Review: The Paper Menagerie

The Paper Menagerie is a short story written by Ken Liu and published in the March/April edition of Fantasy & ScienceFiction.

This short story is only subtly a fantasy, though sufficiently so to merit its inclusion in this magazine.  The most dramatic and compelling aspect of this story is the relationships between the main character and his parents, and the cultural clashes inherent in those relationships.  While the fantasy element propels the story forward, this element could easily have been replaced with something less mystical and still the heart and warmth, as well as the loneliness and coldness, of this story would remain intact.

Die-hard fantasy and science fiction fans who want none of the artistry and craftsmanship of literary fiction probably won’t care for this story.  But if you enjoy a blending of art, magic, culture, and humanity, then this story is definitely worthy of your time.  Just be prepared for a little heartbreak along the way.  Not all stories have to end happily to be wholly satisfying; in fact, a little sadness can’t make a story wholly genuine.

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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