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(io9)   For your reading pleasure, the winner of the Hugo, Nebula *and* World Fantasy awards. Oh, better wear a dust mask   (io9.com) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, World Fantasy Award, nebulae, Ken Liu, earliest memories  
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5911 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Nov 2012 at 9:09 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-08 04:00:38 PM
Oh, my. Thank you for sharing
 
2012-11-08 04:44:01 PM
A very touching story, and quite economical in its use of language. I recommend reading it.
 
2012-11-08 07:36:21 PM
"Ken Liu's incredible story "Paper Menagerie" just became the first work of fiction to win all three of SF's major awards: the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award."

Didn't Paolo Bacigalupi's "Windup Girl" win all three?
 
2012-11-08 07:37:23 PM
Ah... no. He won the Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell.

FWIW I think the Campbell is a bigger deal than the World Fantasy Award...
 
2012-11-08 07:50:58 PM
Thank you for the link, Subby.

This is a very good story.
 
2012-11-08 08:37:58 PM
Great story, but damn....

/off to call my parents
 
2012-11-08 09:34:25 PM
The cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon...,
 
2012-11-08 09:34:54 PM
Glad to learn I am not as jaded as some of the commentators on io9. I'll be back, my allergies are kicking in.
 
2012-11-08 09:34:58 PM
Brb got to call my mother.
 
2012-11-08 09:40:34 PM

Old Man Winter: Glad to learn I am not as jaded as some of the commentators on io9. I'll be back, my allergies are kicking in.


Being that it's on IO9, their just upset that the mom didn't wind up on Firefly spaceship.
 
2012-11-08 09:42:34 PM
damn

/thank you, subby
 
2012-11-08 09:47:36 PM
This story hit me like a kick in the gut, My dumbass older brother sent the link to this story to me while I was at work and I made the mistake of reading it then. I hope my office mate thought I was laughing at XKCD or something.

My own mother died of cancer when I was about 18 and still an asshole teenager - I had a job and was going to college at the time. The last day I saw her alive was Easter Sunday, a few days after brain surgery. I stayed by her bed for a few minutes, then went to go hang out with my same-aged cousin. The next day while at work, my brother called me to say she'd died.

The other, milder, kick in the gut is that I'm married to a Chinese woman (not a bought bride, she imported herself) and have two mixed race kids, one who's becoming an asshole - ahem - I mean teenager. He doesn't look a bit like a 1/2 Chinese mutt. The younger one, she looks just like her Mom, only totally different. I think the mix is just beautiful in both of them. I may be biased, but here's three cheers for genetic diversity!!!

And for Moms. Let's hope we can all learn to appreciate ours before they're gone.
 
2012-11-08 09:56:38 PM
Neuromancer won the Hugo, Nebula, and Phillip K. Dick awards--the first to win the true sci-fi triple crown.
 
2012-11-08 10:42:24 PM
I am sorry, but I really didn't feel anything.
 
2012-11-08 10:43:37 PM
Right in the feels.
 
2012-11-08 10:50:13 PM

Counter_Intelligent: I am sorry, but I really didn't feel anything.


You must be dead inside.

Oh, and if you want an even bigger kick in the feels by the same author, The Man Who Ended History (PDF). It was nominated for a Hugo for "Best Novella" but ultimately lost to The Man Who Bridged The Mist by Kij Johnson, which isn't nearly so depressing.
 
2012-11-08 10:53:41 PM
No, no, no. The WFA is different. The big 3 science fiction awards are the Locus, Nebula and Hugo.
 
2012-11-08 11:03:31 PM
I'm sure this is a poignant and special story, too bad I can't get past the first few paragraphs. Why does he write like he's retarded?
 
2012-11-08 11:09:42 PM

wiredroach: Neuromancer won the Hugo, Nebula, and Phillip K. Dick awards--the first to win the true sci-fi triple crown.


Not to mention the fact that it was actually science fiction.

