Ken Liu

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Ken Liu
Liu at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Liu at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Born 刘宇昆; Liú Yǔkūn
Lanzhou, China
Occupation Author, translator, lawyer, programmer
Nationality American
Genre Science fiction, fantasy
Notable works
Notable awards
Spouse Lisa Tang Liu[1]
Ken Liu
Traditional Chinese 劉宇昆
Simplified Chinese 刘宇昆

Ken Liu (born 1976) is a Chinese-born American science-fiction and fantasy writer and translator of science fiction and literary stories from Chinese into English. His short stories have appeared in F&SF, Asimov's, Analog, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and multiple "Year's Best" anthologies.[2]

His short story "The Paper Menagerie" is the first work of fiction, of any length, to win the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards.[1] His short story, "Mono no aware" won the 2013 Hugo Award,[3][4] and his novella "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary" was also nominated for a Hugo.[5] His translation of the novel The Three-Body Problem won the 2015 Hugo Award, the first translated novel in the award's history to have won that honor.[6]

Ken Liu is currently writing his series The Dandelion Dynasty (edited by Joe Monti) for Saga Press.[7] The first novel in the series, The Grace of Kings, was a 2016 Nebula Award finalist.[8] His official Star Wars novel called The Legends of Luke Skywalker was published October 31, 2017.[9]


Liu was born in 1976 in Lanzhou, China, and emigrated to the United States when he was 11 years old, initially living in Palo Alto, California, and later moving to Waterford, Connecticut.[citation needed]

Liu earned his A.B. in English from Harvard College and worked in the technology field for several years before earning his J.D. at Harvard Law School and entering the field of tax law.[10] More recently, he has switched to a career as a litigation consultant in technology cases, where he can use both his legal and technology skills.

He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife Lisa Tang Liu and their two daughters.



  • The Grace of Kings. Saga Press. 2015. 
  • The Wall of Storms. Saga Press. 2016. 
  • The Legends of Luke Skywalker. Disney LucasFilm Press. 2017. 


  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. Head of Zeus. 2012. 

Short stories[edit]

  • "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.
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. 

Translations into other languages[edit]

Some of Liu's short stories have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and French, and published in short stories collections:[11]

  • 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.


  • Death's End (死神永生, 2010) by Liu Cixin, Published by Tor Books, September 2016
  • Three Body (三体, 2008) by Liu Cixin, published by Tor Books as The Three-Body Problem, November 2014
  • "The Flowers of Shazui" by Chen Qiufan, Interzone, November 2012
  • "Taking Care of God" by Liu Cixin (online), Pathlight, March 2012
  • "A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight" by Xia Jia (online), Clarkesworld Magazine, February 2012
  • "The City of Silence" by Ma Boyong (online), World SF Blog, November 2011
  • "The Mark Twain Robots" by Ma Boyong, TRSF (September 2011), a special publication of MIT's Technology Review
  • "The Fish of Lijiang" by Chen Qiufan (online), Clarkesworld Magazine, August 2011
  • "Gathered in Translation", an essay on the process and subtleties of translating Chinese SF to English, and the reverse: online at Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2013

Awards and honors[edit]


  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. ^ "Clarkesworld Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy". Clarkesworld Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  3. ^ "2013 Hugo Awards". Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  4. ^ David Barnett. "The Hugo awards: 'beauty contest' or prize of the people?". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "2012 Hugo Awards". Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "2015 Hugo Awards". Retrieved 2015-08-23. 
  7. ^ "The Dandelion Dynasty". Simon & Schuster. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The Legends of Luke Skywalker". Disney Books. Retrieved 19 January 2018. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Foreign Language Collections". 
  12. ^ "2017 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  13. ^ "2015 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  14. ^ "Locus Online News » 2015 Locus Awards Finalists". Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  15. ^ "Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction News and Events". Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  16. ^ "2014 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  17. ^ "2014 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  18. ^ "2014 Sidewise Award Finalists". Locus. 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  19. ^ "Locus Online News » 2014 Locus Awards Finalists". Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  20. ^ "2012 Winners". Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  21. ^ "2012 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 

External links[edit]