From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others the basis for the Academy Award nominated film Arrival comes a groundbreaking second collection of short fiction: nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. In The Merchant and the Alchemists 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 Also included are two previously unpublished stories: Omphalos and Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom. In Exhalation, 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.
Ted Chiangs 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. 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.