This wasn't a bad short story, but I don't get the science fiction/fantasy accolades. It's clearly not science fiction or fantasy. The paper animals being 'alive' is obviously just a psychological thing in the story. When the paper tiger broke the Obi-Wan doll it was because the kid, being a kid, was playing with the toys, as kids do, and he himself broke the Obi-Wan doll... as kids do. Kids pretend toys are real, breathe life into them... and break shiat. That's what they do.

I got zero sense, while reading, that there was a real sci-fi/fantasy angle at work.
 
jvl
2012-11-08 11:10:42 PM
Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.
 
2012-11-08 11:38:51 PM

jvl: Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.


You don't have any children do you?
 
2012-11-09 12:03:00 AM
That was drek.

It was like the author read a book on how to tug at heartstrings, and then shoved as many examples as possible into his story.
And as pointed out previously, how the flying fark did that win a science fiction award?
 
2012-11-09 12:22:20 AM

Cubicle Jockey: It was like the author read a book on how to tug at heartstrings, and then shoved as many examples as possible into his story.


Did you know that is a perfect description of the first 3 minutes of The Lion King?

/people always talk about the death scene, but the presentation of the cub uses every trick in the book to hook you into the derivative, predictable, dull two hours that follow
 
2012-11-09 12:26:04 AM
The Escape Pod podcast had this one on a while ago. Good story and good winner.
 
2012-11-09 12:29:35 AM
I knew I should have stopped reading that. Knew it...
 
2012-11-09 12:32:08 AM
Anyone read the Sextet Wool?
 
2012-11-09 12:34:33 AM
Schmaltz.
 
2012-11-09 12:40:28 AM
It's a cute CHILDREN'S story, albeit a little cliched (the origami animals were wonderful but "boy hates parent, parent dies, then, years later, he finds letter from dead parent that points out what a selfish prick he was") and incredibly manipulative ("No, not enough SORROW! Make her loneliness completely his fault to maximize the guilt!") But the winner of 3 distinguished sci-fi/fantasy awards? How does that work?

With VERY rare exceptions, I have found Hugo Award-winning books to be incredible bores. Someone above mentioned The Windup Girl. FFS, I dragged myself through about half that book and haven't gone back to it. The last one I tried was Blackout/All Clear. WTF? How are those books even a decent story?

I don't get it. I read a LOT of sci-fi and fantasy but, overwhelmingly, the "award winners" seem to be picked by a bunch of basement-dwelling fanboys than anyone with real literary credentials.
 
2012-11-09 12:43:58 AM

Tickle Mittens: I knew I should have stopped reading that. Knew it...


If you need something to lighten the mood after reading that, here's an epic spoof of popular fantasy literature: The Shadow War of The Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City: Prologue by John Scalzi
 
2012-11-09 12:45:09 AM

brigid_fitch: With VERY rare exceptions, I have found Hugo Award-winning books to be incredible bores. Someone above mentioned The Windup Girl. FFS, I dragged myself through about half that book and haven't gone back to it. The last one I tried was Blackout/All Clear. WTF? How are those books even a decent story?

I don't get it. I read a LOT of sci-fi and fantasy but, overwhelmingly, the "award winners" seem to be picked by a bunch of basement-dwelling fanboys than anyone with real literary credentials.


Wait, that came out WAY haughtier than I intended. I'm not a literary critic. At best, I'm a former English teacher but I in no way claim to be the next Margaret Atwood--far from it. And I think more of the issue of the "winners" are from recent years. Certainly Hyperion, Canticle for Liebowitz, Ringworld, and a host of others are excellent books. But the past decade or so? Not so much.
 
Esn
2012-11-09 12:49:47 AM
Well, I really liked it.

And I think less of the people who didn't (sorry, it's true).

Perhaps one does need a bit of an immigrant history to appreciate what it's about, though.
 
2012-11-09 12:57:30 AM

brigid_fitch: It's a cute CHILDREN'S story, albeit a little cliched (the origami animals were wonderful but "boy hates parent, parent dies, then, years later, he finds letter from dead parent that points out what a selfish prick he was") and incredibly manipulative ("No, not enough SORROW! Make her loneliness completely his fault to maximize the guilt!") But the winner of 3 distinguished sci-fi/fantasy awards? How does that work?

