Michael's Reviews > Stories of Your Life and Others

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
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's review
Mar 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: sf-fantasy-horror, short_stories, i-lack-objectivity-on-this-one

God bless Small Beer Press. I first read "Tower of Babylon" back in the late 80s, and then read the occasional Ted Chiang story over the years, finally buying his collection when it was publishing in hardcover in Tor in 2002. But that edition ... had a terrible jacket, one that actually stopped me from reading the book. (I am superficial, yes, and I do judge books by their covers.) So, during one of my many moves, I sold my hardcover copy and forgot about the book for a few years.

It's a pity, because that hardcover is worth a sweet pile of change now. Years later, I went looking for the book, wanting to reread one of the stories, regretting having sold it, only to find it out of print and copies hard to come by without spending a shameful amount of money. Lucky for me, shortly thereafter, Small Beer Press reissued the book, and I picked up another copy.

This one has a beautiful cover, and is just easier to carry around to boot. Still don't love all of the stories (a few too many are so mired in summary that they feel less like developed fiction than the sketching out of some cool ideas), but the ones I do love ("Tower of Babylon"; a story about learning an alien grammar that allows one to know the future; "Division by Zero") hold up very well. Makes me wish Chiang were more prolific. Twenty-five years and only one slim book! It's not right.
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