The Hidden Girl in Development; George Takei, Conventions and Appearances

Happy October, everyone.

I have some great news to share, and this month presents multiple opportunities to see me in conversation with awesome authors. Let’s get to it.

FilmNation Developing “The Hidden Girl”

As reported by Variety:

[FilmNation Entertainment] has acquired Ken Liu’s sci-fi short story “The Hidden Girl,” with the intention of adapting it into a series. Liu is attached to executive produce the project, which sources say is already in discussions with potential directors and showrunners.

“The Hidden Girl” blends sci-fi and historical reality into a story set in a never-before-seen fantasy world derived from the cosmopolitan realities of Tang Dynasty China. In the story, a diverse group of women assassins travel through the fourth-dimension traversing space and time to kill their opponents, honor their professional code, and face down ethical dilemmas only too relevant for our conflict- and doubt-driven modern world.  

“The Hidden Girl” is the title story in my collection, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories.

One of my favorite books is Edwin Abbott’s Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, which enthralled me as a child with its melding of social observation and mathematical wonder. I wrote “The Hidden Girl” to create a fantasy world in which that same kind of mathematical beauty can be a metaphor for ethical dilemmas more relevant to our world with each passing day.

It’s a story about abdicating individual moral responsibility to group identity, to professional codes, to rationalizations that are fundamentally monstrous. It’s about how it is easy to tear down but hard to build up. It’s about how our mentors can also be our abusers, and we need not forgive them even if we understand them. It’s about how in a terrible world, it’s still important to be decent, to empathize, to go against all that you’ve been taught and do what is right.

The folks at FilmNation are amazing. It’s still early days, but I have a good feeling about this.

George Takei Reads My Stories

That’s right. The great George Takei narrated two of my stories for Serial Box: “Saboteur” and “Summer Reading.

Takei says he immediately appreciated the profound themes and characters that Liu’s two stories allowed him to explore. “The two are wonderful compliments to each other," he explains. "Saboteur is about man against technology. Summer Reading is where technology has absorbed all the things that make us human, the essential qualities of compassion, of treasuring the past, and the sharing of the past. These are human qualities that have been absorbed by this robot that is now the caretaker of this derelict, ancient planet. Now, it’s just visited by humans who have lost those essential qualities. They are just tourists. But the robot finds a spark of what makes him humane with a young human life.”

I’ve long admired Takei for his deep humanity and enduring activism. It’s a great honor to know that he read my stories and that they resonated with him. May we all live a life as generous as his, and hold on to hope in the face of despair.

Events

My confirmed appearances in October (everything is online):

  • NYCC Panel: “Can Mermaids Get Drunk? And Other Important Questions about Science and Fantasy,” with Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone, Kat Leyh, Rebecca Roanhorse, and SB Diyva. October 11, 2020 (4:45-5:15 EDT).

  • Capclave 2020, October 17-18, 2020 (I’ll be doing one panel and a kaffeeklatsch, so please sign up and we can chat about what you want).

  • Conversation with Rebecca Roanhorse in support of Rebecca’s new book, Black Sun, sponsored by Brookline Booksmith, October 19, 2020. This is seriously the most epic book ever, and I can’t wait to talk to Rebecca about it. The book is so good that it hurts to think that you still haven’t read it!

  • Tech in SF discussion with Cory Doctorow and Annalee Newitz in support of Cory’s new book, Attack Surface, sponsored by Interabang Books, October 20, 2020. Anytime you get to see Cory and Annalee talking about anything, you should drop everything and sign up. Seriously. These are smart people.

Next week I’ll have a new publication to announce and some more events to share. Stay safe and be well.