The Resource Exhalation, Ted Chiang

Exhalation, Ted Chiang

Label
Exhalation
Title
Exhalation
Statement of responsibility
Ted Chiang
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. 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 the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary "Exhalation," an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in "The Lifecycle of Software Objects," a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: "Omphalos" and "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom." In this fantastical and elegant collection, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth--What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?--and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Locus Award for Best Collection, 2020.
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2019.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2019
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Hugo- and Nebula-winner Chiang’s standout second collection (after 2002’s Stories of Your Life and Others) explores the effects that technology and knowledge have on consciousness, free will, and the human desire for meaning. These nine stories introduce life-changing inventions and new worlds with radically different physical laws. In each, Chiang produces deeply moving drama from fascinating first premises. The title story follows a scientist whose self-experimentation reveals both the origin and eventual fate of consciousness. In “What’s Expected of Us,” a small device horrifically alters human behavior. Chiang’s rigorous worldbuilding makes hard science fiction out of stories that would otherwise be fable, as in the Hugo and Nebula-winning novelette “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” a time travel story that employs both relativistic physics and an Arabian Nights–style structure. Others grapple with robots parenting humans, humans parenting AIs, the Fermi paradox, quantum mechanics, and what it means to be a sentient creature facing a potentially deterministic universe. As Chiang’s endnotes attest, these stories are brilliant experiments, and his commitment to exploring deep human questions elevates them to among the very best science fiction. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit. (May) --Staff (Reviewed 12/17/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 51, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others) is always thought provoking, and his latest collection is no exception. "The Lifecycle of Software Objects" considers artificial intelligence, with one woman wondering if they should be treated as living beings. "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" asks, if the past cannot change, is life driven by fate? "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" posits a future in which we record every moment of our lives and how that affects us, with a second narrative featuring a man who learns to read and write and its impact on his oral storytelling culture. Two of the nine pieces are new: "Omphalos" deals with creationism as science, and "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom" centers on talking to our other selves in alternate worlds. VERDICT Any sf reader can dive into these stories and find something exciting. Especially recommended for fans of Greg Egan, Ken Liu, and Netflix's Black Mirror. [See Prepub Alert, 11/19/18] --Lucy Roehrig (Reviewed 02/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 2, p68)
  • /* Starred Review */ Exploring humankind's place in the universe and the nature of humanity, many of the stories in this stellar collection focus on how technological advances can impact humanity's evolutionary journey. Chiang's (Stories of Your Life and Others, 2002) second collection begins with an instant classic, "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," which won Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette in 2008. A time-travel fantasy set largely in ancient Baghdad, the story follows fabric merchant Fuwaad ibn Abbas after he meets an alchemist who has crafted what is essentially a time portal. After hearing life-changing stories about others who have used the portal, he decides to go back in time to try to right a terrible wrong—and realizes, too late, that nothing can erase the past. Other standout selections include "The Lifecycle of Software Objects," a story about a software tester who, over the course of a decade, struggles to keep a sentient digital entity alive; "The Great Silence," which brilliantly questions the theory that humankind is the only intelligent race in the universe; and "Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny," which chronicles the consequences of machines raising human children. But arguably the most profound story is "Exhalation" (which won the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Short Story), a heart-rending message and warning from a scientist of a highly advanced, but now extinct, race of mechanical beings from another universe. Although the being theorizes that all life will die when the universes reach "equilibrium," its parting advice will resonate with everyone: "Contemplate the marvel that is existence, and rejoice that you are able to do so." Visionary speculative stories that will change the way readers see themselves and the world around them: This book delivers in a big way. (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10775886
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Chiang, Ted
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
short stories
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Short stories, American
  • FICTION / Short Stories (single author)
  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / Science Fiction / General
  • Short stories, American
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
stories
Label
Exhalation, Ted Chiang
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate -- Exhalation -- What's Expected of Us -- The Lifecycle of Software Objects -- Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny -- The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling -- The Great Silence -- Omphalos -- Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom -- Story Notes -- Acknowledgments
Control code
on1043306168
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
350 pages
Isbn
9781101947883
Lccn
2018030957
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1043306168
Label
Exhalation, Ted Chiang
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate -- Exhalation -- What's Expected of Us -- The Lifecycle of Software Objects -- Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny -- The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling -- The Great Silence -- Omphalos -- Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom -- Story Notes -- Acknowledgments
Control code
on1043306168
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
350 pages
Isbn
9781101947883
Lccn
2018030957
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1043306168

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