Grace of Kings ARC Giveaway

I have shiny copies of the ARC of The Grace of Kings!

Grace Cover With Quote

And so of course I’m going to run a Goodreads giveaway for two signed copies. Thank you for your interest!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

The Grace of Kings

by Ken Liu

Giveaway ends February 26, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Awards Recommendation and Eligibility Post

Every awards season, I do one post to recommend other people’s stories and list out my own eligible work. You can find this year’s iteration here.

It’s important for everyone to recommend stories they enjoyed; it’s the best way to make sure good work is recognized. It’s also important for writers to promote their own work; it’s the only way for others to find out what they’ve done.

Goodreads Giveaway of The Grace of Kings

From today to January 31, I’m doing a Goodreads giveaway of two copies my novel. Now, these are not the final books — rather, they’re bound copies of the uncorrected/unproofed manuscript. But it looks like a book; it reads like a book; it’s as heavy as a book.

bound MS

I’ll personalize the copies and include a copy of the map I drew myself for it (very rare!).

Here’s the link to enter. Good luck!

The Three-Body Problem Is Out!

My first book launch (in English)!

On November 11, my translation of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem, the first volume of a hard scifi trilogy, is officially released by Tor Books.

The book launch is garnering quite a bit of media attention. The New York Times has a write-up about it, as does the Wall Street Journal.

And Liu Cixin himself talks about the “big idea” behind the series over on John Scalzi’s blog.

You can now order the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online or local book stores.

And you should, because it is awesome.

The Xingyun (Nebula) Awards

Over the first weekend of November, I was in Beijing to attend the Xingyun Awards—one of the highest honors for Chinese-language science fiction. Besides honoring the best works of the past year at a gathering of writers and fans, it was also an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the release of the English edition of The Three-Body Problem. As the translator, I was invited to share in the joy. Guokr, which handled the logistics and organization, did a phenomenal job. Ji Shaoting and Yu Chunzi—basically the con runners—produced a seamless show and made me feel completely welcome.

It was an unforgettable experience.

Though I’ve literally been working with Liu Cixin on translating his scifi masterpiece for years, this was the first time I got to meet him in person. Nicknamed “Da Liu” (“Big Liu”) by his fans, Liu Cixin is a warm, unassuming man who exudes grace and wisdom. As the most prominent and popular scifi writer in China, Da Liu was mobbed by fans the entire weekend, many of them having traveled from other cities to see him. However, though Da Liu was stopped constantly as he tried to move from panel to panel and the long lines kept him far past his designated signing time, he always addressed each fan politely and tried his best to fulfill their autograph requests. When he spoke on panels, he was thoughtful and funny, and his answers were imaginative and insightful, delighting audiences who hung on his every word. Determined to nurture the Chinese science fiction community, Da Liu also devoted a great deal of energy over the weekend to support the work of younger writers (including mine).

I’d like to think all of us can aspire to such standards of behavior when we achieve success.

Besides meeting Da Liu, I had a weekend packed with amazing memories. I had the best time. The. Best. Time.

Some highlights (“some” because the full list would be way too long):

  • Having my first meal in Beijing in a greasy roadside dive noodle shop with a bunch of writers in a cloud of cigarette smoke—quite a way to get over jet lag.
  • Catching up with old friends and meeting new friends—many of them writers, critics, and publishing professionals I’d only corresponded with in the past. Also, learning lots of slang expressions.
  • Launching my second Chinese short story collection; seeing the cover for my third Chinese collection revealed; getting my Galaxy Award from Assistant Chief Editor Yang of Science Fiction World; signing books, lots of books.
  • Having Da Liu hand me a Xingyun Award for special contribution to Chinese SF on stage—they totally surprised me and I almost cried. I think I managed to mumble some words of thanks, hopefully in Chinese.
  • Seeing my friend Bao Shu win his first Xingyun Gold Award for his fantastic novel, Ruins of Time. I’m hoping to see an English edition soon (meanwhile, you can catch a novella of his, “What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear,” in next year’s March/April F&SF, translated by me).
  • Going out at midnight with others to do shots of erguotou (“Chinese vodka”) until we were kicked out by the restaurant owner … This was research. Yes, research. If you read TTBP you’ll see I’m being 100% honest here.
  • Above all, meeting all the enthusiastic fans and interacting with them. Their passion and joy were infectious and the energy level was incredible.

I’m very much looking forward to getting the chance to go again next year.

Mercersburg Academy and “The Perfect Match”

I went to visit Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania last month to meet the students who were turning my short story, “The Perfect Match,” into a play. It was neat to see how the actors interpreted my characters, and it gave me a chance to see these characters in a new light.

I also got a chance to visit a few classes, share meals with some students, and talk to them about a scifi future (I told them about my visions of the robot apocalypse, since you know I’m such an optimistic guy).

It was a blast. Mercersburg Academy has a beautiful campus with excellent facilities, and the students impressed me with their maturity and insightful questions about my story. We ended up chatting about notions of privacy, and whether members of the younger generation really do have different ideas about online personas and privacy than older people.

I’m grateful that my hosts, Julie and Matt Maurer, gave me this opportunity for a visit. And I’m even more grateful for the hard work the students put into this production. I hope to see a recording of the production soon.

Research

You know what these are?

Research for Book 2 of the Dandelion Dynasty. If you know what these are, you’ll have a hint of what’s coming. I hope you have as much fun reading this as I’ve been having writing it.

And yes, the shocks do hurt.