“It’s cold on the wall. That’s the first thing everybody tells you, and the first thing you notice when you’re
The two collections, published seventeen years apart, both demonstrate Chiang’s ability to subtly weave very human stories using the mechanics of traditional science-fiction tropes. Yes, there are aliens and teleportation devices, time machines and androids, and artificial intelligence but these are just tools used to tell something of the human experience.
I don’t remember how I came to buy Exhalation by Ted Chiang. It was likely the result of a late night, gin fuelled dive through the depths of some obscure subreddit which led me to pre-order a novel I’d never heard of by an author about whom I knew nothing. However it happened, last week a copy of Ted Chiang’s latest novel dropped onto my door mat and I managed, with relative success, to convience my wife that in fact Ted Chiang is one of my favourite writers. I had no clue who he was.