From the title story’s fantastical inter-dimensional assassins to the steampunk dystopia of “Grey Rabbit, Crimson Mare, Coal Leopard” burrowing through the ruins of a civilisation destroyed by a plague, from Black Mirror-esque tales of blockchain cryptography (“Byzantine Empathy”) and Internet trolling (“Thoughts and Prayers”) to a three-story hard-SF arc about artificial intelligence and the singularity (“The Gods Will Not Be Chained”, “The Gods Will Not Be Slain” and “The Gods Have Not Died In Vain”).
Here are 17 interlinking visions that explore what it is to be human, and what it is like to abandon or transcend that. This collection confirms Ken Liu, author of the astonishing and multi-award winning The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, as one of speculative fiction’s greatest short story writers.
Contents include: Ghost Days, Maxwell’s Demon,The Reborn, Thoughts and Prayers, Byzantine Empathy, The Gods Will Not Be Chained, Staying Behind, Real Artists, The Gods Will Not Be Slain, Altogether Elsewhere Vast Herds of Reindeer, The Gods Have Not Died in Vain, Memories of My Mother, Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit - Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts, Grey Rabbit, Crimson Mare, Coal Leopard, A Chase Beyond the Storms (an excerpt from The Veiled Throne, Book 3 of the Dandelion Dynasty), The Hidden Girl, Seven Birthdays, The Message, Cutting.
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