From the author of Exhalation, an award-winning short story collection that blends "absorbing storytelling with meditations on the universe, being, time and space ... raises questions about the nature of reality and what it is to be human" (The New York Times).
Stories of Your Life and Others delivers dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, often presenting characters who must confront sudden change—the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens—with some sense of normalcy. With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty, but also by beauty and wonder. An award-winning collection from one of today's most lauded writers, Stories of Your Life and Others is a contemporary classic.
Includes “Story of Your Life”—the basis for the major motion picture Arrival
Here's the first must-read SF book of the year. Chiang has acquired a massive reputation on the basis of very few pieces of short fiction. This collection contains all six previously published tales, including the Nebula Award winning "Tower of Babylon," plus a new story, "Liking What You See: A Documentary." It's rare for a writer to become so prominent so fast. In this case, though, the hype is deserved. Chiang has mastered an extremely tricky type of SF story. He begins with a startling bit of oddity, then, as readers figure out what part of the familiar world has been twisted, they realize that it was just a small part of a much larger structure of marvelous, threatening strangeness. Reading a Chiang story means juggling multiple conceptions of what is normal and right. Probably this kind of brain twisting can be done with such intensity only in shorter lengths; if these stories were much longer, readers' heads might explode. Still, the most surprising thing is how much feeling accompanies the intellectual exercises. Whether their initial subject is ancient Babylonians building a tower that reaches the base of Heaven, translation of an alien language that shows a woman a new way to view her life as a mother, or mass-producing golems in an alternative Victorian England, Chiang's stories are audacious, challenging and moving. They resemble the work of a less metaphysical Philip K. Dick or a Borges with more characterization and a grasp of cutting-edge science.
I bought this book because I heard that one of the short stories was the basis for the film called "Arrival".
This is a thinking person's science fiction. One of the stories took a twist that I couldn't see coming-that doesn't happen all that often, at least for me.
Ok. A bit on the overrated side.
I thought it was pretty good. Hype was pretty big. I did not recommend this to anyone I know, so it wasn't THAT good. My expectations were too high.
Science Fiction in Name Only
Ted Chiang is described as a science fiction writer but that is too restrictive. I don’t read or like science fiction but I heard Chiang on a podcast, became mesmerized, so I read, and loved, these stories. All of them have other worldly elements to them but these are not what the stories are about. Rather, they allow Chiang to explore philosophical questions about life, knowledge, time, the nature of beauty, the meaning of devotion. This is a gorgeous book.