Ken Liu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ken Liu
Liu at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Liu at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Born刘宇昆; Liú Yǔkūn
Lanzhou, China
OccupationAuthor, translator, lawyer, programmer
GenreScience fiction, fantasy
Notable works
Notable awards
SpouseLisa Tang Liu[1]
Ken Liu
Traditional Chinese劉宇昆
Simplified Chinese刘宇昆

Ken Liu (born 1976) is an American author of science-fiction and fantasy, as well as a translator, lawyer, and computer programmer. His epic fantasy series The Dandelion Dynasty, the first work in the "silkpunk" genre, is published by Simon & Schuster.[2] His short stories have appeared in F&SF, Asimov's, Analog, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and multiple "Year's Best" anthologies.[3]

Childhood and career[edit]

Liu was born in 1976 in Lanzhou, China.[4] He spent his childhood with his grandparents.[5] His mother, who received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in the United States, is a pharmaceutical chemist, while his father is a computer engineer.[6] Ken emigrated to the United States when Liu was 11 years old.[4] They lived in California and Stonington before settling in Waterford. Liu graduated from Waterford High School in 1994, where he ran cross-country and track.[7] At Harvard College, he studied English Literature and Computer Science, receiving his A. B. in 1998.[7][8] After graduation, he worked as a software engineer for Microsoft, and then joined a start-up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He later received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2004 and after working as a corporate lawyer, eventually became a high-tech litigation consultant.[7][8] He began publishing fiction in 2002.[7]

After a long career writing and publishing short fiction, Liu turned to epic fantasy novels, starting with The Grace of Kings in 2015.[9]. He has also written for the Star Wars universe, with The Legends of Luke Skywalker in 2017.[10]

Along with his original work, Liu has also translated the works of multiple Chinese authors into English, including Liu Cixin, Hao Jingfang, Chen Qiufan, Xia Jia, and others.[11]

Some of Liu's work have been adapted into visual media. "Memories of My Mother," a short story, was the basis of "Beautiful Dreamer" by David Gaddie.[12] "Real Artists," a short story, was adapted into a short film by Cameo Wood.[13] "Good Hunting," a short story, was adapted into an animated short as part of Netflix's Love, Death & Robots series in 2019.


Liu's short story "The Paper Menagerie" is the first work of fiction, of any length, to win the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards.[1] In addition, his short story, "Mono no aware" won the 2013 Hugo Award,[14][15] and his novella "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary" was also nominated for a Hugo.[16] The first novel in his The Dandelion Dynasty series, The Grace of Kings, was a 2016 Nebula Award finalist.[17] The novel was the 2016 Locus Award Best First Novel winner.[18]

Besides his original work, Liu's translation of Liu Cixin's Chinese language novel The Three-Body Problem (the first in the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy) won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel, making it the first translated novel to have won the award.[19] Liu also translated the third volume of the Remembrance of Earth's Past series, Death's End, in 2016, which was a 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel finalist.


Nominated or finalist[edit]

Original works[edit]


The Dandelion Dynasty[edit]

  1. The Grace of Kings. Saga Press. 2015. ISBN 9781481424271.
  2. The Wall of Storms. Saga Press. 2016. ISBN 9781481424301.



