“The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu
Reprinted at iO9.
Such a bittersweet tale of magical realism, in which folded paper animals live. It shows the pain of internalized racism and the loss it can cause. Beautiful and so moving.
Favorite Line(s): “She turned the paper over and folded it again. She pleated, packed, tucked, rolled, and twisted until the paper disappeared between her cupped hands. Then she lifted the folded-up paper packet to her mouth and blew into it, like a balloon.”
“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu
Published at Clarksworld Magazine.
This is a reread for me and it is as astounding experience now as it was the first time around. A group of wasps enact a form of colonization on a nearby hive of bees, though that’s only a small fraction of the story. It is beautifully told with vibrant language, relating an alien view of life in very relatable terms.
Favorite Line(s): “… it was discovered that the wasp nests of Yiwei, dipped in hot water, unfurled into beautifully accurate maps of provinces near and far, inked in vegetable pigments and labeled in careful Mandarin that could be distinguished beneath a microscope.”