F&SF and Ken Liu

This year I am mostly concentrating on anthologies, because otherwise I will go nuts. However, I’m also reading some magazine stories that my stalwart companions rank particularly highly, or whose authors I cannot bear to pass up. F&SF has, surprisingly for me, offered up a couple of awesome stories so far this year – and they’re both by Ken Liu.

Mondy has already raved about “The Paper Menagerie,” from the March issue, and he describes the story so well that I won’t bother repeating it. Suffice to say that while I didn’t actually have tears while I read, I certainly came close.

The May/June issues offers up “Altogether Elsewhere, Vast Herds of Reindeer.” Quite different from the previous story in being set fairly far into the future, the similarities lie in its preoccupation with family relationships and how they are influenced by external factors. Renee lives after the Singularity, in the Data Centre. Her mother is an Ancient – uploaded, but still remembering what life was like before. Liu describes Renee’s reactions to the world with lovely attention to detail; his imagining of perceptions of time, in particular, are quite striking.

One of the things I enjoy about this crazy project is finding new authors to look out for. Ken Liu is joining those ranks.

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