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The Hidden Girl and Other Stories

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,994 ratings  ·  926 reviews
alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

From inter-dimensional assassins to a steampunk dystopia destroyed by plague, from Black Mirror-esque tales of blockchain cryptography and internet trolling to artificial intelligence and the singularity, here are 17 interlinking visions that explore what it is to be human, and what it is like to abandon or transcend that.

Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 2021 by Saga Press (first published February 25th 2020)
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SWB Yes, please read this. Honestly the excerpt from the Dandelion Dynasty was the weakest of the stories within this collection. The other stories are ph…moreYes, please read this. Honestly the excerpt from the Dandelion Dynasty was the weakest of the stories within this collection. The other stories are phenomenal, even better than the Paper Menagerie. (less)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,994 ratings  ·  926 reviews

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Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by the publisher—Saga Press—in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5 stars

Ken Liu is incredibly good at writing short stories.

I’ve 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 Death’s End by Cixin Liu. I loved them all; The Paper Menagerie, in particular, is one of the two best
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
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. Uni
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

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
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ken Liu is becoming one of my favorite short story writers. It's one thing to drop names like Harlan Ellison or Ted Chiang, but it's another thing to see such stories rise up out of so many other writers and still stick with you after years.

I guess I've been blessed to read a number of these stories from other collections, and it's great to find out that reading them again is still a pleasure. For the most part, the tone of the tales moves away from Chinese mythology or the social bits or the ho
Michael Finocchiaro
There are about a dozen new stories here in Ken Liu's second collection. I felt that it was less interesting than his extraordinary The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, but still good reading. Many of the stories are set in a dystopia called "the Singularity" where, like in a few episodes of Black Mirror such as 'San Junipero', folks can decide to upload their consciousness into the cloud and live as digital entities. In these stories, there is a massive social pressure for folks to assimilate ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5ish stars. This is a collection of fantasy and SF short stories by the very talented Ken Liu, many of them set in a future where humans choose to be “uploaded” into a virtual world, like a voluntary Matrix. Liu is great at focusing on relationships while also exploring ideas.

RTC. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Thanks!
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 storyt ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Quite a satisfying collection of stories. I am typically a fan of sprawling space operas with a lot of character development and the fate of human existence at stake. But my early love of Borges and his portrayal of mystifying ideas in a small package has primed my readiness to pursue the best of sci fi short stories. Liu is in the running for that with tales replete with elements used by classic masters of the form: ironic twists, poignant contrasts, potent microcosms, ambiguous endings that po ...more
Peter Tillman
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), http://www.tor.com/2016/11/15/reprint... 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

➤ Ghost Days - 4 stars
➤ Maxwell’s Demon - 3.5 stars
➤ The Reborn - 4 stars
➤ Thoughts and Prayers - 4 stars
➤ Byzantine Empathy - 2 stars
➤ The Gods Will Not Be Chained - 5 stars
➤ Staying Behind - 3.5 stars
➤ Real Artists - 3 stars
➤ The Gods Will Not Be Slain - 4 stars
➤ Altogether Elsewhere, Vast Herds of Reindeer - 3.5 stars
➤ The Gods Have Not Died in Vain - 3.5 stars
➤ Memories of My Mother - 3 stars
➤ Dispatched from the Cradle: The Hermit-Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Mas
While I had my ups and downs with the author’s previous collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, I had my downs and ups with this book, meaning more downs than ups this time. While the other collection was the proverbial box of chocolates with me liking the variety, this collection had too much of one flavor I didn’t care for, called “The Singularity” which even hints at a sameness in the name. Part of the concept had to do with certain segments of humanity uploading their consciousnes ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only experience with Ken Liu thus far has been in his translation of Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem and Death’s 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 stor
Richard Derus
Real Rating: 4.5* of five

First look at Pantheon, the AMC+ series based on these stories.


