Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ted Chiang

 A technical writer by trade, Chiang has this side gig of writing amazing science fiction short stories. Though Chiang's portfolio is somewhat limited, having published I believe less than twenty stories since first being published in 1990, he has received a great deal of praise for the quality of his work including four Nebula awards and four  Hugo awards. Basically, if you like science fiction, you should check him out.

I recently watched the trailer for Arrival which I immediately recognized as being based on Chiang's short story "Story of your life".



As can be seen from the trailer, the story's central theme revolves around human scientists interacting with the newly arrived aliens as they work to break the language barrier between them. Additionally it delves into concepts such as the perception of time, memory, determinism and free will. All of this wrapped into a story that frankly left me in tears at the end. Given that the typical movie goer doesn't like to go more than ten minutes without something exploding, it will be interesting to see if the movie stays true to Chiang's short story and if so, will it still be appealing to the general audience.


Below are a list of links to various Ted Chiang short stories and collections I've discovered online.

Links to ebooks
Stories of your life and others - Links to a site which

Links to individual stories
Story of your life
Tower of Babylon
Division by Zero
Understand
The Evolution of Human Science

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