Exhalation's varied and elegant stories speak to what makes us human, and the themes within the stories left me thinking about life and the way I act while navigating it long after I closed the book. Recommended By Bill L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Exhalation by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction." Barack Obama
From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others — the basis for the Academy Award-nominated film Arrival a groundbreaking new collection of short fiction.
"THE UNIVERSE BEGAN AS AN ENORMOUS BREATH BEING HELD."
In these nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories, Ted Chiang tackles some of humanity's oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine.
In "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and second chances. In "Exhalation," an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom," the ability to glimpse into alternate universes necessitates a radically new examination of the concepts of choice and free will.
Including stories being published for the first time as well as some of his rare and classic uncollected work, Exhalation is Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic — revelatory.
"A fusion of pure intellect and molten emotion.... [Chiang's] challenging and rewarding fiction proves that a sizable and appreciative audience exists for the kind of speculative fiction that doesn't merely offer cosmic explosions, but instead plucks both heartstrings and gray matter in equal measure." The Washington Post
"Lean, relentless, and incandescent."
"What makes Exhalation particularly brilliant is that not one of the stories feels like it's designed to be thought-provoking in a stilted, academic way. Chiang is an entertaining, empathetic writer first, before being one of contemporary sci-fi's intellectual powerhouses, and each story reads that way. . . . [Chiang is] one of the most exciting voices in his field." BookPage (Starred Review)
In Exhalation, which could be subtitled 'Black Mirror For Optimists, ' every story seems crafted with one objective in mind--pure awe. . . . A moving book about fate and free will that is destined to become a literary landmark of the 2010s." The A.V. Club
"It is both a surprise and a relief to encounter fiction that explores counterfactual worlds like these with . . . ardor and earnestness. . . . Human curiosity, for Chiang, is a nearly divine engine of progress." Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker
About the Author
Ted Chiang's fiction has won four Hugo, four Nebula, and four Locus awards, and has been featured in The Best American Short Stories. His debut collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, has been translated into twenty-one languages. He was born in Port Jefferson, New York, and currently lives near Seattle, Washington.
Ted Chiang on PowellsBooks.Blog
My new book is titled Exhalation
, and it's a collection of short fiction. It contains all the stories I've published since my first collection, as well as two stories appearing for the first time. Some of the stories originally appeared in limited print-run editions, so it's nice to have them widely available now...