Ken Liu is a busy, busy man. He is practically the sole engine behind Chinese SF being translated into English, and that's a major feat right there, especially while he was also being a lawyer and a software engineer...and also writing his own fiction. Thankfully the fact that his story "Good Hunting" was made into an episode of the first season of Lov
I received this book from Net galley, in exchange for an honest review.

Ken Liu has a very accomplished writing style and I found myself enjoying stories about AI and computer code that I normally find quite boring.

The first few stories are for the most part barely fiction, set in the present time or the very near future illustrating the most appalling and repellant uses of what is now every-day technology. Stories designed to provoke discussion.

Then there is a group of stories concerned with upl
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.
The Captain
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 s
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).

Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this excellent short story without getting goose bumps is not possible. Utterly realistic and horrifying. In my opinion a must read for anybody who engages in social media (and who doesn't nowadays?) ...more
Anima Miejska
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gcac_2020
Not all the stories are equally gripping, but some jolted my imagination and gave some food for thought (my favourite combination in a book). The audio version was excellent, too! I recommend it to be taken in small doses, it definitely works better!
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
"All Mist had was data about the world, not the world itself... Words or emoji were inadequate to convey the essence of reality. Life is about embodiment...To experience the world through the senses was different from simply having data about the world."

From "The Gods Have Not Died in Vain" (story) in THE HIDDEN GIRL and Other Stories by Ken Liu, 2020.

Buckle up.
Ken Liu is here to blow your mind.

Even before reading a single word of his work, he was already blowing my mind with level of output -
Oct 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actual Rating: 4.5/5

My favorite stories in this collection are: Maxwell's Demon (I am a sucker for entropy related short stories), Thoughts and Prayers, Byzantine Empathy (my heart), The Gods trilogy, Memories of My Mother, Dispatched from the Cradle (one of my favorite post climate disaster sci-fi pieces), Seven Birthdays.

As you can tell I basically loved almost every story in this collection. I loved that this was more of a sci-fi focused collection so even though there were a few more misse
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 pref
Peter Tillman
Well, this is weird. I have a review here somewhere of the whole collection. This particular review is solely for his story "Thoughts and Prayers”, described by Slate as "A new short story [that] looks at how much worse trolling could get." Yet Another stealth merge by the GR Bad Librarians! Bah.

A well-written day-after-tomorrow SF story about a college girl, a victim of a mass shooting. Her mother agrees to make her a poster-girl for gun control. Then the trolls arrive…. Memorable story that I
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever since I've read Ken Liu's first collection The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories four years ago, the author has been on my reading radar. This new collection contains 18 short stories plus an excerpt from a book. While the older collection spread out a great variance of genres, this collection focuses more on Near future SF scenarios, especially with transhumanism elements caused by uploading humans' consciousness into the cloud. Those seem to be the author's preference, as he declared in t ...more
Yvonne (Fiction Books)
It was sheer luck that I happened to come across this short story.

I am reviewing a short story collection, 'The Hidden Girl And Other Stories', by the same author, maybe a little against my better judgement, as it is billed as a collection of science fiction / fantasy stories, neither of which are amongst my favourite genres.

I digress! Having agreed to read / review based on a random selection of a few of the stories, I naturally chose the first story, then continued scrolling until I happened
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. ...more
ash | spaceyreads
Ken Liu did it again. I am actually shocked that the total number of short stories he published, some of them both in Mandarin and English, a lot of them available online or in his collections. So many stories, so little time.

Liu's short stories often pack a punch - a creative idea that's executed well, a raw exploration of emotions, a sped-up journey with a beginning and an end, a twist on old scifi tropes, the list goes on.

Ghost Days (2013) - A beautiful look into ancestral history through th
Amy (Other Amy)
Started this one for my 2021 Advent calendar, but I'm probably going to have to wait until after December to continue. It's too good to keep on a schedule. One never knows when one hears that someone is a master of the short story form just what that means. (Sometimes those plaudits are coming from people who aren't actually very good at reading short stories, it seems to me.) But with Liu it means exactly what it says on the tin. I've now read the first and the title stories of this collection ...more
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Ken Liu (http://kenliu.name) 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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