Stories of your Life and Others

Stories of your Life and Others

Book - 2016
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Stories of your life and others delivers dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, often presenting characters who must confront sudden change -- the inevitable rise of automations or the appearance of aliens -- while striving to maintain some sense of normalcy.
Publisher: New York :, Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC,, 2016
Edition: First Vintage Books edition
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9781101972120
Characteristics: 281 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Stories of your life


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VaughanPLGraeme Feb 19, 2018

This was an interesting collection of stories. I had previously read some of Ted Chiang's writing that is available online and really liked some of it (The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate and The Lifecycle of Software Objects in particular) and I loved the movie Arrival, so I was interested to read more of his work.

Pretty much all of the stories in this book are based on interesting concepts. I particularly liked Hell Is the Absence of God. I didn't really care for some of the other stories, but even the ones I didn't particularly like did have some interesting ideas and made me think. Overall, I'd say this collection is worth checking out if you're a science fiction fan.

Jan 25, 2018

I assumed this was a novel to better understand the movie. It is not. It is a book of 5 short stories. I would not recommend. Movie was awesome.

Jan 07, 2018

It was truly a mind-blowing experience. It took me a long time to read. I needed time to wrap my head around some ideas. I had to think. My favourite stories were "Understand" and "Hell is the Absence of God."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Miéville 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.

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