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The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary by Ken Liu

Over on his blog, Jamie Todd Rubin noted that he had read a novella yesterday that he subsequently added to his Nebula ballot. He said, "I'd easily put it in the top ten novellas that I ever read."

That novella: "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary" by Ken Liu.

Since I take Jamie's recommendations strongly, I followed his link to Ken Liu's stories and read the story. Jamie had said nothing more about the story, and so I went in with no expectations save the one that this was going to be a good story.

I'm with Jamie. It's one of the most powerful stories I've ever read. I don't think it would give too much away to say that as I read it, I found myself comparing it to my own "Kaddish for the Last Survivor" and feeling that it was so much better. If "Kaddish" was a story of mine you found of interest because of its themes and overall subject matter, you should read Liu's story.


I should not have taken the time at work to read it. But I am glad to have read it.

On a technical level, the final disclosure seems a bit, well, tidy. But it in NO WAY takes away from the power of the work.

It is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it.
I'm glad you found the story wonderful, and I'm also glad you took my recommendation.
I will defintely read this. I know I've read one story of his that I quite liked, and yours is a strong recommendation coming from someone whose opinion I trust. Thanks!
There's a lot out there that I do like, but I don't always recommend. In this case, I highly recommend the story because it touches on so many of the themes I myself explore in my own work. And it does it better.
Ken sits about twenty feet away from me at work. Small world!
Really? Walk over and tell him I say hello. :-)
Are you still at the same place in Cambridge?
Yeah, although the company is moving downtown later this year. (Yay shorter commute, probably.)

December 2016

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