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Ken Liu, spec fiction author, comes to Singapore

Photo: Ken Liu
Photo: Ken Liu

Ken Liu, multiple-award winning author/translator, lawyer and one-time programmer will be in town as part of the National Library Board’s (NLB) Read! Singapore initiative, the NLB’s first nation-wide reading initiative, on Sept 4, 7 and 8.

Ken Liu is probably best known for his short story, The Paper Menagerie, which swept the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards – the first work of fiction, of any length to ever sweep all three of science-fiction’s top awards. The short story was selected as one of 12 stories in Read! Singapore’s 2013 anthology, Under One Sky, which is available at all public libraries and on the National Library Board’s MobileRead app, and Ken Liu will be discussing the genesis of The Paper Menagerie on Sept 4 from 730pm to 9pm at the Imagination Room, Level 5 National Library Building, together with the themes of communication across cultures and generations.

Joining him on his Sept 7 will be local authors Jeffrey Lim (The Coffin That Wouldn’t Bury And Other Stories) and JY Yang (editor, The Ayam Curtain). He’ll start off the day solo at 2pm to 330pm with a talk on “The Writing Life: Science Fiction And Fantasy”, before joining the local duo at 5pm to 630pm with a similar topic – “Comparing Notes: Writing Science Fiction And Fantasy”, moderated by Jason Erik Lundberg (author, The Alchemy Of Happiness and editor, Fish Eats Lion). Both events this day will take place at the Multipurpose Room, Central Public Library.

Finally, if you want to hear Ken Liu reading from The Paper Menagerie, you’ll want to be at the National Library Building Sept 8 from 3pm to 430pm at the Exhibition Area, Central Public Library, where he’ll read an excerpt and discuss the metaphor of origami within the story.

Interested? You’ll have to email with your name, title and date sessions you want to be there for, and your contact number. The sessions are free, but registration is first-come first-served as spaces are limited.

Want to read more? The Paper Menagerie is available here (in pdf form) and here (on io9) and is well worth your time. It is an affecting read, filled with imagination and wonder, and these paper animals will linger in your thoughts long after you’ve read the story.


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  1. Dear Direcow,

    Hi! i’m Pearly from Read! Singapore, NLB. Many many thanks for this article. Really like how you’ve written it up!

    I guess it’s kinda late now to make these changes – unfortunately only just stumbled upon your article today – but just to point out these:
    The timing for the first talk on 7 Sept goes from 2pm to 330pm (not 230-3pm as in the article).
    Author photo belongs to Ken Liu so please attribute it to him.

    If you come for any of the sessions, do come over to say hello!


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