Posted in Short Stories

Ken Liu: State Change

I have no candle to burn at both ends. I won’t measure my life with coffee spoons. I have no spring water to quiet desire, because I have left behind my frozen bit of almost-death. What I have is my life.

More magical realism in Ken Liu’s “State Change” although I might go a little further and call it metaphorical realism if there is such a thing. I’ve also heard that all fiction is metaphor. I can go with that, too. This is a great story, so just go read it and decide for yourself!

Rina’s soul is an ice cube. She reads things like T. S. Eliot. Eliot’s soul is coffee and he measures it out with coffee spoons or at least he does in a poem Rina’s reading.

Rina makes some discoveries about what it means to lose your soul and what it means to save your soul and the paradox involved in these activities.

This story? Brilliant even if it didn’t have the “Prufrock” reference but all the better for including it.

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