PodCastle 290: Maxwell’s Demon

Maxwell’s Demon

by Ken Liu

February 1943

Application for Leave Clearance, Tule Lake War Relocation Center

Name: Takako Yamashiro

Question 27: Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered?

I do not know how to answer this question. I am a woman, ineligible for combat.

Question 28: Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any and all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance to the Japanese Emperor or any other foreign government, power, or organization?

I do not know how to answer this question. I was born in Seattle, Washington. I have never had any form of allegiance to the Japanese Emperor, so there’s nothing to forswear. I will swear unqualified allegiance to my country when my country frees me and my family.

About the Author

Ken Liu

Ken Liu is an author of speculative fiction, as well as a translator, lawyer, and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he is the author of The Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (The Grace of Kings (2015), The Wall of Storms (2016), and a forthcoming third volume) and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016), a collection. He also wrote the Star Wars novel, The Legends of Luke Skywalker (2017).

In addition to his original fiction, Ken also translated numerous works from Chinese to English, including The Three-Body Problem (2014), by Liu Cixin, and “Folding Beijing,” by Hao Jingfang, both Hugo winners.

Find more by Ken Liu


About the Narrator

Aki Gibbons

Aki Gibbons is a traveler with a multicultural worldview and a passion for remarkable storytelling. A multifaceted writer of many voices—humorous, wry, fresh, dreamlike, authentic—she is a seasoned copywriter, experienced blogger and writer/reader of strange stories since childhood. Born in Okinawa and raised in California’s Bay Area with her sister by biracial parents, she has spent much time traveling to Japan, including some years of residing in Tokyo.

When not writing, reading, watching movies or traveling, you can find her enjoying happy hour or a meal in the garden with her husband, cats and perhaps a friend or two.

Follow her on Twitter or Instagram: @akigibbons

Find more by Aki Gibbons