Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang


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Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of tales by Ted Chiang, famous recently for the movie Arrival, that is based on the story that titles the book.

Story of Your Life is wonderful and compelling, and the mix between reading the story and seeing the movie helps in understanding better the thematic (time perception, cause – effect system, interacting with an alien culture); it’s one of the rare situation when text and video helps themselves.

The tales have a philosophical / theological implication: the ambition to reach the divine in Tower of Babylon, the angelic influx to human in Hell is the absence of God, the contact between science and religion in Division by Zero.

Other tales explore ethics and moral: Seventy-Two Letters is set in a hypothetical reality where man is able to give life to golem (that can be compared to artificial intelligences), Liking What You See: A Documentary analyze the theme of perceiving beauty also with respect to the actual standards provided by the media, and Understand shows two opposite ways of dealing with supreme knowledge.

The collection is of great quality, the main thread is the speculation of science fiction; the stories are useful to reflect, but they are not suited for the sf action-lovers.

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english