Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang
Stories of Your Life and Others Cover

Arrival - Ted Chiang


Originally published as "Stories of Your Life and Others", the title story was the basis for the film Arrival. I read this short story before seeing the movie, and then came back to read the rest. A better than average collection, and recommended to all.

My favorite was "Understand", which starts as a standard 'experimental treatment increases intelligence' story (ala Flowers for Algernon). I really liked some of the directions the author went here. The ending took me by surprise, but in hindsight was an excellent fit.

The title story is also very good, and I would recommend it either before or after seeing the film (or even both).

Wasn't particularly impressed with "The Tower of Babylon", primarily because of the ending.

What these stories have in common is Ted Chiang's alternate realities, including one where Golems are normal, another where visitations by Angels are, etc. These worlds are well described in a short medium. The stories end up being investigations into life and situations in these new worlds, with parallels to ours often available (if not obvious). Finally, this was a fun collection to dig through, and I did so fairly quickly.

Looking forward to reading more from this author soon.