What is this?

A newsletter for author Ken Liu.

Who are you?

I write novels and short stories. Here’s a list of my books.

Other tidbits (some of which may even be true):

  • I invented the genre of “silkpunk” (see, e.g., The Grace of Kings and The Wall of Storms). It’s a technology aesthetic based on a science fictional elaboration of traditions of engineering in East Asia’s classical antiquity.

  • My story, “The Paper Menagerie,” is the first work to win three big genre literary awards: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award.

  • Before becoming a full-time writer, I was a lawyer and a software engineer.

  • A series of my interlinked stories about uploaded minds (found in The Hidden Girl and Other Stories) is the basis for AMC’s Pantheon (with Craig Silverstein as showrunner).

  • I have a secret career designing AI to convince you that you don’t live in a simulation. I’m pretty good at it, but the AI isn’t perfect, yet.

What do I get if I sign up?

This is where I

  • Announce new books, stories, media adaptations, etc.

  • Tell you about events and signings where you can see me

  • Give out ARCs (that’s Advance Reading Copies — free copies of new books (complete with typos) handed out for reviews)

  • Show you pictures of ridiculous things I make and reveal secrets no one else knows about my books

  • Call for volunteer beta readers

  • And much much more!

Can I ask you to talk about <blank>?

Of course! Writers love to go on and on, especially if it’s a subject on which they know something.

This newsletter is sort of a perpetual Q&A session. If there’s something specific you’re interested in—worldbuilding in the Dandelion Dynasty books, a detail in one of my stories, the weird shape of my career (software engineer -> corporate lawyer -> litigation consultant -> full time novelist), books and games I’m excited about, etc., etc.—let me know by emailing me: ken at kenliu dot name.

I’d like to support you. Do you have a Patreon, tip jar, etc.?

I haven’t set up anything like that yet. Right now, if you like what I do, the best way to show your support is to buy one of my books from your favorite retailer!

You can also leave a book review, tell people about my books, and above all, live the life you want to live and tell the stories you want to tell.

That last bit is really important. All my fiction is centered around this: telling the stories you want to tell is both the hardest as well as the most rewarding part of being human. We spend our entire lives to craft one narrative; we’re the heroes of our own epic journeys.

I have other questions.

Sure. Come visit my web site.

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Dispatches from a silkpunk