Charles Yu (Chinese name: You Chao-Kai/"游朝凱", born in 1976 in Los Angeles) is a Taiwanese American writer. He is the author of the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and the short-story collections Third Class Superhero and Sorry Please Thank You. In 2007 he was named a "5 under 35" honoree by the National Book Foundation.
His fiction has been published in a number of magazines and literary journals, including Oxford American, The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, The New Yorker, and Alaska Quarterly Review, and cited for special mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology XXVIII. He received the 2004 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award for his story, "Third Class Superhero."
In 2007 he was selected by the National Book Foundation as one of its "5 Under 35," a program which highlights the work of the next generation of fiction writers by asking five previous National Book Award fiction Winners and Finalists to select one fiction writer under the age of 35 whose work they find particularly promising and exciting. Yu was selected for the honor by Richard Powers.
His first novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, was ranked the year's second-best science fiction novel by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas — and a runner up for the Campbell Memorial Award. The book was also optioned by film director and writer Chris Columbus' production company, 1492 Pictures.
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. His brother is the actor and TV writer (for Bob's Burgers), Kelvin Yu.
- Third Class Superhero (2006, Harvest Books ISBN 0-15-603081-0)
- How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (2010, Pantheon ISBN 0-307-37920-5 —second place, John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
- Sorry Please Thank You: Stories (2012, Pantheon Books, Random House. ISBN 0-307-90717-1)
- ) "The John W. Campbell Memorial Award". The John Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The University of Kansas. Updated 11 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
- Author Page, Random House website.
- National Book Foundation
- Daniel Miller, Chris Columbus' Production Company Acquires Sci-Fi Novel (Exclusive), The Hollywood Reporter, December 2, 2011, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/how-live-safely-movie-chris-columbus-268890
- Charlie Jane Anders, Will Hollywood sentimentalize Charles Yu's How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe?, io9, December 2, 2011, http://io9.com/how-to-live-safely-in-a-science-fictional-universe/