Exhalation (Paperback)
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Exhalation (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 368 Pages
Published: 23/07/2020
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Waterstones Says

Fantastically rich and varied, the pieces gathered in Exhalation abound in philosophical enquiry and nuanced approaches to the human condition and are every bit the equal of his groundbreaking first collection, Stories of Your Life and Others

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 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 Also included are two previously unpublished stories: 'Omphalos' and 'Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom'.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.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529014495
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 264 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

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

Beautifully written and conceived, this is a marvelous, astonishing collection that we would do well to read before the worlds it conjures are upon us. Urgently recommended. - Alan Moore

One of the most exciting writers in science fiction . . . Although dark in premise, these parables – threaded through with references to ancient mythology and folklore – are filled with hope and humanism: a balm for anxious souls. - Daily Telegraph

Deeply beautiful . . . This book is as generous as it is marvelous, and I’m left feeling nothing so much as grateful for it. - New York Times

Deeply beautiful stories . . . Each thoughtful, elegantly crafted story poses a philosophical question; Chiang curates all nine into a conversation that comes full circle, after having traversed remarkable terrain. - New York Times 'The 10 Best Books of 2019'

Chiang’s writing . . . inspires awe for the natural properties of the universe; it renders the fundamentals of science poignant and affecting. - Economist

A scintillating cavalcade of ideas . . . Chiang breathes new life into well-worn SF themes such as time travel, artificial intelligence and parallel universes. - Financial Times 'Books of the Year 2019'

A beguiling mix of compassion and awe, worthy of comparisons to the work of Philip K. Dick . . . An immensely pleasing book. - San Francisco Chronicle

We all know Ted Chiang is a fucking genius, but: Ted Chiang is a fucking genius. - Carmen Maria Machado

Chiang is a virtuoso of short fiction . . . This collection is a stunning achievement in speculative fiction, from an author whose star will only continue to rise. - Los Angeles Review of Books

Ted Chiang’s stories are lean, relentless, and incandescent. - Colson Whitehead

Illuminating, thrilling . . . Individual sentences possess the windowpane transparency that George Orwell advocated as a prose ideal. - Joyce Carol Oates, New Yorker

‘Ted Chiang has no contemporary peers . . . His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Carver, Poe, Borges, and Kafka . . . You will inhale Exhalation in a single, stunned sitting, because true genius doesn’t come along nearly as often as advertised. This is the real thing.’ - Blake Crouch

‘Ted Chiang writes with such a matter-of-fact grace and visionary power that one simply takes on faith that his worlds and his characters exist, whether they are human or robot or parrot - Karen Russell

Breaks down what it really means to be human. - Time

So jammed with brilliant, mind-exploding ideas it's like the author packed fireworks between the covers. - National Public Radio

‘Meticulously crafted and innovative short fiction . . . Masterful and striking . . . plucks both heartstrings and gray matter in equal measure.’ - Washington Post

‘Chiang produces deeply moving drama from fascinating first premises… These stories are brilliant experiments, and [Chiang’s] commitment to exploring deep human questions elevates them to among the very best science fiction.’ - Publisher’s Weekly starred review

‘This stellar collection... begins with an instant classic... Visionary speculative stories that will change the way readers see themselves and the world around them: This book delivers in a big way.’ - Kirkus starred review

Each of his devastating stories mines little pieces of humanity from unexpected points of view. - Vulture

‘Explores emotional and physical landscapes with precise and incisive prose… Chiang remains one of the most skilled stylists in SF, and this will appeal to genre and literary-fiction fans alike.’ - Booklist starred review

‘Chiang is always thought provoking, and his latest collection is no exception.’ - Library Journal starred review

‘Chiang is a master. . . . The Alice Munro of science fiction.’ - LitHub

‘[Chiang] is so good that this book qualifies as an event.’ - Newsday

Chiang has explored conventional tropes of science fiction in highly unconventional ways . . . each [story is] . . . likely to linger in the memory the way riddles may linger - teasing, tormenting, illuminating, thrilling.’ - New Yorker

Ted Chiang is a superstar . . . Every sentence is the perfect incision in the dissection of the idea at hand - Guardian

Ted Chiang has long been one of science fiction’s best-kept secrets. - GQ

As perfect a collection of stories as I have ever read - Junot Díaz

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Paperback

“Second collection from a genius of short fiction”

I received a copy of this from the publisher, and it is rare that I'm so excited for a book; I've been looking forward to Ted Chiang's second collection ever since the publication of his first, Stories... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 58

“Science fiction at it's best ”

A wonderful collection of thought provoking and odd short stories from an imagination that somehow finds a way to put really lumbering, complex ideas into a well paced, easily understood and digestible book.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 47
Robert of Canterbury

“The Master has Returned”

To get something right within the short story format requires a qualitatively different skill-set to that required for a novel or other tome; truly conquering the format is rare. Ted Chiang's writing seems to... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 39

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