Friday, June 12, 2009

Ted Chiang's "Stories of Your Life and Others" (collection): Annotated table of contents & review

Cover image of short story collection titles Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted ChiangWhile this collection probably covers all published stories of Chiang till 2002, he has published more since. Here is the full list of his stories I've read so far (probably all published ones to date).

In the list below: Links on story title go to my post on the story, if any. Links on publisher, editor, or year fetch more stuff from the source. Where I'm aware of an online copy, I link that.

Table of contents (8 stories, best first).

Last 4 didn't really work for me. Rest are pretty good.
  1. [novella] "Liking What You See: A Documentary" (A); first published in this collection: What if we could switch off perception of beauty of a human face?
  2. [novella] "Story of Your Life" (A); download; Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Ed)'s "Starlight 2" (1998): An alternate design of cognition & language.
  3. [novelette] "Tower of Babylon" (A); Omni, November 1990: Knocking at the doors of God's abode!
  4. [novelette] "Hell is the Absence of God" (A); download text/MP3: Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Ed)'s "Starlight 3" (2001): What if Biblical Heaven/Hell/angels/souls were literally perceptible to humans?
  5. [novella] "Seventy-Two Letters" (B); download; Ellen Datlow (Ed)'s "Vanishing Acts" (2000): Talking about current issues using a mystical plot device.
  6. [novelette] "Understand" (B); download; Asimov's, August 1991: Clash of two supermen.
  7. [ff] "The Evolution of Human Science" aka "Catching Crumbs from the Table" (B); Nature, 1 June 2000: Humans live an uncomfortable existence in a mixed society with superhumans.
  8. [ss] "Division by Zero" (C); download; Lou Aronica, Amy Stout & Betsy Mitchell (Eds)' "Full Spectrum 3", 1991: Tale of an extreme obsession.

Fact sheet.

First published: 2002.
Related: Stories of Ted Chiang.
Legend: ss = short story; ff = flash fiction.