Thursday, July 08, 2021

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that I purchased after hearing that the movie Arrival was based upon "Story of Your Life" by Chiang. I read the book as part of my goal to read a short story per day. 

There are some wonderful stories in Stories of Your Life and Others but what jumped out at me the most was both the intelligent writing and uniqueness. Ted Chiang is so far above me. But, while I'm not brilliant at math and science — both of which feature heavily in his stories — I'm able to read between the lines. And, if you can read between the lines, this collection is fabulous. 

As expected, "Story of Your Life" was my favorite. I love the movie Arrival and found that the movie stuck pretty closely to the short story. There were some changes, of course, but they weren't so drastic that it would be impossible to float freely between the two without getting ticked about what Hollywood did to ruin the story. They didn't ruin it, although they made a significant change to the story of the main character's daughter and I do prefer the written version to the screenplay in that regard.

There was only one story in this collection that I disliked as I was reading it. But, I ended up appreciating it for the way the hero outsmarted the character who had dire motives. 

Highly recommended - If you're a short story fan and you like unusual, sharply written and even somewhat difficult sci-fi storylines, this is definitely the book for you. I found some of the stories very challenging to read but absolutely worth the effort. 

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