Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang is a collection of surreal and sci-fi stories which challenge the understanding of the world. There’s the well-known story, ‘Story of Your Life’, which was adapted into the movie, ‘Arrival’. That story was certainly an amazing read, with its use of past and present tense, its discussion of language and time, and the way it portrays love. Other stories I admired in the collection were, ‘Tower of Babylon’, about a structure so tall it touches the heavens, ‘Understand’, about a man who receives a drug enhancement to become smarter than anyone else in the world, ‘Division by Zero’, about a professor who learns that any number can equal any other and its implications, and ‘Hell is the Absence of God’, where angels come down and grant miracles but also create destruction in the process.
The collection is a mind-bending foray into science fiction I hadn’t necessarily read before. Some of the stories take interesting forms and structures, and the science explanations are thoroughly researched. Throughout, it was an interesting collection to read and think about.
Final Rating: 4.5/5
Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.