Short stories[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected Notes
The waves 2012 Liu, Ken (December 2012). "The waves". Asimov's Science Fiction. 36 (12): 38–51. Novelette
The oracle 2013 Liu, Ken (Apr–May 2013). "The oracle". Asimov's Science Fiction. 37 (4&5): 144–152.
  • "The Sith of Datawork", From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars), October 3, 2017
  • "The Long Haul: From the Annals of Transportation, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009" (online), Clarkesworld Magazine, November 2014
  • "Presence" (online), Uncanny, November/December 2014
  • "Saboteur", Analog, December 2014
  • "The Regular", Upgraded, edited by Neil Clarke, September 2014
  • "The Gods Will Not Be Slain", The End is Now (Book II of the Apocalypse Triptych), edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, September 2014
  • "Running Shoes" (online), SQ Mag, Issue 16, September 2014
  • "Homo Florensis", Solaris Rising 3, August 2014
  • "In the Loop", War Stories, edited by Andrew Liptak and Jaym Gates, August 2014
  • "Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon" (online), Kaleidoscope, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, August 2014
  • (with Lisa Tang Liu) "Hark! Listen to the Animals", Galaxy's Edge, Issue 9, July 2014
  • "What I Assume You Shall Assume", Dead Man's Hand, edited by John Joseph Adams, May 2014
  • "Knotting Grass, Holding Ring", Long Hidden, edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older, May 2014
  • "Lecture 14: Concerning the Event Cloaking Device and Practical Applications Thereof" (online), Cosmos, April 2014
  • "The Ten Suns", Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse, March 2014
  • "The Gods Will Not Be Chained", The End is Nigh (Book I of the Apocalypse Triptych), edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, March 2014
  • "None Owns the Air", Lightspeed Magazine, February 2014
  • "What Is Expected of a Wedding Host" (online), Daily Science Fiction, February 2014
  • "The Reborn" (online),, January 2014
  • (with Mike Resnick) "The Plantimal", Asimov's, March 2014
  • "Second Chance" (online), Nature, January 2014
  • "The Clockwork Soldier" (online), Clarkesworld Magazine, January 2014
  • "You'll Always Have the Burden With You", republished, Perihelion Science Fiction, December 2013
  • "The Litigation Master and the Monkey King" (online), Lightspeed Magazine, August 2013
  • "The Plague", Nature, May 16, 2013
  • "The Messenger's Tale", Aoife's Kiss, Issue 43, Winter 2012/2013 issue, December 2012
  • "The Perfect Match" (online), Lightspeed Magazine, December 2012
  • "Good Hunting", (online), Strange Horizons, October 9, 2012
  • "The Perfect Book", Analog, December 2012 issue, September 22, 2012
  • "Arc", F&SF, September/October issue, September 2012
  • "Summer Reading", Daily Science Fiction, September 4, 2012
  • "Cutting", Electric Velocipede, Issue 24, July 30, 2012
  • "You'll Always Have the Burden With You", In Situ, Dagan Books, July 10, 2012
  • "Dear Emily", The Memory Eater Anthology, July 5, 2012
  • "The Silk Merchant", Apex, Issue 38, July 3, 2012
  • "Celestial Bodies", Nature, June 28, 2012
  • "Real Faces", F&SF, July/August issue, June 22, 2012
  • "The Illusionist" (online), Goldfish Grimm's Spicy Fiction Sushi, Issue 4, June 2, 2012
  • "Mono no aware", The Future is Japanese, May 15, 2012; republished (online), Lightspeed Magazine, June 2013
  • "The Tome of Tourmaline" (online), Daily Science Fiction, May 9, 2012
  • "The Shadowcrafter", Nine, Issue 1, April 2012
  • "Intelligent Design" (online), Schrodinger's Mouse, April 2012
  • "Monkeys" (online), Nature's * "Futures" feature, April 19, 2012
  • "To the Moon", Fireside, April 17, 2012
  • "Memories of My Mother" (online), Daily Science Fiction, March 19, 2012
  • "All the Flavors" (online), GigaNotoSaurus, February 2012
  • "The Five Elements of the Heart Mind" (online), Lightspeed Magazine, January 24, 2012
  • "Maxwell's Demon", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2012
  • "The People of Pele", Asimov's, February 2012
  • "The Last Summer", 10 Flash, January 2012
  • "The Necrocracy", Penumbra, December 2011
  • "The Countable", Asimov's, December 2011
  • "Justice FAIRBOT", 140 And Counting, edited by Joanne Merriam, December 11, 2011
  • "Life Plus Seventy" (online), Kasma SF, November 23, 2011
  • "Safe Empathy", Daily Science Fiction, November 21, 2011
  • "Staying Behind" (online), Clarkesworld Magazine, October 1, 2011
  • "Golden Years in the Paleozoic", Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Issue #52, September 2011
  • "Real Artists", TRSF (September 2011), a special publication of MIT's Technology Review
  • "The Last Seed" (online), Daily Science Fiction, September 26, 2011
  • "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary", Panverse Three, edited by Dario Ciriello, September 2011
  • "Music of the Spheres", Mirror Shards: Exploring the Edges of Augmented Reality (Volume One), 2011
  • "The Box That Eats Memories" (online), Daily Science Fiction, August 10, 2011
  • "Hark! Listen to the Animals", The ePocalypse: e-mails at the end, co-written with Lisa Tang Liu, August 2011
  • "The Caretaker", Digital Science Fiction, June 2011
  • "Altogether Elsewhere, Vast Herds of Reindeer", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2011.
  • "The Paper Menagerie" The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2011.
  • "Ad Block", (online), Kasma Science Fiction, March 19, 2011
  • "The Visit" (online), On the Premises, March 2011 (Issue 13)
  • "Simulacrum" (online), Lightspeed Magazine, February 15, 2011
  • "To the Stars" (online), Nature's * "Futures" feature, co-written with Shelly Li, February 3, 2011
  • "The Chase", Every Day Fiction, January 28, 2011
  • "Tying Knots" (online), Clarkesworld Magazine, January 2011
  • "Saving Face" (online), Crossed Genres, co-written with Shelly Li, January 1, 2011
  • "The Letter" (online), Every Day Fiction, December 5, 2010
  • "The Literomancer", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2010
  • "The Phoenix" (online), On the Premises, July 2010 (Issue 11)
  • "Beidou (??)", The Dragon and the Stars, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, May 2010.
  • "Single-Bit Error", Thoughtcrime Experiments, edited by Sumana Harihareswara and Leonard Richardson, 2009 (read) (buy); International Speculative Fiction, edited by Roberto Mendes, December 2013;
  • "Beneath the Language" (online), On the Premises, July 2007 (Issue 2)
  • "State Change", Polyphony 4, edited by Deborah Layne and Jay Lake, September 2004.
  • "The Algorithms for Love" (online), Strange Horizons, July 2004; International Speculative Fiction, edited by Roberto Mendes, July 2012;
  • "Gossamer", Writers of the Future, Vol. 19, 2003.
  • "Carthaginian Rose", Empire of Dreams and Miracles: The Phobos Science Fiction Anthology (v. 1), edited by Orson Scott Card and Keith Olexa, 2002.

