“Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings — a magnificent fantasy epic. Liu is building a dynasty.” — Amal El-Mohtar — NPR Books

Ken Liu is an American author of speculative fiction. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards for his fiction, he has also won top genre honors abroad in Japan, Spain, and France.

Liu’s most characteristic work is the four-volume epic fantasy series, THE DANDELION DYNASTY, in which engineers, not wizards, are the heroes of a silkpunk world on the verge of modernity. His debut collection of short fiction, THE PAPER MENAGERIE AND OTHER STORIES, has been published in more than a dozen languages. A second collection, THE HIDDEN GIRL AND OTHER STORIES, followed. He also penned the Star Wars novel, THE LEGENDS OF LUKE SKYWALKER.

He’s often involved in media adaptations of his work. Recent projects include “The Message,” under development by 21 Laps and FilmNation Entertainment; “Good Hunting,” adapted as an episode in season one of Netflix’s breakout adult animated series Love, Death + Robots; and AMC’s Pantheon, with Craig Silverstein as executive producer, adapted from an interconnected series of Liu’s short stories.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Liu worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. He frequently speaks at conferences and universities on a variety of topics, including futurism, machine-augmented creativity, history of technology, bookmaking, and the mathematics of origami.

Ken's Featured Titles

Speaking Bones (4) (The Dandelion Dynasty)

S&S/Saga Press |
Epic Fantasy

The battle continues in this silkpunk fantasy as science and destiny collide against the will of the gods in this final installment in the epic Dandelion Dynasty series from the “genius” (Elizabeth Bear, Hugo Award­–winning author of the Eternal Sky series) Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award–winning author Ken Liu.

The concluding book of The Dandelion Dynasty begins immediately after the events of The Veiled Throne, in the middle of two wars on two lands among three people separated by an ocean yet held together by the invisible strands of love.

Harried by Lyucu pursuers, Princess Théra and Pékyu Takval try to reestablish an ancestral dream even as their hearts grow in doubt. The people of Dara continue to struggle against the genocidal Lyucu as both nations vacillate between starkly contrasting visions for their futures. Even the gods cannot see through the Wall of Storms, for only mortal hearts can decide mortal fates.

Award-winning author Ken Liu fulfills the covenants first laid out a decade ago in a series delving deep into the connection between national myths and national constitutions in this “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR).

The Veiled Throne (3) (The Dandelion Dynasty)

S&S/Saga Press |
Epic Fantasy

With the invasion of Dara complete, and the Wall of Storms breached, the world has opened to new possibilities for the gods and peoples of both empires as the sweeping saga of the award-winning Dandelion Dynasty continues in this third book of the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR).

Princess Théra, once known as Empress Üna of Dara, entrusted the throne to her younger brother in order to journey to Ukyu-Gondé to war with the Lyucu. She has crossed the fabled Wall of Storms with a fleet of advanced warships and ten thousand people. Beset by adversity, Théra and her most trusted companions attempt to overcome every challenge by doing the most interesting thing. But is not letting the past dictate the present always possible or even desirable?

In Dara, the Lyucu leadership as well as the surviving Dandelion Court bristle with rivalries as currents of power surge and ebb and perspectives spin and shift. Here, parents and children, teachers and students, Empress and Pékyu, all nurture the seeds of plans that will take years to bloom. Will tradition yield to new justifications for power?

Everywhere, the spirit of innovation dances like dandelion seeds on the wind, and the commoners, the forgotten, the ignored begin to engineer new solutions for a new age.

Ken Liu returns to the series that draws from a tradition of the great epics of our history from the Aeneid to the Romance on the Three Kingdoms and builds a new tale unsurpassed in its scope and ambition.

Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi The Legends of Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

Disney Lucasfilm Press |
Children’s/Middle Grade Fantasy

As a cargo ship rockets across the galaxy to Canto Bight, the deckhands on board trade stories about legendary Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. But are the stories of iconic and mysterious Luke Skywalker true, or merely tall tales passed from one corner of the galaxy to another? Is Skywalker really a famous Jedi hero, an elaborate charlatan,or even part droid? The deckhands will have to decide for themselves when they hear The Legends of Luke Skywalker.

A collection of myths and tall-tales about the legendary Jedi Luke Skywalker, written by Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy award-winning author Ken Liu.

The Wall of Storms (2) (The Dandelion Dynasty)

S&S/Saga Press |
Epic Fantasy

One of the Time 100 Best Fantasy Books Of All Time

In the much-anticipated sequel to the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR) Grace of Kings, Emperor Kuni Garu is faced with the invasion of an invincible army in his kingdom and must quickly find a way to defeat the intruders.

Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara—and chaos results.

But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara’s savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children, now grown and ready to make their mark on history.

