace of Kings, and 3) I was willing to break my rule of only buying books Ive already read and would unquestioningly lend to friends to commemorate my Bookstore Birthday.

Read my full review here:
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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

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