The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu

The Paper Menagerie
Ken Liu
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
15 pages

Mother loves unconditionally. In this heartbreaking super short stories, Ken Liu wrote a simple and sincere fantasy story about love of a mother that is able to squeeze your tear glands. 

The Paper Menagerie follows a Chinese-American guy, named Jack, whose mother was ordered via a catalog by his father. But, it didn't stop his father from loving her. Together they made a cute little family. When he was a kid, Jack loved his mother so much and his mother possessed a magic to breathe a life to the paper menageries she made, and those paper dolls became Jack's best friends. Until one day, Jack grew and was on mission to be an all-American-boy, and a distance separated the son and the mother. 

This short story sweeps all fantasy awards because it's not only a bittersweet fantasy stories, but it also shows what mother's love is capable of. It also depicts the basic human needs to belong. It also proves that you don't need to have great premise, or grandiose concept, to write a good fantasy story. A simple premise, a modest concept like this can be developed into a great and amazing story if you infuse your soul into it, making your story touching and moving its readers. And I'm sure that's what Liu did.

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