Charles Yu's picture

Charles Yu

USA flag (b.1976)

Charles Yu graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia Law School. He lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife, Michelle, and their two children.

Genres: Science Fiction
Charles Yu recommends
A Highly Unlikely Scenario (2014)
Rachel Cantor
"Both profoundly wild and wildly profound."
Annihilation (2014)
(Southern Reach Trilogy, book 1)
Jeff VanderMeer
"One of those books where it all comes together--the story and the prose and the ideas, all braided into a triple helix that gives rise to something vibrant and alive. Something that grows, word-by-word, into powerful, tangled vines that creep into your mind and take hold of it. 'Annihilation' is brilliant and atmospheric, a novel that has the force of myth."
Join (2016)
Steve Toutonghi
"From the first page, Toutonghi launches us into a strange and fascinating new world, exploring ideas with nuance and verve. Strikingly original and deeply imaginative."
The Warren (2016)
Brian Evenson
"What is a human? What is a person? The Warren is a truly original exploration of these questions the kind of work that causes one to re-examine long-held certainties. Profound and deeply unsettling, in the best way possible."
Faller (2016)
Will McIntosh
"Love Minus Eighty is a book that makes me envious as a writer."
The Ready-Made Thief (2017)
Augustus Rose
"A rewarding novel full of pleasures and surprises. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, it took me somewhere stranger and deeper than I could have imagined. A rich, heady mix of ideas and thrills."
The Wanderers (2017)
Meg Howrey
"Elegant, thoughtful, gorgeously written. A meditation on solitude, connection, aspiration, imagination and reality, which builds effortlessly to moments of immense power and honesty."
Spoonbenders (2017)
Daryl Gregory
"A big generational family story of longing, nostalgia and humor. The writing is so deftly charming and yet deeply felt. Spoonbenders is entertaining and moving - a perfect summer read."
Autonomous (2017)
Annalee Newitz
"This book is a cyborg. Partly, it's a novel of ideas, about property, the very concept of it, and how our laws and systems about property shape class structure and society, as well as notions of identity, the self, bodies, autonomy at the most fundamental levels, all woven seamlessly into a dense mesh of impressive complexity. Don't let that fool you though. Because wrapped around that is the most badass exoskeleton--a thrilling and sexy story about pirates and their adventures. Newitz has fused these two layers together at the micro- and macro-levels with insight and wit and verbal flair. Moves fast, with frightening intelligence."
The Sea Beast Takes a Lover (2018)
Michael Andreasen
"Andreasen has a big, roomy imagination, and a command of language to furnish the worlds he creates with both precision and grandeur. These stories are, by turns, timeless and urgent, dreamy and nightmarish, heartbroken and hopeful. A brilliant collection."
Wonderblood (2018)
Julia Whicker
"Visceral and intense . . . a fully built-out world, rich with color and detail."
Lost Empress (2018)
Sergio de la Pava
"I don't know how to do this book justice. It is so bold and so rich and so funny and so filled with pure pleasure for the reader. More than once I've had to stop and get up and walk around the room to process the sheer awesomeness. I feel like I'm in the presence of a major writer-someone of a singular intelligence that is at once alien yet comforting."
Famous Men Who Never Lived (2019)
K Chess
"The novel jumps off from a fascinating premise into strange and fertile territory. K Chess constructs not just one universe, but two, and delicately entangles them to create a rich, engrossing exploration of displacement, history, memory, of the past and the present. Conceptually adventurous yet full of feeling, Famous Men Who Never Lived is a smart, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable debut."
The Municipalists (2019)
Seth Fried
"The Municipalists is full of subcultures and obsessions, a novel full of people who care deeply about the details, written by someone who understands that the details are what matter. Smart, engaging, poignant and funny (not just book funny--actually funny). Fried is one of the most exciting new voices in fiction, and his debut novel showcases his many talents."
Chosen Ones (2020)
(Chosen Ones , book 1)
Veronica Roth
"Roth somehow manages to make universe-building look easy. She sets it all up--world, characters, premise--so smoothly that you hardly notice until you're a hundred pages in and hurtling down the tracks. An insightful exploration of desire and ambition that also touches on broader societal topics, including celebrity, social media, trauma and recovery. A thought-provoking novel with ample emotion and a sense of playfulness with form. And one more thing: when the inevitable adaptation of Chosen Ones hits the screen someday, I just hope it captures Roth's fascinating and original theory of magic."
