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Stories of Your Life and Others (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Ted Chiang

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,140497,179 (4.38)1 / 55
Member:kmaziarz
Title:Stories of Your Life and Others
Authors:Ted Chiang
Info:Orb Books (2003), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Short Stories, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:short stories, sf, sci fi, science fiction, contemporary science fiction, science fiction short stories

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Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (2002)

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English (43)  French (4)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
I love the title story, "The Story of Your Life." It's about a linguist, doing linguist-y things, and it gets the details right. (An unbelievably and shamefully rare occurance.) For that alone I would have to love it; but it has a good sci-fi twist too, with a nice bit of philosophy and physics which all ties together beautifully. Unfortunately, I was not so enthralled with the rest of the collection. I wanted to like it. So many awards! So much praise from writers I admire!: but wanting doesn't make it so. Oh, I don't mean the stories are of poor quality; not at all. Each one is an interesting science fictional (or fantastical) premise very nicely worked out through all of its logical ramifications. The problem was that as I was reading I kept nodding my head and thinking, "oh, very nicely worked out. Yes, very clever use of mathematical metaphor. Wow, the author did a lot of research on mud bricks; impressive!" If all you need is clever premises well worked out – and there are a lot of science fiction readers for whom that is true, and no harm in it – then sit back and enjoy. But I want logic and mud brick research and neat mathematical metaphors and emotion and dialogue that serves more than just the story's needs and characters whose names I can remember two minutes later and maybe some pretty prose or some atmosphere, in the non-oxygen/nitrogen sense. Call me a greedy reader, but this collection did not work for me.

SAMPLE PARAGRAPH
At the Second International Congress of Mathematics in 1900, David Hilbert listed what he considered to be the twenty-three most important unsolved problems of mathematics. The second item on his list was a request for a proof of the consistency of arithmetic. Such a proof would ensure the consistency of a great deal of higher mathematics. What this proof had to guarantee was, in essence, that one could never prove one equals two. Few mathematicians regarded this as a matter of much import. ( )
  emepps | Jan 23, 2015 |
Ted Chiang puts the science in science fiction. Most of the stories in the collection are great to read and full of interesting perspectives of the world.

That is one of the keys of science fiction. By adding this one advancement, you can tell a story about humanity. ( )
  dougcornelius | Nov 24, 2014 |
Each of these short stories is a creative and surprising gem, with terrific emotional depth and some wonderful quirky ideas. His entire literary output has been 14 stories, mostly in this volume, yet he's won a pile of awards and is one of the most highly-regarded SF writers around.
  Clevermonkey | May 29, 2014 |
Contents:
"Tower of Babylon" (originally published in Omni) (Nebula Award winner)
"Division by Zero" (originally published in Full Spectrum 3)
"Understand" (originally published in Asimov's)
"Story of Your Life" (originally published in Starlight 2) (Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award winner)
"The Evolution of Human Science" (a.k.a. "Catching Crumbs from the Table") (originally published in Nature)
"Seventy-Two Letters" (originally published in Vanishing Acts) (Sidewise Award winner)
"Hell Is the Absence of God" (originally published in Starlight 3) (Hugo Award, Locus Award and Nebula Award winner)
"Liking What You See: A Documentary" ( )
  SChant | May 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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For Brian Chiang and Jenna Felice
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Were the tower to be laid down across the plain of Shinar, it would be two days' journey to walk from one end to the other.
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Book description
Collects these stories
"Tower of Babylon"
"Understand"
"Division by Zero"
"Story of Your Life"
"Seventy-Two Letters"
"The Evolution of Human Science"
"Hell Is the Absence of God"
"Liking What You See: A Documentary"
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765304198, Paperback)

This marvelous collection by one of science fiction's most thoughtful and graceful writers belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in literary science fiction.

Collected here for the first time, Ted Chiang's award-winning stories--recipients of the Nebula, Sturgeon, Campbell, and Asimov awards--offer a feast of science, speculation, humanity, and lyricism. Standouts include "Tower of Babylon," in which a miner ascends the fabled tower in order to break through the vault of heaven; "Division by Zero," a precise and heartbreaking examination of the disintegration of hope and love; and "Story of Your Life," in which a linguist learns an alien language that reshapes her view of the world. Chiang has the gift that lies at the heart of good science fiction: a human story, beautifully told, in which the science is an expression of the deeper issues that the characters must confront. Full of remarkable ideas and unforgettable moments, Stories of Your Life and Others is highly recommended. --Roz Genessee

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Ted Chiang's first published story, "Tower of Babylon," won the Nebula Award for 1990. Now, collected for the first time, are all seven of this extraordinary writer's extraordinary stories--plus a new story written especially for this volume.

(summary from another edition)

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Small Beer Press

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