With VERY rare exceptions, I have found Hugo Award-winning books to be incredible bores. Someone above mentioned The Windup Girl. FFS, I dragged myself through about half that book and haven't gone back to it. The last one I tried was Blackout/All Clear. WTF? How are those books even a decent story?

I don't get it. I read a LOT of sci-fi and fantasy but, overwhelmingly, the "award winners" seem to be picked by a bunch of basement-dwelling fanboys than anyone with real literary credentials.


The Hugo awards are, in fact, chosen by the fans, and the barrier to entry for voting isn't that high. If you register for the World Science Fiction Convention for a particular year, you automatically get the rights to vote on both the Hugo and Campbell awards for that year, and on the nominations for the following year. Registration can cost as little as $50 for a supporting (i.e. non-attending) membership, and as of about two years ago, it includes an e-book packet with that year's nominees as an extra incentive to vote (which is actually an incredible deal, given how much reading material is in that packet).

Personally, I've sometimes thought that the runners-up were better than the actual winners. I haven't read many of the Hugo-winning novels (it's hard for me to find time to read anything long), but In the case of Blackout/All Clear, I remember that a lot of people thought Cryoburn should have won instead.
 
2012-11-09 01:02:47 AM

Esn: Well, I really liked it.

And I think less of the people who didn't (sorry, it's true).

Perhaps one does need a bit of an immigrant history to appreciate what it's about, though.


I liked it too.

And like my ancestry, I'm from pretty much everywhere. Which often feels like nowhere, unless somebody throws you an anchor ;)
 
2012-11-09 01:07:46 AM
half asians with asian moms arent asian, theyre white.

she sucky rong time??
 
2012-11-09 01:08:37 AM
This story is terrible due to a total lack of rapist robots.
 
kab
2012-11-09 01:23:53 AM
TS;DR
 
2012-11-09 02:04:29 AM

Old Man Winter: Glad to learn I am not as jaded as some of the commentators on io9. I'll be back, my allergies are kicking in.


I'm 6 beers in drunk and it had me damn near bawling. Had to quietly stifle the sobbing so as not to wake the BF. I gotta call my mom tomorrow.
 
2012-11-09 02:24:47 AM
My Mom died in March. We had a rather rocky relationship, and just a few hours before I found her dead in bed I was joking with my husband that at least if she was dead (I hadn't heard from her in 4 days, and she was the kind of person who would call me every twelve hours because she was bored) I wouldn't have to deal with her anymore.

Nothing, NOTHING, prepares you for the reality. This had me bawling.
 
2012-11-09 02:54:06 AM
I find that it is difficult to relate to a lot of fiction that deals with family dynamics if you, yourself, lack any kind of family dynamics. I don't really know what the point of this observation is, but I feel very much like someone looking in on a foreign culture whenever I encounter a bit of family drama.

Also, you know what sci-fi story gets me bawling every damn time? "The Only Neat Thing to Do" by James Tiptree, Jr. God damn. Just God damn.
 
2012-11-09 03:37:42 AM
Let us know when that comes back into style.
 
2012-11-09 03:39:15 AM

target="_blank">AgentPothead: I'm sure this is a poignant and special story, too bad I can't get past the first few paragraphs. Why does he write like he's retarded?


Your callsign could explain it...
 
2012-11-09 05:28:57 AM

ModernLuddite: I find that it is difficult to relate to a lot of fiction that deals with family dynamics if you, yourself, lack any kind of family dynamics


Yup.

I didn't hate it, but it really did nothing for me. I'd imagine if I had a rougher relationship with my parents or an immigrant background, it might have resonated.
 
2012-11-09 05:57:01 AM
I was impressed.
 
2012-11-09 06:06:15 AM

thisiszombocom: half asians with asian moms arent asian, theyre white.


