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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

“A selection guided by my own personal taste”
‘The Hidden Girl And Other Stories’
by Ken Liu
Mailbox Monday

Image of a red letter box set in a wall. Featured image for Mailbox Monday meme

I first heard about this book and author from the lovely Amber at Midas PR, with the book being brought to market as a collaboration between the Saga Press, Head of Zeus and NetGalley teams.

Whilst science fiction and fantasy are both genres outside of my usual reading sphere, this is a book of short stories and Amber has suggested that I might choose to read and review just one or two of them, as my spot on author Ken Liu’s promotional tour.

This sounds like a plan to me, so join me on March 2nd 2020, if you want to know more!!


Cover Image for 'The Hidden Girls' by author Ken LiuFrom award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories.

Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time.

This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years — sixteen of his best — plus a new novelette.

In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.


Image of author Ken LiuKen Liu is an American author of speculative fiction. He has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, as well as top genre honours in Japan, Spain, and France, among other countries.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Ken worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. He frequently speaks at conferences and universities on a variety of topics, including futurism, cryptocurrency, history of technology, bookmaking, the mathematics of origami, and other subjects of his expertise.

Ken has also translated several works of Chinese science fiction and currently lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

Keep up to date with all Ken’s news on his website

Connect with Ken on Facebook

Follow Ken on Twitter

“Each beautiful story is also a monument to its own imperfection, and to dare to fall from the false promise of all-appealing grace is the most crucial act of every writer.”

“The most useful advice I ever got was to keep in mind that every writer’s journey is different, and what worked for someone else wouldn’t necessarily work for you. That adage has been vastly freeing for me in my own journey.”

“A good story cannot function like a legal brief, which attempts to persuade and lead the reader down a narrow path suspended above the abyss of unreason. Rather, it must be more like an empty house, an open garden, a deserted beach by the ocean. The reader moves in with their own burdensome baggage and long-cherished possessions, seeds of doubt and shears of understanding, maps of human nature and baskets of sustaining faith. The reader then inhabits the story, explores its nooks and crannies, rearranges the furniture to suit their taste, covers the walls with sketches of their inner life, and thereby makes the story their home.”

Picture of an English red post box - generic image to link to the mailbox Monday meme

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share links to the books that came into their house during the last week. This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well, after all you never know where that next “must read” book will come from.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Veronica,

      Author Ken Liu has many titles to his name, so I’m certain that you will find something to suit your depth of commitment to the genres.

      Also, if you haven’t come across Saga Press before, you will see that it only publishes fantasy and science fiction material, so that might be a good place to visit too!

      Thanks for stopping by today. I appreciate your support and comments 🙂

  • I will be joining you on the 2nd. March as I do like a bit of science-fiction and would like to know more about this one. Feel free to give me a nudge if you think I’ve missed the post.

    • Hi Cath,

      Me nudge you? … You are generally much more alert than I am, but I will try to remember. The post should also be shared on Twitter though, so one way or another we should have it covered!

      This was just one of a few last minute requests I have received for review / promotion, so to be honest there is no way I could have read the entire book by the due date, another reason for me randomly selecting three or four stories from the collection, just to get a feel for Ken’s writing style and narrative.

      So far I have to say that I haven’t been disappointed with the two stories I have read, however I am picking my titles carefully – Sorry if you feel a bit cheated when my review goes live!

      It looks like another week / weekend of wind and rain chaos, so stay safe 🙂

  • I prefer science fiction to fantasy, but enjoy both. I also enjoy short stories, so this sounds like a winner to me! I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

    • Hi Kelly,

      As I am not (or possibly wasn’t) a huge fan of either genre, I’m not really sure where this collection of short stories fits on the spectrum.

      I have opted for four stories as my review selection, and so far as I can tell after reading the first three of them, they all seem to be based on a general theme that “nobody walks the earth trouble free”, with each story containing a certain amount of melancholy and soul searching.

      You should check out Ken’s website and some of the interviews he has given (I found quite a few on a Google search), as I found his writing so eloquent and though provoking. I definitely don’t think you would class his books as mainstream science fiction / fantasy.

      I’m not sure I am a convert quite yet, but who knows for the future 🙂

    • Hi Kathy,

      So far, so good with this collection, however that might just be because this is a series of short stories, rather than a single full length book, which I am not quite so confident I would enjoy. I can’t see me ever becoming a convert to the genres of science fiction / fantasy, however I do admire author Ken Liu’s style of writing and the great characters he manages to portray in just a few short pages.

      I have to confess that I have never picked up a Harry Potter book and I have only ever watched one of the films. The whole concept is really not my thing at all!

      Thanks for adding your support to my challenge to read outside my comfort zone znd enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

    • Hi Martha,

      I can tell by some of your MM posts, just how much you enjoy a good dose of sci-fi / fantasy reading, so as things stand right now, this would definitely be on my recommendation list for you!

      As I am only selecting a few random titles to read, due to the time pressure for review, I hope that my mixed bag will be to your liking, but if not, check out some of Ken’s other books, they sound amazing if you are a lover of the genres. 🙂

  • Whilst not a big fan of the short story I can see they have their place and can be a great introduction to an author. Also they can be an deal way of sampling a genre you maybe aren’t too sure of and a full length novel seems too daunting.

    Looking forward to your spot on this tour. As well as what you made of the story/stories I’d also be eager to know what it was about them in particular that made you pick them above the other stories.

    • Hi Felicity,

      Yes! I can see what you mean about the short story offering an insight into an authors style of writing and ability to have their characters engage with a reading audience almost immediately. The short story is not one of my most favourite genres, but I shall look at them in an entirely different light now – thanks for that insight 🙂

      Science fiction / fantasy, come even further down my favourite genres list, so I have to be honest and admit that I scanned the titles of the stories and picked the ones which sounded least outside my reading preferences!

      The other reason I only chose to read three/four stories on which to base my review, is because the PR company didn’t give me much notice to post my review and my schedule is already back-logged way up!

      When will I ever learn to say “Sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t help out this time!”
      Either that, or blogging needs to become my full time ‘job’! 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      The cover art is quite eye-catching, isn’t it?

      I wasn’t too sure at first, but then how else would you portray a collection of short stories, all with different themes?

      Do you know how long it actually took me to spot the silhouette in the middle!!

      We had storm Caira last weekend and are now preparing ourselves for the arrival of Dennis this weekend, which is forecast to be even more aggressive!! Still at least it is only rain not snow, at least it is down here in the south of England, although they are talking about flooding risks just about anywhere in the country!

      I hope that you are enjoying your current reading schedule and have a great weekend 🙂

Written by Yvonne
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