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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, The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Exhalation: Stories, The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate, Understand, Hell is the Absence of God, Tower of Babylon, The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling, Division by Zero, The Great Silence

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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
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.

03
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.
05
Leon is a former coma victim, who has gone experimental medical treatment to repair the massive trauma his brain received after he was trapped under ice for more than an hour. He’s regained consciousness, found he has all of his faculties back and a whole lot more. Originally published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine in 1991.


Approx. 2 Hours
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.

http://podcastle.org/2009/02/06/pc040...
07
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.
08
A journalist in the future explores the advantages and disadvantages of living with the wetware known as Remem. Remem monitors your conversation for references to past events, and then displays video of that event in the lower left corner of your field of vision. If you say “remember dancing the conga at that wedding?”, Remem will bring up the video. If the person you’re talking to says “the last time we were at the beach,” Remem will bring up the video.

The journalist explores his own life through Remem, while looking at how language impacted a tribe in Tivland.