Introducing the first of our montly short story read-alongs. I hope that many of you will read the story and discuss it in the comments. I want to not only explore the individual monthly stories, but I want to experience what it’s like to discuss a single story. I’ve been in book groups where we’ve talked about a story collection, but I don’t think I’ve discussed a single story since my high school English classes.
I learned about “The Paper Menagerie” from a tweet. I have no idea who the tweet came from, but it said that “The Paper Menagerie” was the first story to win all three major science fiction/fantasy awards: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award.
I don’t read much science fiction and fantasy but I do make an effort to read some, so the awards signified, to me, that this would be worth my time. I had never heard of Ken Liu or of the story, but I decided to track it down. And fortunately, the fine folks at Suvudu made the story available to read online, for free. So I brewed a cup of coffee and sat down with my iPad to read.
Fifteen minutes later, as I wiped a tear from my eye, the idea of Project Short Story was born. I needed to share this story, but I didn’t want to just retweet a link. There is a power in this story that transcends the genre and transcends the form. In other words, if you think you don’t like science fiction and fantasy, you may still like this story. If you think that you don’t like short fiction, you may still love this story.
I don’t want to give you any more than that. Read it. Let’s discuss. Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’ll join in with mine there, too.
I can’t wait to hear what you think.
Read it here: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu
You can also listen to it at PodCastle: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu, read by Rajan Khanna