About

Quick Details

I write, mostly fiction.

Occasionally, I also translate Chinese fiction into English.

Scroll down for the press kit with official bios of various lengths, sample reviews, as well as downloadable high-res headshots & covers.

My contact information is in the footer of this site.

My Books
Business Representatives
  • Literary agent: Russell Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh
  • Foreign rights (non-North American): Danny Baror and Heather Baror of Baror International, Inc.
  • Film/TV/media rights: Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company

 

Press Kit

Official Bios
200 words:

Ken Liu (http://kenliu.name) is an author of speculative fiction, as well as a translator, lawyer, and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places.

Ken’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings (2015), is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty. It won the Locus Best First Novel Award and was a Nebula finalist. He subsequently published the second volume in the series, The Wall of Storms (2016) as well as a collection of short stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016). He also wrote the Star Wars novel, The Legends of Luke Skywalker (2017).

In addition to his original fiction, Ken also translated numerous literary and genre works from Chinese to English. His translation of The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015, the first translated novel ever to receive that honor. He also translated the third volume in Liu Cixin’s series, Death’s End (2016) and edited the first English-language anthology of contemporary Chinese science fiction, Invisible Planets (2016).

He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

100 words:

Ken Liu (http://kenliu.name) is an author of speculative fiction, as well as a translator, lawyer, and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he is the author of The Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (The Grace of Kings (2015), The Wall of Storms (2016), and a forthcoming third volume) and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016), a collection. He also wrote the Star Wars novel, The Legends of Luke Skywalker (2017).

In addition to his original fiction, Ken also translated numerous works from Chinese to English, including The Three-Body Problem (2014), by Liu Cixin, and “Folding Beijing,” by Hao Jingfang, both Hugo winners.

50 words:

A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, Ken Liu (http://kenliu.name) is the author of The Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (The Grace of Kings (2015), The Wall of Storms (2016), and a forthcoming third volume) and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016), a collection. He also wrote the Star Wars novel, The Legends of Luke Skywalker (2017).

Selected Reviews:
The Grace of Kings

Amal El-Mohtar, NPR:

Liu’s world is beautiful, nuanced, fierce, original and diverse; it’s refreshing to read doorstop fantasy in which the geographies and cultures aren’t Europe-with-more-apostrophes. But neither does this feel like alt-China: It reads much more like a world invented than transposed, and the warring states of Dara draw on a multitude of influences and references without being reductive fantasy-world allegories of any of them.

It’s mode of composition is also fascinating to me: Where something like A Game of Thrones takes a period of history as its source material, The Grace of Kings feels much more in conversation with works of medieval romance and folk stories as it builds its epic architecture, with the rather surprising result that it also feels far more immersive and realistic.

Andrew Liptak, io9:

With The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu has constructed a remarkable fantasy narrative with an incredible cast of characters, a heart wrenching story and a book that genuinely plays with style and form that should serve as a template for fantasy epics that will come after it. Liu has imbibed a great deal of history (Liu noted that there’s no small influence from some of the epic stories from the Han Dynasty of China), and the depth of his world-building leads to a rich and vibrant world that deserves endless stories. Fortunately, there’s a wonderful map, glossary and list of characters which helped me figure out where everything was happening and who everyone was.

But Liu is aiming to do more than just set his story in an exotic location and play with an interesting set of characters — it’s a genuinely interesting experiment in form and style, which allows him to expand the vision and scale of the story he’s telling. In a recent interview in SF Signal conducted by Paul Weimer, Liu noted that he was influenced by the negative space in Chinese artwork: “Negative space is important in the aesthetic of traditional Chinese arts like brush painting and calligraphy, and I wanted to try for a similar effect in the novel.”

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Library Journal:

If your soul is an ice cube, to what lengths will you go to have a warm, passionate life? “State Change” is one of 15 stories and novellas collected here by the author of The Grace of Kings. As Liu notes in his preface, the volume has the “flavor of a retrospective,” including some of his most popular works such as the title selection, “The Paper Menagerie,” which won the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, as well as lesser known tales. He also features a new work, “An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition,” that addresses the love between parents and children when they are separated by incredible distances.

Verdict: These remarkable stories highlight Liu’s themes of family, love, and politics and gathered in one collection pack an even bigger punch. Those who revere shorter speculative works will definitely want this book.

Amal El-Mohtar, NPR:

Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is a book from which I staggered away, dazed, unable to speak. I have wrestled with how to review it, circled my metaphors like a wary cat, and finally abandoned the enterprise of trying to live up to its accomplishment. I will be honest, and blunt, because this is a book that has scoured me of language and insight and left itself rattling around inside the shell of me.

I have never been so moved by a collection of short fiction. I was at times afraid to read more. Every single story struck chords in me profound enough to hurt, whether about the love and cruelty of families; the melancholy of thermodynamics; the vicious unfairness of history and the humbling grace with which people endure its weight. Stories so often take us out of ourselves; Liu’s stories went deep into my marrow, laying bare painful truths, meticulously slicing through the layers of pearl to find the grain of sand at its heart.

Headshots:

Clicking on the thumbnails will give you full-res images. Please credit the photographer in each case.

Ken Liu headshot by Lisa Tang Liu Ken Liu profile by Lisa Tang Liu Ken Liu profile by Lisa Tang Liu
© Lisa Tang Liu © Lisa Tang Liu © Lisa Tang Liu
Ken Liu headshot by Li Yibo/李一博
© Li Yibo (李一博)
Book Covers:
The Grace of Kings cover The Grace of Kings cover The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories cover
The Legends of Luke Skywalker The Three-Body Problem The Three-Body Problem
Invisible Planets