Name: Ken Liu
Asian background: American of Chinese descent
What is it about your experience and upbringing that inspired you the most to write?
I grew up in a house full of books shelved haphazardly, with no regard to genre or any other means of classification. As a result, I have very little patience with genre boundaries or labels, and prefer to write stories that defy them.
However, I’ve always gravitated toward stories that literalize some aspect of reality we normally understand as metaphor. This is usually described as the province of magic realism, but I think it taps into some deep feature of how we process reality as human beings. We grasp the abstract by embodying them in tangible metaphors and reify cherished values in stories.
Name 3 authors and 3 books
Tochi Onyebuchi — Riot Baby
Peter Tieryas — United States of Japan
S.L. Huang — Zero Sum Game
What do you think is the best quality a writer can have?
A unique voice and vision, conjuring forth stories no one else could have told.
Any last words? (Fun facts, comments, something you’d like to share with the world, etc.)
Being a slow writer is not a problem. It took me more than a decade to write my first
series, and I couldn’t be happier. Go at your own pace and tell the stories you want to tell.
Challenge: Write a one-sentence story!
Missed Connections: “Unless you return and rescue me from April 30, 2020, I’ll make
sure that your timeline never comes to be.”