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty)

S&S/Saga Press |
Epic Fantasy

One of the Time 100 Best Fantasy Books Of All Time

Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. Hailed as one of the best books of 2015 by NPR.

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

Fans of intrigue, intimate plots, and action will find a new series to embrace in the Dandelion Dynasty.

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Gallery / Saga Press |
Short Stories

Featured in the Netflix series Love, Death & Robots

Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his multiple award-winning stories for a groundbreaking collection—including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.

With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. This mesmerizing collection features many of Ken’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner), “The Waves” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” (Nebula and Sturgeon Award finalists), “All the Flavors” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre’s history, “The Paper Menagerie” (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).

Insightful and stunning stories that plumb the struggle against history and betrayal of relationships in pivotal moments, this collection showcases one of our greatest and original voices.


The Artistic Machine: What Can the Camera in the 19th Century Tell Us About the Future of AI and Creativity?

Using a study of the impact of the camera on 19th-century art, this talk devises a framework for productively speculating on the future of AI in art. Neither groundlessly optimistic nor hyperbolically pessimistic, Ken highlights some concrete ways that AI may change how we think about and create art, and points out deeply ingrained problems that must be solved before the full potential of the “artistic machine” can be unlocked.


The Future Is Implausible: Why Science Fiction Always Gets the Future Wrong (And Why That’s a Good Thing)

Through a series of images drawn by artists from the past imagining life in the future, Ken asks the audience to think through provocative questions about the science fictional imagination. What do SF authors tend to get wrong about the future? What do they tend to get right? Is SF about “predicting” the future? Just why is the future so difficult to pin down?


The Future of Work

What will work be like in the age of automation? Are careers in fields like finance, law, medicine, and the arts under threat as much as those in manufacturing? Is it possible, or even desirable, to try to “save jobs”? Or do we need a new definition of work that accounts for the values we actually hold dear? This talk will give the audience the facts about automation and invite them to think deeper about the consequences of current technological advancement.


Tell the Story You Want to Tell: The Connection Between Literature and “Real Life”

What is the point of telling and reading stories? Through a series of excerpts from popular children’s books, Ken makes the argument that stories are the means by which we embody, affirm, and pass on our deepest values. Literature is serves as the foil and the model for that most important story of all: the journey in which we narrate ourselves into being.


The Bookmaking Species: The Evolving Form of the Book

A presentation on the history of books as artifacts and how the kinds of stories we tell are influenced by the media through which they’re transmitted. Ken will also deliver a topical reading from his fiction, followed by Q&A.


Three Times My Career Almost Ended: How To Fail Smarter As A Writer

Join award-winning and bestselling author Ken Liu as he recounts three times when his writing career almost ended and what lessons he took away from them.


Speaking Tools: How To Tell Compelling Stories About Technology

This workshop will train you to see and think about “technology”—both fictional and nonfictional forms—in new ways that help you tell compelling stories. We’ll examine a broader definition of technology and take on the perspective of a worldbuilder, someone who must conjure a novel and concrete vision for others. Writing exercises will allow participants to put these new ways of seeing and thinking into practice. In addition to fiction writers, this course is also suitable for journalists, technologists, gamemasters, sales and marketing staff, activists—anyone who wants to communicate more effectively about technology. Intended for writers of all levels. Please come to the workshop with a piece of technology (existing or invented) in mind you’d like to feature in a story.


Ten Tips for Building a More Compelling World

Award-winning and bestselling author Ken Liu presents practical advice and inspirational perspectives on how to build more compelling SFF worlds. Useful for both novelists and short story writers.

Ken’s Talks Link

Ken’s Adaptations Link

Ken’s Events Link

Honors, Awards & Recognition

2017 Locus Award for Best Collection, THE PAPER MENAGERIE AND OTHER STORIES
2017 Premio Ignotus for Best Foreign Story, “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species”
2017 Seiun Award for Best Foreign Story, “Simulacrum”
2016 Locus Award for Best First Novel, THE GRACE OF KINGS
2016 Premio Ignotus for Best Foreign Story, “The Algorithms for Love”
2016 Grand prix de l’Imaginaire, THE PAPER MENAGERIE (French collection)
2015 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, “The Long Haul: From the Annals of Transportation, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009”
2014 Premio Ignotus for Best Foreign Story, “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary”
2014 Seiun Award for Best Foreign Story, “The Paper Menagerie”
2013 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, “Mono no aware”
2013 Premio Ignotus for Best Foreign Story, “The Paper Menagerie”
2012 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction, “The Paper Menagerie”
2012 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, “The Paper Menagerie”
2012 Seiun Award for Best Foreign Story, “Good Hunting”
2011 Nebula Award for Best Short Story, winner, “The Paper Menagerie”

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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