Ted Chiang
“The universe began as an enormous breath being held.” From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others—the basis for the Academy Award –nominated film Arrival—comes a groundbreaking new collection of short fiction: nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. These are tales that tackle some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only Ted Chiang could imagine. In “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and second chances. In “Exhalation,” an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom,” the ability to glimpse into alternate universes necessitates a radically new examination of the concepts of choice and free will. Including stories being published for the first time as well as some of his rare and classic uncollected work, Exhalation is Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic—revelatory.


Reviewed: 2020-12-07

This was an enjoyable set of short stories, some of which really made me think a lot. It reminded me of Black Mirror.

Reviewed: 2020-02-08

I didn't have high expectations, going in. But by the end of it, I am really happy that I picked up this book. Most of the stories are really engaging and entertaining. And all of them have philosophical discussions in them. I am usually the first person to get turned off by "philosophy" in stories I'm reading for entertainment. But it was different this time. All the salient points discussed had me deeply thinking about them. They didn't distract me from the story, but instead pulled me in deeper. Even the archaeologist's story where there's a whole bunch "god, oh lord" etc.. the main thought inside it was interesting.


Give this a try. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewed: 2019-09-01
The first story is perhaps the best one I've ever read
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