Stories of your Life and Others

Stories of your Life and Others

Book - 2010
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Soon to be a major motion picture starring Amy Adams.

This new edition of Ted Chiang's masterful first collection, Stories of Your Life and Others , includes his first eight published stories plus the author's story notes and a cover that the author commissioned himself. Combining the precision and scientific curiosity of Kim Stanley Robinson with Lorrie Moore's cool, clear love of language and narrative intricacy, this award-winning collection offers readers the dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar.

Stories of Your Life and Others presents characters who must confront sudden change--the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens--while striving to maintain some sense of normalcy. In the amazing and much-lauded title story, a grieving mother copes with divorce and the death of her daughter by drawing on her knowledge of alien languages and non-linear memory recollection. A clever pastiche of news reports and interviews chronicles a college's initiative to "turn off" the human ability to recognize beauty in "Liking What You See: A Documentary." With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty and constant change, and also by beauty and wonder.

Ted Chiang is one of the most celebrated science fiction authors writing today and is the author of numerous short stories, including most recently "Exhalation," which won the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Locus awards. He lives near Seattle.
Publisher: Easthampton, MA : Small Beer Press, 2010, c2002
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781931520720
Branch Call Number: ScF Chia
Characteristics: 281 p. ; 22 cm

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2
21223202744515a
Jul 08, 2017

I read about half of Mr. Chiang's stories and found them moderately interesting. I got the book because the film "Arrival" was based on "Story of Your Life" within. I'd rate it 3 to 3.5 stars.

Rarely do I find the underlying book is NOT better than the film, but I thought the film "Arrival" was much more interesting and entertaining. Notable is Mr. Chiang's sense of humor, which doesn't compare with that of the film, and is even slightly annoying in its lameness. The dialog between the story's two principals fell flat, as did the dialog between the story's mother and daughter, where it got super-corny. Story of Your Life was replete with technical linguistics details -- yet the story left me so disinterested in linguistics, I felt no compulsion to do any research. On the other hand the FILM left me so interested in many of the film's aspects, I anxiously awaited the arrival of the book on the HOLD shelf and was totally disappointed. This sort of surprised me since I'm conversational in several languages and very much enjoy learning them. Some of the the other stories were too long boring, or dark for me.

Just my subjective, personal taste, but the film was done so exquisitely, visually, it inspired gorgeous, color, 3D dreams in me, while the Chiang's short story dragged and evoked NO strong images in my mind. And aren't audio narratives and books supposed to excel at working the listener or reader's imagination? Maybe the timeline and 3-dimensional nature of the aliens' languages (and plot) was difficult to convey in print. Some of the Chiang's other stories were decent -- some "married" science (or science fiction) and non-science. But not in the manner other Sci-Fi writers do. As a former SciFi LOVER, I didn't much enjoy Story of Your Life.

j
JaneEA
Jun 27, 2017

At last, a book I truly enjoyed and I'm usually not a fan of the short story. I will buy this book that I may spend more time with each story. Thought provoking.

JCLMeganG May 25, 2017

I don't usually enjoy reading short stories, but since I liked the movie "Arrival", I decided I'd read the story on which it was based: "Story of Your Life". I really enjoyed Ted Chiang's writing, so I read the whole book! He is a very conceptual writer, and it was interesting how he explored science concepts in his stories.

c
chriscoleman
Apr 26, 2017

The only story I really enjoyed in this set of short stories was "The Story of Your Life". This is the short story the film "Arrival" was taken from. It differs significantly from the film. There is no war. No China involvement. I'm not sure the number of looking glasses (the alien ships) was ever given and it was 12 in the film. The aliens are named Raspberry and Flapper and neither of them die (unlike Abbott and Costello in the film). And the daughter didn't die of cancer; she died in a climbing accident so it's not like she suffered. Chiang is an excellent writer. It's refreshing to read something that isn't filled with adjectives, adverbs, and metaphors. Just good writing with a story.

l
LucasHill
Apr 22, 2017

Stories so complex and rich that I'll be coming back to them, which is rare for me. The title story, on which the movie "Arrival" is based, was not my favorite in this collection.

s
spiderfelt_0
Apr 18, 2017

How do I even begin describing a book as unique as this? I don't think I've read anything as wholly original since the first time I opened a China MiƩville book (who is quoted in a blurb on the back cover). Every story is meticulously researched, with so much detail and complex thought it took several rereadings to parse some paragraphs. He presents multiple sides of moral questions in such a way that I'm not sure where I stand. Pure genius.

Jordana_Library Apr 08, 2017

A wonderful collection! Certain stories (Division by zero, Seventy-two letters) were lackluster. Most people will want to read this for "Story of your life" (upon which the great movie "Arrival" was based), but the other stories are brilliant - worth a read. Chiang's background in technical writing is unsurprising, evident in his sharp prose and crisp, careful, and evocative descriptions.

s
StarGladiator
Feb 25, 2017

The fantastic movie, Arrival, with an outstanding performance by Amy Adams, derives from Ted's Story of Your Life - - although my all time fave is Understand!

t
trx2558
Feb 20, 2017

This collection of stories is truly worth the read. Not all the stories are a hit but at least two of them, Story of Your Life and Understand should become SF classics. Ted Chiang did years of research for each story and it shows. He doesn't write much but the stories he has written are mostly small gems to read and re-read for pleasure.
Story of Your Life was my favorite because it initially was about how difficult it would be to communicate with aliens but really was about destiny versus free will. If you know your future can you change it or is the future already formed and we're merely actors in our own story. A Greek drama set in a futuristic setting with more than a few mind bending questions. Excellent.

w
wmtlady
Jan 28, 2017

I do not wish to contradict other reviewers who obviously appreciate Chaing's deep mixture of science fiction with theology and philosophy. I have read many science fiction works with enjoyment, including the C S Lewis trilogy which connects to his religious beliefs, but these stories were either too deep or too cumbersome in detail.

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