Stories of Your Life and Others and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Stories of Your Life and Others Paperback – 2002


See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, 2002
$101.10

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set by George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set by George R.R. Martin
Enjoy, for the first time ever, all five novels in this epic fantasy series in a single box set. Learn more | See all by author
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: TOR BOOKS ST MARTINS MASS (2002)
  • ASIN: B000Q1GOKS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,358,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Ted Chiang is an amazing author, and this collects some of his best scifi short stories in one place.
Amazon Customer
I've read a good number of science fiction short stories in my day, and this collection stands out as one of the best I've ever read.
ReadingWhileFemale
It is the kind of story that just makes you think and ponder for months, even years, at least if you like language, as I do.
rbnn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
As I say in my Amazon Home Page I'm a sci-fi fan, nevertheless Ted Chiang was unknown to me. This year I've started to attend a seminar on "Creative Writing & Sci-Fi" and this author was introduced to us.
I'm delighted!

"Stories of Your Life and Others" (2002) is a wonderful collection of short stories of such quality I haven't seen since Sturgeon, Cordwainer Smith or Octavia Butler. Engaging, intelligent, well researched, creative, puzzling amongst many other adjectives may be attributed to this book!

I'll detail each story with comment & evaluation.

"Tower of Babylon" (1990) Nebula Award winner is a kind of Sumerian-sci-fi! The construction of the famed Tower is in its way nearing completion and miners from Elam and Egypt are convoked to penetrate Heaven's Dome. The story chronicles their lengthy ascent giving way to unexpected results. 5 stars.

"Understand" (1991) have some points in common with Daniel Keyes' "Flowers for Algernon" (1959 and 1966) versions; nevertheless enhanced human intelligence is boarded from a very different point, confronting selfish and altruistic positions. IMHO this is one of the best of the volume. 5 stars plus.

"Division by Zero" (1991) with a deep mathematical basement, it is an interesting tale, just a little too complex for my taste. 4 stars.

"Story of Your Life" (1998) is an incredible good story about deciphering alien communications. Not a new theme in sci-fi but extraordinarily solved by Chiang, earned for his author Nebula Award and T. Sturgeon Memorial Award. 5 stars plus.

"Seventy-Two Letters" (2000) aka "Vanishing Acts", Sidewise Award winner is a story situated in an alternative Victorian era, populated with golems and the power of written names. 4 stars.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I gave up a decade ago on trying to keep up with the science fiction magazines, so I only recently became aware of Ted Chiang's wide range of ideas and considerable proficiency at communicating them. There are eight stories in this anthology; all of them are at least good and several are excellent. Perhaps the best is the title piece, "Story of Your Life," which is also the only one I had previously read. It's about simultaneity vs. sequentiality and free will vs. predestination, with a strong taste of the sort of notions regarding time that Vonnegut originally made use of in _Slaughterhouse Five_. "Tower of Babylon" is sort of Babylonian science fiction, about the building of a mud-brick tower that takes four months to ascend and which reaches all the way to the vaults of heaven. An intriguing yarn, though the ending is a little weak. "Understand" is an interesting kind of riff on "Flowers for Algernon," but with the implications very much updated. "Division by Zero" is about the effect on a woman mathematician who discovers (and proves) that the basic principals of math are quite arbitrary and inconsistent. While it's a good psychological portrait, and also vividly presents some (to me) novel ideas, the math and the character development really have nothing to do with each other. "Seventy-Two Letters" is set in an alternate Victorian London in which nomenclature, the act of bestowing names on things, has become an experimental science. There's a certain Bruce Sterling flavor here, but it's really not at all derivative. "The Evolution of Human Science" is a short-short that originally appeared in NATURE. I'm not sure I got the point of it, frankly, though it has a rather neat twisty ending.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan A. Turner VINE VOICE on October 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is some of the best SF being written today. The stories are uniformly good, and some of them are spectacular. Every one of them has an idea at its core, and the ideas will remain with you after you finish reading. That's one of the things that SF is supposed to do (but usually doesn't).
I'd compare this book to Greg Egan's _Axiomatic_, another collection of fascinating idea-driven work. Chiang's vision is not as dark as Egan's, and he's not nearly as fixated on the idea of posthumanity, but his breadth is if anything greater. These stories range in type from the classical-SF ("Liking What You See") to charcter pieces ("Stories of Your Life") to alternative but utterly convincing societies ("72 Letters"). No, there are no space battles, no massive technical infodumps, and not a great deal of action here. Don't worry; you probably won't miss it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on September 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others collects all his fiction to date, including one new story. It is an excellent collection. I reread the earlier stories for the first time in a long time -- I was particularly impressed on rereading by "Tower of Babylon", which posits a cosmology in which a Tower of Babel could actually be successfully built. I admit I didn't quite get "Division by Zero", about a woman mathematician driven to despair when she proves that arithmetic is inconsistent. "Understand" is a nice, dark, story about a man who becomes a superman when he undergoes an experimental brain treatment -- and what happens when he finds another superman.
Of the later stories, "Story of Your Life" remains my favorite, both very very moving and mind-blowing as well, told in second person successfully (and for good reason). It accomplishes the rare feat of combining an interesting bit of SFnal speculation (concerning aliens who perceive time differently than we do), worth a story on its own merits, with a moving human story (about a woman and her daughter, who dies young), and using the SF ideas to really drive home the human themes. While at the same time maintaining interest as pure SF. I'm fond of saying that there are two types of SF: stories about the science, and stories which use the science to be about people. This is both types in one. "Seventy-Two Letters" has a great central idea, and it does some nice things working out the implications, but the story itself is resolved with too much actiony hugger-mugger. "Hell is the Absence of God" again has a neat central conceit, and is uncompromising in working it out -- but I admit I was confused by the ending. His Nature short-short is a nice speculation on the future of science in a "post-human" world.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?