Posted in Short Stories

Ken Liu: The Regular

I found Ken Lui’s “The Regular” interesting in that I had to keep going back to the title page of the story to make sure I was reading the title correctly. In the story, there is a machine called a Regulator that law enforcement use to keep their emotions at bay. It’s a sort of anti-depressant machine. There is also a mention of the term “regular” in referring to the customers of prostitutes. And finally, this statement:

It has always been the regular state of things. There is no clarity, no relief. At the end of all rationality, there is simply the need to decide and the faith to live through, to endure.

As rough as this story might sound, and it is a rough one, it’s also the most entertaining one that I’ve read from this collection so far. It’s a futuristic Law and Order or CSI. And when I say futuristic it doesn’t seem that far into the future. The technology involved only seems a decade or so away – if that long.

A bionic (for lack of a better term) investigator takes on the case of a murdered prostitute who has her own “super” technology in the form of a camera. In spite of all the societal changes, government officials and international dignitaries still don’t want it public knowledge that they utilize the services of prostitutes.

Looking for a great suspenseful crime drama? Check out this story.

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