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Stories of Your Life and Others Paperback – 21 May 2015
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Shining, haunting, mind-blowing tales . . . this collection is a pure marvel. [Ted] Chiang is so exhilarating so original so stylish he just leaves you speechless. I always suggest a person read at least 52 books a year for proper mental functioning but if you only have time for one, be at peace: you found it (Junot Diaz)
United by a humane intelligence that speaks very directly to the reader, and makes us experience each story with immediacy and Chiang's calm passion (China Miéville, Guardian)
Ted is a national treasure...each of those stories is a goddamned jewel (Cory Doctorow)
Meticulously pieced together, utterly thought through, Chiang's stories emerge slowly...but with the perfection of slow-growing crystal (Lev Grossman)
Chiang writes seldom, but his almost unfathomably wonderful stories tick away with the precision of a Swiss watch--and explode in your awareness with shocking, devastating force (Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review))
He puts the science back in science fiction--brilliantly (Booklist (Starred Review))
Confirms that blending science and fine art at this length can produce touching works, tales as intimate as our own blood cells, with the structural strength of just-discovered industrial alloys (Seattle Times)
Chiang derides lazy thinking, weasels it out of its hiding place, and leaves it cowering (Washington Post)
Essential. You won't know SF if you don't read Ted Chiang (Greg Bear)
Science fiction is a genre that often works well off the page. Spaceships and robots are just as thrilling on screen as in books. But Mr Chiang's approach is irreplaceable. His stories mirror the process of scientific discovery: complex ideas emerge from the measured, methodical accumulation of information until epiphany strikes. . . . The best science fiction inspires awe for the natural properties of the universe; it renders the fundamentals of science poignant and affecting. Mr Chiang's writing manages all of this. He deserves to be more widely read (The Economist blog)
A short story collection by the multiple-award-winning SF author Ted Chiang.See all Product description
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The collection is a mixed bunch, but if one word can sum it all up it is this: original.
This is a mixture of science-fiction, philosophy, fantasy, possibly metaphysics, and probably other things that is not seen often enough. The collection covers xenolinguistics (OK, we knew that, because of Arrival), golems and the kabbala, mathematics, religion. It neatly weaves all these things and more into stories that surprise, and in combinations that you simply wouldn't expect to find. Some stories are stronger than others, but all are worth reading. For example, I loved Tower of Babylon, but found the ending extremely predictable from very early on, which was a little disappointing. Division by Zero appealed to me (as a mathematician by degree).
If you like your science fiction wide ranging and eclectic, then this is the collection for you.
That story is so much more than just about aliens. You have to read it for yourself to appreciate the brilliance of the way time is manipulated even in the way it is told. All the themes and concerns in the stories are imaginatively and almost preternaturally examined in thought-provoking and startling ways; whether it’s about the value of beauty, the creative power of language and preformation, the question of time (based on the variational principles of physics, no less, as Chiang tells us in his story notes at the end of the collection), how the consistency of maths relate to the way we hold on to absolute truth, and the metacognitive repercussions of finding meaning and pattern in everything you see and understanding your own mind. He even deals with tougher issues like the inherent contradictions of a benevolent God (and His angel visitations) and innocent suffering.
It’s not often that you get a blend of science and literary fiction so richly and seamlessly intertwined. While I struggled to keep up with the expository bits on hard science, I could see how they were integral to the stories. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys science fiction and literary writing.