Posted in Short Stories

Ken Liu: Good Hunting

Ken Liu’s “Good Hunting” morphs a traditional fairy tale into a modern machine age tale and in doing so brings up the notion that magic happens in anytime period:

I imagined her running along the tracks of the funicular railway, a tireless engine racing up, and up, toward the top of Victoria Peak, towards a future as full of magic as the past.

The young boy in the story develops a relationship with a hulijang – a kind of female ghost who bewitches men. It doesn’t seem she is able to bewitch the young boy but she manages to keep him as a friend long into the future. The young boy grows up and little by little becomes part of the industrial age. Though the hulijang might feel outdated, the grown up boy manages to keep her from becoming obsolete. As opposed to a bewitching on either part, both find the other mutually beneficial.

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