I just finished rereading the collection Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. Some of you might know that the recent film Arrival was based on Story of Your Life, one of the tales in this magnificent collection.
I have long been a huge fan of Chiang’s work. I first read Story of Your Life back in 1998, and it completely changed my view of the possibilities of of Science Fiction. It was like reading a more intellectual version of Philip K. Dick, if that makes any sense.
And now, rereading these stories, I am touched by a sense of awe by their intellectual elegance. Each of his stories starts with a very simple premise. He will notice some crack in reality that we all see every day, and ask: “Why is reality like this, and not like that?”
Then he will take that question and use it as a pivot. So his stories generally ask the question “Suppose reality were, in fact, not like this, but like that?”
And then we’re off and running. But don’t take my word for it. Buy the book, read it. Thank me later.