Notable English-language translations[edit]

Remembrance of Earth's Past Series[edit]


  • Invisible Planets, Tor Books, November 2016
  • Broken Stars, Tor Books, February 2019

Additional English-language translations[edit]

Liu's works in translation[edit]

Many of Liu's short stories have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, and multiple other languages and published in short stories collections:[32]

  • 爱的算法 ("Algorithms for Love and Others"), published by SFW Publishing, September 5, 2012
  • 思维的形状 ("The Shape of Thought and Others"), published by Tsinghua University Press, November 11, 2014
  • 杀敌算法 ("In the Loop and Others"), published by SFW Publishing, March, 2015
  • 奇点遗民 ("Staying behind"),published by Baror international, inc.. Armonk New York, U.S.A, 2017
  • 紙の動物園, published by Hayakawa, edited by 古沢嘉通 (Yoshimichi Furusawa), April 2015
  • La Ménagerie de papier ("The Paper Menagerie") published by Editions du Bélial, edited by Ellen Herzfeld and Dominique Martel, 2015.
  • El zoo de papel y otros relatos ("The Paper Menagerie") published by Runas, Alianza Editorial, edited by María Pilar San Román Navarro, 2017.


  1. ^ a b Reid, Luc (2013-03-25). "Not Just Vast Armies Clashing on Dark Plains at Night: An Interview with Ken Liu". Strange Horizons. Archived from the original on 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  2. ^ "Ken Liu Talks Silkpunk, Old Poems, and Contemporary Chinese SFF in His Reddit AMA".
  3. ^ "Clarkesworld Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy". Clarkesworld Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  4. ^ a b "MEET THE MAN BRINGING CHINESE SCIENCE FICTION TO THE WEST". Newsweek. 2016-10-30. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  5. ^ "Ken Liu Talks Silkpunk, Old Poems, and Contemporary Chinese SFF in His Reddit AMA". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Ken Liu won science fiction awards for best short story". AsiaOne. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  7. ^ a b c d "Waterford alum — and award-winning short story writer — Ken Liu releases his debut novel". The Day (New London). 2015-04-14. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  8. ^ a b "Fusion Fantasy:Ken Liu's sprawling hybrid fiction". Harvard Magazine. November–December 2016. Retrieved 2019-01-05.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  9. ^ "Interview: Ken Liu". Lightspeed. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Interview on The Legends of Luke Skywalker". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Chinese SF and the art of translation". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  12. ^ IMDB Retrieved 15 March 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ IMDB Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "2013 Hugo Awards". Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  15. ^ David Barnett. "The Hugo awards: 'beauty contest' or prize of the people?". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  16. ^ "2012 Hugo Awards". Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "2016 Locus Award Winners". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  19. ^ "2015 Hugo Awards". Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  20. ^ "2017 Locus Award Winners". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  21. ^ "2016 Locus Award Winners". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  22. ^ "2015 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  23. ^ "2012 Winners". Retrieved June 1, 2012.
  24. ^ "2017 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  25. ^ "Locus Online News » 2015 Locus Awards Finalists". Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  26. ^ "Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction News and Events". Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  27. ^ "2014 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  28. ^ "2014 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  29. ^ "2014 Sidewise Award Finalists". Locus. 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  30. ^ "Locus Online News » 2014 Locus Awards Finalists". Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  31. ^ "2012 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  32. ^ "Foreign Language Collections".

External links[edit]