David's Reviews > Stories of Your Life and Others

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
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's review
Nov 14, 2009

it was amazing
Read in November, 2009

I don't know what first alerted me to look for Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others. However, I'm very glad that I found it: this is the best book of short stories I've read in a very long time. Chiang possesses the gift of distillation - his stories are precisely as long as they need to be, and no longer. Further, they explore religious and cultural themes in a truly fascinating way: he takes the story of the tower of Babylon at face value, and then explores what it would mean to be one of the workers on it; he postulates a world where the animating force behind the golem is widely used; he explores what it would mean to live in a world where angelic visitations, along with visions of heaven and hell were commonplace. Refreshingly, he does not shy away from horrifying implications of his premises. The stories were breathtaking in their beauty: At the end of each one, I found myself torn between hurrying on to the next one and meditating on the significance of the one I had just finished. He only has one other book in print at this time, and I can't wait to read it.

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