The Son of Good Fortune (2020)
Lysley Tenorio
"This story is bursting with heart and wisdom, humor and hope. Tenorio's gifts as a writer are on display in this expertly constructed, gorgeously written tale of a family haunted by past mistakes, struggling toward the future. Immersive in its rich detail, it gathers momentum to its affecting and powerful conclusion. A remarkable novel by an author I plan to follow for years to come."
Nights When Nothing Happened (2020)
Simon Han
"An intimate and nuanced portrait of a family trying to find their way in a new country. With a sharp eye and a finely tuned ear, Simon Han tells a story that is by turns achingly tender and emotionally devastating. A stunning debut that will stay with me."
Meet Me in Another Life (2021)
Catriona Silvey
"Inventive, bold, and surprising – from where the novel starts I could have never imagined where it ends. Along the way the story of Thora and Santi builds in suspense and emotion, revealing itself page by page, layer by layer. Cleverly constructed and highly entertaining."
The Quiet Boy (2021)
Ben H Winters
"I get excited any time Ben Winters has a new book coming out. His writing is so intelligent, his worlds so inventive, and his novels have a rare combination of being equally entertaining and thought-provoking. I will read anything by Ben Winters, and am always eager to see what he does next."
Things We Lost to the Water (2021)
Eric Nguyen
"Exquisitely well-written, Things We Lost to the Water is a tender, haunting story of loss, love, family and survival. A moving and powerful debut."
Hell of a Book (2021)
Jason Mott
"Hell of a Book more than lives up to its title. Playful, searching, raw and necessary, this writing, this voice, this novel twisted me up and turned me inside out, dazzled me, surprised me and moved me."
Questland (2021)
Carrie Vaughn
"Questland is a thrill ride…Richly imagined, action-packed, maximum fun."
The Tiger Mom's Tale (2021)
Lyn Liao Butler
"The Tiger Mom's Tale is a heartfelt, delightful read. Lyn Liao Butler's story of Taiwanese and American identity had me turning pages and laughing (and drooling over the delicious descriptions of food)."
My Monticello (2021)
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
"I was enthralled from the opening lines of this book. These chilling, thought-provoking and expertly crafted stories showcase Johnson's range and ability--they broke my heart as well as my brain. A stunning collection."
Fiona and Jane (2022)
Jean Chen Ho
"I loved every one of these vibrant, sharply-observed stories that explore the complexities of friendship, love, lust, youth and identity. Jean Chen Ho's writing is spiky, surprising and funny, suffused with wit and sadness. On top of all that, she writes about southern California with specificity and insight, mapping corners of it that I haven't seen before in fiction. A striking debut from a very talented writer."
Joan is Okay (2022)
Weike Wang
"This novel made me laugh, think, feel a bunch of things, laugh some more. And then, when I was least expecting, it snuck up and kicked me in the gut so hard I cried. Joan's voice and world view are hard to shake, and Weike Wang's writing is immensely rewarding and enjoyable. I really, really didn't want this book to end."
The Verifiers (2022)
Jane Pek
"A clever and thought-provoking mystery laced with wit and insights about technology and relationships, who we are and who we pretend to be. Smart, twisty fun."
Maria, Maria (2022)
Marytza K Rubio
"Maria, Maria is a collection and a cosmology, sentences bursting with color, pages brimming with invention. Beguiling and playful, Marytza K. Rubio's writing is endlessly enjoyable to read. A striking new voice."
The Red Arrow (2022)
William Brewer
"The Red Arrow is bold and thrilling - a work of unbridled imagination. Unlike anything I've read in a long time."
Denial (2022)
Jon Raymond
"Topical yet timeless, Denial is a layered investigation of our past and future, our perceptions and our blind spots. Jon Raymond writes with economy and elegance, crafting a finely-tuned story that is thoughtful, gripping and even moving all at the same time."
On the Rooftop (2022)
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
"Richly observed and beautifully written, On the Rooftop weaves the lives of its characters together into a story bursting with music and feeling. Margaret Wilkerson Sexton writes with power and nuance about matters of the spirit and the flesh. A moving, uplifting novel about art and ambition and faith and love."
Blind Spots (2023)
Thomas Mullen
"Mullen fuses science fiction and a dectective story into a stylish and entertaining novel."

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