So half-Asians are White, but half-Blacks are Black.

Hold on, lemme jot these down....
 
2012-11-09 06:10:04 AM

ArcadianRefugee: thisiszombocom: half asians with asian moms arent asian, theyre white.

So half-Asians are White, but half-Blacks are Black.

Hold on, lemme jot these down....


Remember you can have white hispanics as well. It`s all in the manual, didn`t you read it? You would have seen that people descended from a black and a white person are black to white people and white to black people. On the page after they say that russians aren`t asian...
 
2012-11-09 06:12:18 AM
It's a good story, but this is what passes for Sci-Fi these days?

/sticks nose back into Asimov anthology
 
2012-11-09 08:43:20 AM

brigid_fitch: I don't get it. I read a LOT of sci-fi and fantasy but, overwhelmingly, the "award winners" seem to be picked by a bunch of basement-dwelling fanboys than anyone with real literary credentials.


Other way around, actually... It's people with real literary credentials but who lack the sci-fi or fantasy background of basement-dwelling fanboys who pick the winners. Hence this story's presence of calculated heart string-tugging prose and overwhelming absence of robots.
 
2012-11-09 09:01:00 AM

jvl: Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.


Yea, I mean a kid would never rebel against a part of themselves that is mocked by their peer group and makes them feel like an outsider.

Never raised a kid have you?
 
2012-11-09 10:01:11 AM
Wait, that came out WAY haughtier than I intended. I'm not a literary critic. At best, I'm a former English teacher but I in no way claim to be the next Margaret Atwood--far from it. And I think more of the issue of the "winners" are from recent years. Certainly Hyperion, Canticle for Liebowitz, Ringworld, and a host of others are excellent books. But the past decade or so? Not so much.

If only those evil writers unions didn't have it so you have to be a licensed and bonded professional writer before you could write something, you could show us how it should be done.

/yeah, it came across pretty damn haughty
 
2012-11-09 10:04:49 AM
This room just got really dusty.
 
2012-11-09 10:09:56 AM
Eh, I get what it was trying to do, but it just fell flat for me.

The worst part about that is once it fails and you aren't lost in the story anymore, you start seeing all the little tricks a writer uses to wring emotion from you. Or in this story's case the emotional cudgel meant to make you feel dammit.

The writing itself just isn't compelling. It feels like an emotional story told in the most emotionless way possible. Good writing is more than what happens, it's how the characters interact with what happens, and how they change. The protagonist just seems to react in the most emotionless douche way possible.
 
2012-11-09 10:33:35 AM

Old Man Winter: Anyone read the Sextet Wool?



Yeah, Wool was great. One of the many reasons I'm glad I got a kindle.
 
2012-11-09 11:38:20 AM

Boudyro: Eh, I get what it was trying to do, but it just fell flat for me.

The worst part about that is once it fails and you aren't lost in the story anymore, you start seeing all the little tricks a writer uses to wring emotion from you. Or in this story's case the emotional cudgel meant to make you feel dammit.

The writing itself just isn't compelling. It feels like an emotional story told in the most emotionless way possible. Good writing is more than what happens, it's how the characters interact with what happens, and how they change. The protagonist just seems to react in the most emotionless douche way possible.


This.

I wanted to like it, but it did absolutely nothing for me.
 
2012-11-09 12:09:02 PM
I liked it, tugged a bit at the old heartstrings.

Trouble is, from the first few lines I felt like I'd read it before, the whole story rang bells.

I'm not saying it's a rip off but I read something very similar some 30 years ago I'm almost certain.  I just can't place what the story was called or who wrote it.
 
jvl
2012-11-09 01:01:36 PM

HempHead: jvl: Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.

You don't have any children do you?


I have three half-Chinese children.
 
jvl
2012-11-09 01:03:47 PM

Carth: jvl: Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.

Yea, I mean a kid would never rebel against a part of themselves that is mocked by their peer group and makes them feel like an outsider.

Never raised a kid have you?


