Two thumbs way up for Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee. Science fiction/fantasy short stories.
While I was reading this I resented work, eating, sleep and friends because all I wanted to do was continue reading. Oh, it is definitely not for everyone. The stories in this collection are a strange and unique melange of math, honor, magic, music, Asian mythology, war, genocide, lexicography, weaponry, time travel, and spaceships – in other words, it is as if it was written specifically for me by someone who can see inside my head. Lee’s style is poetic and almost-but-not-quite surreal and, sometimes, beyond my comprehension: in the good way, the way that promises that I will enjoy the second and tenth readings as much as the first. And yes, there will be a tenth reading, someday, because this is now one of my favorite books. If you want to get a sense of Lee’s skill, one of my favorites of her stories is available for free on Tor.com: Combustion Hour. If you like that, get a copy of Conservation of Shadows posthaste. It’s so good it gives me the shivers.
They say her true name means things like gray and ash and grave. You may buy her a drink, bring her candied petals or chaotic metals, but it’s all the same. She won’t speak her name.
—from “Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain”
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