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Ted Chiang - book author

Ted Chiang is an American speculative fiction writer. His Chinese name is Chiang Feng-nan. He graduated from Brown University with a Computer Science degree. He currently works as a technical writer in the software industry and resides in Bellevue, near Seattle, Washington. He is a graduate of the noted Clarion Writers Workshop (1989).

Although not a prolific author, having published only eleven short stories as of 2009, Chiang has to date won a string of prestigious speculative fiction awards for his works: a Nebula Award for "Tower of Babylon" (1990), the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1992, a Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for "Story of Your Life" (1998), a Sidewise Award for "Seventy-Two Letters" (2000), a Nebula Award, Locus Award and Hugo Award for his novelette "Hell Is the Absence of God" (2002), a Nebula and Hugo Award for his novelette "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" (2007), and a British Science Fiction Association Award, a Locus Award, and the Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Exhalation" (2009).

Chiang turned down a Hugo nomination for his short story "Liking What You See: A Documentary" in 2003, on the grounds that the story was rushed due to editorial pressure and did not turn out as he had really wanted.

Chiang's first eight stories are collected in "Stories of Your Life, and Others" (1st US hardcover ed: ISBN 0-7653-0418-X; 1st US paperback ed.: ISBN 0-7653-0419-8). His novelette "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" was also published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

As of 2013, his short fiction has won four Nebula Awards, three Hugo Awards, the John W Campbell Award, three Locus Awards, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the Sidewise Award. He has never written a novel but is one of the most decorated science fiction writers currently working.

Ted Chiang is the author of books: Stories of Your Life and Others, Exhalation: Stories, The Lifecycle of Software Objects, The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate, Tower of Babylon, Hell is the Absence of God, The Great Silence, נשיפה, Siedemdziesiąt dwie litery, Die Hölle ist die Abwesenheit Gottes

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01
Ted Chiang's first published story, "Tower of Babylon," won the Nebula Award in 1990. Subsequent stories have won the Asimov's SF Magazine reader poll, a second Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the Sidewise Award for alternate history. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1992. Story for story, he is the most honored young writer in modern SF.

Now, collected here for the first time are all seven of this extraordinary writer's stories so far-plus an eighth story written especially for this volume.

What if men built a tower from Earth to Heaven-and broke through to Heaven's other side? What if we discovered that the fundamentals of mathematics were arbitrary and inconsistent? What if there were a science of naming things that calls life into being from inanimate matter? What if exposure to an alien language forever changed our perception of time? What if all the beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity were literally true, and the sight of sinners being swallowed into fiery pits were a routine event on city streets? These are the kinds of outrageous questions posed by the stories of Ted Chiang. Stories of your life . . . and others.
02
An alternate cover edition for this book can be found here.

From an award-winning science fiction writer (whose short story "The Story of Your Life" was the basis for the Academy Award-nominated movie Arrival), the long-awaited new collection of stunningly original, humane, and already celebrated short stories

This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. 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 the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary "Exhalation," an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in "The Lifecycle of Software Objects," a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: "Omphalos" and "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom."

In this fantastical and elegant collection, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth—What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?—and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.
03
What's the best way to create artificial intelligence? In 1950, Alan Turing wrote, "Many people think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be best. It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand and speak English. This process could follow the normal teaching of a child. Things would be pointed out and named, etc. Again I do not know what the right answer is, but I think both approaches should be tried."


The first approach has been tried many times in both science fiction and reality. In this new novella, at over 30,000 words, his longest work to date, Ted Chiang offers a detailed imagining of how the second approach might work within the contemporary landscape of startup companies, massively-multiplayer online gaming, and open-source software. It's a story of two people and the artificial intelligences they helped create, following them for more than a decade as they deal with the upgrades and obsolescence that are inevitable in the world of software. At the same time, it's an examination of the difference between processing power and intelligence, and of what it means to have a real relationship with an artificial entity.

