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Eclipse 2: New Science Fiction and Fantasy

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,185 ratings  ·  104 reviews
An eclipse is a rare and unusual event, when the world is transformed and the sky becomes a dark eldritch thing. It's a time when anything could happen, when any kind of story just might be true. That sense of the strange and wonderful guides Eclipse: New Science Fiction and Fantasy, the second volume in an exciting new annual anthology series edited by acclaimed anthologi ...more
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Night Shade Books
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,185 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review for the Hugo award-winning “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

An alien scientist describes the life of its people, who are robots that depend on regular refills of the gas argon for their brains to function. They swap out “lungs,” aluminum cylinders filled with this gas, at filling stations, which are community centers for their race. At a filling station, the scientist hears rumors that clocks in several different districts are running too fast, although horol
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review is only for Exhalation by TED CHIANG.

An exquisite meditation and rejoicing upon existence itself. It came perfectly after recently I've done exactly that!

For a second there, it made me think of Smoking Ears and Screaming Teeth: A Celebration of Scientific Eccentricity and Self-Experimentation:
"I could not ask anyone else to risk themselves for the sake of anatomical inquiry, and because I wished to conduct the dissection myself, I would not be satisfied by merely being the passive su

An exquisite philosophical introspection of the surrounding universe, meaning of life and what makes us who we are. High-class tech sci-fi; if you loved Stories of Your Life and Others, you'll love this one too.

Can be read here:
4.5 stars. Excellent short story. Beautifully written and original, this story shows the power and importance of the Science Ficiton short story. Winner: Hugo Award for Best Short Story (2009).
Sep 19, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: scifi
Not sure how this ended up in my read list, I don't recall reading it BUT it does have a great story by Ted Chiang in it which can also be read online at:
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When breath becomes air...
Tim Pendry

A remarkable story although it requires a willingness to think rather than feel. it postulates an entire alternate universe where the inhabitants show the same curiosity as we do about our universe and come to their own bleak existential view about its ultimate meaning.

It is, in short, a parable about the human condition and the pursuit of science. The alien scientist is presented as no different from us in that pursuit even if he is very different from us in his own physical make-up. A highly i
Avi Singh
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, sf
4.5 stars
Peter Tillman
As with all anthologies, I liked some stories more than others. The best were really good.

* The Big Hit: “Exhalation” • short story by Ted Chiang. Winner: 2009 Hugo, 2008 BSFA. Intricate story of self-exploration by a sentient robot(?). Not reread this time, not one of my favorites of his. 3.5 stars. Here’s a free reprint:

* The Hero • novelette by Karl Schroeder. Capital bugs! Reprint, Dozois #26, 2009, read there first (and second). Part of h
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a strange tale, told from what I think is the perspective of some type of robotic scientist in another universe searching to uncover the mysteries of what makes his kind tick, and in doing so probing into the mysteries of the birth and death of the universe and the beauty and purpose of life. Short and highly recommended! Free audio available on Escape Pod.
A.N. Mignan
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Ted Chiang makes us plunge into a world where humans are robots, where future history looks like an old Past, where physics is turned upside down with air becoming energy. On top of this we get to experience with the narrator a self-surgery on his mechanical brain, which is vividly portrayed - and let’s not forget about those clocks going faster, all at once, or do they really?
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy, anthology
A little patchy at times, but some really good stuff. Heavily biased on the sci-fi side, but the 3 or so fantasy stories were all really strong. Best story was by Chiang.
Igor Stojanov
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first story I read by Ted Chiang and I got shivers toward the end of the story. The narrative is simple and metaphorical. In an alternative universe there exist other beings which brains work based on air pressure. Like us, they are also curious and discover that the nature of their universe tends toward equilibrium and that their own existence tends to bring about that equilibrium. What mindset should those beings adopt? Should they be hopeful, afraid, grateful? Should some beings ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars for Ted Chiang's Exhalation

Winner of the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Short Story

I liked the idea but not the writing.

You can read it here:

or here:
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Ted Chinag's story was awesome. Others were pretty good and a couple of stinkers..
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Excellent. Each story contains an amazing thought experiment.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short story available free at Another thought-provoking story that uses the medium of science fiction to contemplate some of life's biggest philosophical questions.
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I didn't really get this one. Maybe I'm trying to read too much into it. A being, (mechanical to some extent), disassembles itself to discover how it's brain/memories work and finds out it's race is certainly doomed.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story is an examination of consciousness, existence, and the universe, told from the perspective of an other. It's fascinating how Chiang can reflect everything that makes us human in something that, in the end, is so alien.
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great short story, fascinating take on what it means to be self conscious. I loved the idea of a completely closed system, and how you cannot get around that.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A mysterious exploration of science, religion, and the self. There was also a lot of technobabble involved. Ted Chiang's writing, as always, offers a refreshingly different perspective to the standard Arthur C Clarke-based model of scifi writing.
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Short and brilliant. Can be downloaded for free at NSB -

Sidsel Pedersen
It is a great story, a really interesting piece of world building. However the voice of the narration bored me a great deal. Which is a shame and probably my problem rather than the stories, but I am reviewing my enjoyment of what I read, so I will give this 3 stars.

Read my full review here:
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
A pretty decent collection. One or two standouts, several clunkers, mostly stories that were at least "good." Great value, at least, since it was $2.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mechanical beings face an aerostatic version of the heat death of the Universe... can they find life transcending solace?

Beautiful and intelligent...

Read here:

Listen here:

I love this short story. First encountered in on Escapepod and then recently re-read in Lightspeed
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
nice nice nice
Stories Jonathan Strahan likes round two: more scifi, fewer women. I picked through this over several months, so random impressions from stories actually interesting enough to remember:

Ted Chiang, "Exhalation": The reason I picked up the collection, and totally worth it. Classic Chiang, if a bit didactic in that way he can pull off. I won't bother trying to describe it, because it's available here and you should all go read it.

Stephen Baxter, "Turing's Apples." Classic Baxter: interesting Big Id
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
An odd but amazing theory of a scientist who is attempting to proof us that thought the balance is predictable but the beauty of life and civilization is not therefore he believes its miracle.

Our storyteller is an unknown dead scientist:
“Your lives will end just as ours did, just as everyone’s must. No matter how long it takes, eventually equilibrium will be reached.”
with no name, no gender who calls his readers “explorer :but we know that our scientist is trying hard to tell us:
“It has long b
Charles Loelius
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Until I read this I thought that Hell is the Absence of God was the greatest science fiction story not only by Chiang, but in general. As you might have guessed by now, I was very wrong.

The only thing I can say about this story is that it is beautiful, elegant, sparse in just the right way. This is so far, in my mind, the pinnacle of all of Chiang's works, asking the big questions in just the right way. What the story is, a meditation on existance, an exploration of another world, one vast metap
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“..through the act of reading my words, the patterns that form your thoughts become an imitation of the patterns that once formed mine. And in that way I live again, through you.” 14 likes
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