Stories of Your Life and Others

Picked up a copy of Ted Chiang's "Stories of Your Life and Others" because it contains the story on which the movie "Arrival" was based, and we thought it would be interesting to read. What an understatement: "interesting!" I'm reminded of my reaction to Marquez's "100 Years of Solitude" - this is something very special; very unique. Shortly after reading Marquez's work, I discovered that he received the Nobel Prize for Literature...I was not surprised. I will not be surprised if Chiang has a similar fate one day. If he keeps writing like this, he's a shoe-in. His stories illuminate the possibilities at the crossroads of science and the reality we all know (or think we do). It's hard for me to characterize these 8 short stories, they're so different from anything I ever remember reading, so I'll quote Junot Diaz: "Shining, haunting, mind-blowing...Ted Chiang is so exhilarating, so original, so stylish, he just leaves you speechless." Yup - what he said! This collection of stories is not for the faint of mind. Be prepared to think hard, and to be challenged; be prepared to sit in stillness after each story, letting it sink in. Be prepared to have some brain cells liquefy and drip out of your ears! This is not what I would describe as a "beach read." It is, however, a brilliant read. I am grateful that Chiang included a section called "Story Notes," which describes what inspired him to write each story. We can be thankful that he was so inspired!

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