04
In medieval Baghdad, a penniless man is brought before the most powerful man in the world, the caliph himself, to tell his story. It begins with a walk in the bazaar, but soon grows into a tale unlike any other told in the caliph's empire. It's a story that includes not just buried treasure and a band of thieves, but also men haunted by their past and others trapped by their future; it includes not just a beloved wife and a veiled seductress, but also long journeys taken by caravan and even longer ones taken with a single step. Above all, it's a story about recognizing the will of Allah and accepting it, no matter what form it takes.
05
A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Selection
 
Together with a crew of other miners and cart-pullers, Hillalum is recruited to climb the Tower of Babylon and unearth what lies beyond the vault of heaven. During his journey, Hillalum discovers entire civilizations of tower-dwellers on the tower—there are those who live inside the mists of clouds, those who raise their vegetables above the sun, and those who have spent their lives under the oppressive weight of an endless, white stratum at the top of the universe.
 
“Tower of Babylon” is a rare gem—a winner of the prestigious Nebula award, the first story Ted Chiang ever published, and the brilliant opening piece to Chiang’s much-lauded first collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, which is soon to be a major motion picture starring Amy Adams.
 
An eBook short.
06
In a world much like our own, the existence of Heaven and Hell are objectively proven. Indeed, the souls in Hell can be seen, and angels occasionally come to Earth, typically causing a mixture of miraculous events and capricious disasters.
07
"Ted Chiang’s very short story, 'The Great Silence' adds another set of questions to the Fermi Paradox speculations. Why, he asks, are we so interested in finding intelligence in the stars and so deaf to the many species who manifest it here on earth? And also: why have we demanded that, as proof of intelligence, non-human animals communicate to us in human language, and then dismissed those creatures that actually do so?" - Karen Joy Fowler

About the Author: Ted Chiang was born in Port Jefferson, New York, and holds a degree in computer science. In 1989 he attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Workshop. His fiction has won four Hugo, four Nebula, and four Locus awards, and he is the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Stories of Your Life and Others has been translated into ten languages. He lives near Seattle, Washington.

About the Guest Editor: Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. The Jane Austen Book Club spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. In addition, Sarah Canary won the Commonwealth medal for best first novel by a Californian, and was listed for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize as well as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Prize. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. Fowler and her husband, who have two grown children and five grandchildren, live in Santa Cruz, California.

About the Publisher: Recommended Reading is the weekly fiction magazine of Electric Literature, publishing here every Wednesday morning. In addition to featuring our own recommendations of original, previously unpublished fiction, we invite established authors, indie presses, and literary magazines to recommend great work from their pages, past and present. Follow Recommended Reading on Medium and never miss the latest issue, or become a member for full access to the archives. For other links from Electric Literature, follow us, or sign up for our eNewsletter.
09
Takiej książki Teda Chianga jeszcze nie było. To światowa prapremiera.
Drugie wydanie zbioru opowiadań Teda Chianga, najwybitniejszego autora opowiadań w amerykańskiej SF ostatnich lat.
Praktycznie każde jego opowiadanie – a publikuje ich niewiele, czasem tylko jedno rocznie – jest wydarzeniem literackim. Jego teksty zdobywają też liczne nagrody.
Zbiór „Siedemdziesiąt dwie litery” zawiera wszystkie opowiadania Chianga, jakie opublikował od początku swojej kariery. Zbiór oparto na wydaniu „Historii twojego życia”, znakomicie przyjętej w Polsce książki, zawiera jednak dwa dodatkowe opowiadania (oba nagrodzone) – a jedno z nich nigdy nie zostało w Polsce opublikowane.
Zawartość zbioru:

* „Wieża Babilonu”
* „Zrozum”
* „Dzielenie przez zero”
* „Historia twojego życia”
* „72 litery”
* „Ewolucja ludzkiej nauki”
* „Piekło to nieobecność Boga”
* „Co ma cieszyć oczy”
* „Co z nami będzie”
* „Kupiec i wrota alchemika”
* „Wydech”