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Ted Chiang and Robin Sloan
June 13, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Ted Chiang discusses his new story collection, Exhalation, with Robin Sloan.
Praise for Ted Chiang
“Ted Chiang’s stories are lean, relentless, and incandescent.”—Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad
“Ted Chiang writes with such a matter-of-fact grace and visionary power that one simply takes on faith that his worlds and his characters exist, whether they are human or robot or parrot; he is the rare author who makes me feel, also, that he believes in his readers, in our integrity and our imagination.”—Karen Russell, author of Orange World
“Ted Chiang has no contemporary peers when it comes to the short story form. His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Carver, Poe, Borges, and Kafka. Every story is a universe. Every story is a diamond. You will inhale Exhalation in a single, stunned sitting, because true genius doesn’t come along nearly as often as advertised. This is the real thing.”—Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter
“From Ted Chiang’s singular mind comes another innovative and mind-bending collection of short stories. With boundless empathy, curiosity, and wisdom, Chiang asks all the important questions that come with being human. Reading Exhalationis like standing outside on a clear, starry night. Chiang’s writing does what good writing should: make the universe feel both vast and small at the same time.”—Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin
From an award-winning science fiction writer (whose short story “The Story of Your Life” was the basis for the Academy Award-nominated movie Arrival), the long-awaited new collection of stunningly original, humane, and already celebrated short stories
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.