Sneak Preview: Love Thy Neighbors by Ken Liu

The next story I’m unveiling for Unidentified Funny Objects is “Love Thy Neighbors” by Ken Liu.

Ken’s fiction has appeared in F&SF, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Clarkesworld, among other places. He has won a Nebula Award  for “The Paper Menagerie” and been nominated for the Hugo and Sturgeon Awards for “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary,” and several of his stories have been selected for inclusion in various Year’s Best anthologies. He lives near Boston with his family. His website is

I’m a huge fan of Ken’s writing and am very happy to be able to include one of his stories into the book. Here’s a little preview:


McComber: But there are some negative consequences to what you’re doing, aren’t there?

Filip: Negative? We’re saving cuddly and cute creatures! Who doesn’t like more pandas? Everyone loves pandas!

McComber: I think many of our callers feel differently. All right, you’re on.

First Caller: Hi, this is Mary from Waterford, Connecticut. I hate your mutant penguins. There’s a colony of them camped right outside my house, and they smell.

I’ve never seen such aggressive birds. My children can’t play in our yard anymore because they get pecked. You people need to be put in prison.

Filip: Mary, I’m sorry you feel that way. Maybe instead of feeling so entitled to your yard, you can try to make friends with the penguins? Try learning their language. I can recommend some good tapes made by the WikiGenes Foundation.

Second Caller: Hi, this is Jordan from Ansel, New Jersey. Let me tell you, watch these giant pandas dig through garbage for a few weeks, and they don’t seem so cute any more. One of them has even started to steal the tomatoes from my wife’s garden. And that constant mating, right in the street!

I can’t wait till the governor declares panda hunting season.

McComber: Mr. Filip, you’re responsible for the terror of our suburbs: the omnivorous, sex-maniac panda.



5 Responses to Sneak Preview: Love Thy Neighbors by Ken Liu

  1. Santiago Rodrigo-Sudbury says:

    I like Ken Liu’s previous stories plenty….gotta say this not really funny at all….none of the other stories you posted were funny either…not wanting to sound rude, but just my opinion.

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      It’s certainly a matter of taste. I don’t expect that most people will find *every* story funny, given the variety of voices and styles we’re hoping to offer. It’s also difficult to convey the humor of any given story in a short excerpt.

      Very soon now (in about a week or so) we’ll be posting a complete story by Jake Kerr. Let’s see if that one might be more to your liking.

      • Jake Kerr says:

        While I may not be an expert on humor, I fully expect that this story by Jake Kerr may be the absolute funniest story ever written. I am surprised that these UFO publisher people are not releasing defibrillator paddles with the story since some people will obviously suffer heart attacks from laughing so hard. In fact, I daresay that if Santiago Rodrigo-Sudbury–a name that absolutely deserves to be in a story in some form or fashion, I must say–does not find Jake Kerr’s story funny, he may be missing some kind of humor chromosome.

        Oh, and while Ken Liu’s story is, indeed, quite hilarious. It is not nearly as death-defyingly funny as Jake Kerr’s piece.

  2. Santiago Rodrigo-Sudbury says:

    Agree different people find different stuff funny…so asked me coworkers today and most agreed the blurbs were not funny….one of them recognized a hollowtip bullet pun they saw on CSI Miami…but no one could find any other jokes in any story….could be just the editor picked the wrong stories or blurbs to put up…who knows….it just seems more like “science fiction writers trying to be funny” instead of “funny science fiction”…i hope other stories change this idea in my head…but i have been saying this since first sample blurb posted and i yet so see even a small bit of funny…

  3. Santiago Rodrigo-Sudbury says:

    Jake Kerr I hope you have a funny story and break unfunny trend…don’t see why my name so deserving…very common Spanish names….but maybe Spanish makes you laugh

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