Notice the phrase "well-treated and loved." No child rebels and hates their parents without any cause. A different-looking face, one that the child has seen since birth, is not cause.
 
jvl
2012-11-09 01:05:57 PM

teardrop: Trouble is, from the first few lines I felt like I'd read it before, the whole story rang bells.


You probably have read a story like that before. The story was coldly calculated for its effect in a completely unoriginal and cynical way. You have probably had the misfortune of reading a story like that before.
 
2012-11-09 02:00:06 PM
"this sucks because it's been done before and just pushes specific buttons"

Jeebus, I bet you cold hearted, cynical bastards don't even tear up when you hear "Lick My Love Pump"
 
2012-11-09 02:22:40 PM

jvl: teardrop: Trouble is, from the first few lines I felt like I'd read it before, the whole story rang bells.

You probably have read a story like that before. The story was coldly calculated for its effect in a completely unoriginal and cynical way. You have probably had the misfortune of reading a story like that before.


It was specifically the Chinese mum and American dad, along with origami coming to life. first few paragraphs especially seemed like déjà vu
 
2012-11-09 04:19:07 PM

jvl: HempHead: jvl: Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.

You don't have any children do you?

I have three half-Chinese children.


That's only 1.5 kids.
 
2012-11-09 04:31:22 PM
The beginning seemed promising in a Bryan Fuller sort of way, but veered into more generic melodrama. Eh.
 
2012-11-09 06:20:43 PM

jvl: HempHead: jvl: Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.

You don't have any children do you?

I have three half-Chinese children.


That's interesting. Are they just half genetically Chinese or also half culturally Chinese? Does their Chinese parent actually speak Chinese, at home or at all? Have they been to China? Your profile indicates you're in California. In the last couple of decades, at the very least, I'd say that's not the locale that would tend to ignite common cultural hostilities and strongly conflicted cultural/genetic identity issues in families and children. Perhaps you could re-read TFS and try to understand the settings, both in locale and time. I'm probably in good shape here in that, though I live in a very red state, I also live in a University town where the mix of races and cultures is good and in a pretty good state of respect. The story assumed none of those things were true.
 
2012-11-09 08:53:07 PM

jvl: Seriously? They gave awards to an author who has no clue how humans operate? A child well-treated and loved by his mother turns against her for being Chinese? Uh, no. Unless the child is a psychopath, that makes no sense.


I've read the other replies to this comment, and I want to say, personally, to you, as a father of a half-Chinese son, just how sad your sentiments make me feel. I don't know you or your situation, but to observe with the kind of finality that you project; the dismissive attitude regarding your children's life experiences and the life experiences of your wife is appalling.
 
2012-11-09 10:25:39 PM

Lucky LaRue: I don't know you or your situation, but to observe with the kind of finality that you project; the dismissive attitude regarding your children's life experiences and the life experiences of your wife is appalling.


I think you might be projecting a little there, dude.

To read a post where a guy can't understand why a son would hate his mother for her race and instantly extrapolate from it that the guy is in real life dismissive towards his own children and his wife is... something of a goddamn stretch.
 
2012-11-09 11:28:26 PM
Gunther, I think Lucky LaRue may have also balled up one on my posts with whatsisname's. I don't think he mentioned a son, though with 3 children, statistics stay that he might.

Reminder, kids: When you want to debate successfully for your side, make sure you have your facts straight - even if it's just so you can plan how to bend them.
 
2012-11-10 10:42:45 AM

RatOmeter: Gunther, I think Lucky LaRue may have also balled up one on my posts with whatsisname's. I don't think he mentioned a son, though with 3 children, statistics stay that he might.

Reminder, kids: When you want to debate successfully for your side, make sure you have your facts straight - even if it's just so you can plan how to bend them.


Well, I don't think you should stick your children's hands into a toaster as punishment. That's just not good parenting.

/who needs facts
 
2012-11-11 01:28:24 AM
Wow, thanks subby. Read it last morning. then tried to read it again out loud.

/too dusty to finish reading outloud
//headline trifecta
 
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