Here are the stories of this anthology that I have read so far. I might get back to this again at a later date.
The Paper Menagerie, ~ 11 p., ★★★★★
“A little paper tiger stood on the table, the size of two fists placed together. The skin of the tiger was the pattern on the wrapping paper, white background with red candy canes and green Christmas trees.“
Lovely, truly lovely. And terribly bittersweet and sad.
Can be read for free here: https://io9.gizmodo.com/read-ken-lius…
The Litigation Master and The Monkey King, ~18 p., ★★★½
The tiny cottage at the edge of Sanli Village—away from the villagers’ noisy houses and busy clan shrines and next to the cool pond filled with lily pads, pink lotus flowers, and playful carp—would have made an ideal romantic summer hideaway for some dissolute poet and his silk-robed mistress from nearby bustling Yangzhou.
I liked it, it did not move me much though. I am not sure why it was a Nebula Award Nominee in 2013. However, I did like the context given in the author‘s note at the end.
Can be read for free here: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic…
Read in a different anthology, The Final Frontier:
MONO NO AWARE , ~18 p., ★★★★★½
“The world is shaped like the kanji for “umbrella,” only written so poorly, like my handwriting, that all the parts are out of proportion.“
“At the end of the cable hangs the heart of the Hopeful, the habitat module, a five-hundred-meter-tall cylinder into which all the 1,021 inhabitants of the world are packed.“
It‘s the end of the world as we know it and the survivors are on a generation ship. This story is about how they got there and what happens next.
Wow, beautiful story. I cried. The story is very much about the needs of the many, the few and the one. Fascinating, Mr. Spock! What makes a hero? A great look at the differing views of East and West, a holistic understanding of the world and the many, juxtaposed to that one hero.
Story can be read for free here: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic…
P.S.: Funnily enough, I did not finish The Grace of Kings in 2016. It moved too slowly for me, I found it too dry and it lacked any meaningful female characters.