cover image Hexarchate Stories

Hexarchate Stories

Yoon Ha Lee. Solaris, $11.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-78108-564-6

This slight but charming collection of new and reprinted stories set in bestseller Lee’s Machineries of Empire universe (Revenant Gun) is primarily for fans of his novels. “Extracurricular Activities” and the art heist story “The Chameleon’s Gloves,”are solidly self-contained, as are originals “Silence,” a family reunion; “Gloves,” an arousing exploration of Brig. Gen. Shuos Jedao’s kink preferences; and “Glass Cannon,” a dizzying exercise in the long and complicated coexistence of Machineries of Empire protagonists Shuos Jedao and Ajewen Cheris. Other tales, such as “How the Andan Court,” are so brief as to be prose poems, or are meditations on the creatures of the universe. Lee provides enough context within stories for new readers to navigate and may be drawn to try out the novels, but the nuances are best appreciated by fans of the Hexarchate universe. Given that Lee is also a game creator, these stories might be thought of as Easter eggs for the Hexarchate series: they enhance understanding of some of the characters and cultural nuances and explain some authorial intent, but they’re not required reading. (June)