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Exhalation (2019 original; edició 2020)
de Ted Chiang (Autor)
Informació de l'obra
Exhalation: Stories de Ted Chiang (2019)
Books Read in 2020 (41)
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Top Five Books of 2021 (498)
Favorite Short Fiction (133)
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I am not the biggest short story fan, but I enjoyed this collection. The stories were all interesting, and raised thought provoking questions. I liked the range of writing, one story felt like it came out of Arabian Nights, and another felt like I was reading a Vox article. I did think some of the exposition at times, felt boring and like technobabble. Overall, I would recommend interested in short stories. ( )
This book has so many accolades. I have no idea why.
Generally, I really enjoy short stories. [a:George Sanders|281510|George Sanders|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1453418195p2/281510.jpg] and [a:Alice Munro|6410|Alice Munro|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1494056984p2/6410.jpg] are amazing. And while I'm not a huge science fiction reader, I really really love Black Mirror . . .which are short science fiction vignettes made for television (also loved Star Trek). So, honestly, I thought I'd be really into this book. But alas, no.
The two book end stories, "The Merchent and the Alchemist's Gate" and "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom" were the only two I even enjoyed reading. A little. The first focused on a time travel portal and the latter investigated the idea of having multiple lives (quantum?) where different versions of an individual might take separate life paths making different decisions along the way.
The remaining stories just seemed so flat. The characters weren't interesting. The writing style was straightforward, but has a lot of "telling" and not enough "showing". The endings didn't make me go "wow" like other short story writers often do. There were a few interesting conceptual ideas, and that's all I got out of it. I'd honestly have rather read a series of essays about the concepts. That might have actually been more interesting.
The author has won so many awards, so take this review as one by a reader who just wants to say this book clearly was not for me. Great fiction needs to have some emotional component or an element of surprise . . .I was not feeling these stories at all. I can't even get up the energy to really rant about them . . .just meh.
This anthology confirms that Ted Chiang is one of the most interesting sci-fi writers alive. His short stories feel very relevant to current times and, at the same time, have timeless themes of human nature, free will, and purpose.
All of the stories included in this book are intellectually satisfying, forcing the reader to ask bigger and better questions, challenging assumptions, and showing a new perspective. They explore a variety of topics in different settings just as in Stories of Your Life and Others. However, I missed its diversity of form and style - the journal-like narration gets monotonous after a few stories. Also, I couldn't get invested emotionally as much as I did in the previous anthology. The personal drama of the characters was either not as profound or harder for me to relate to.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book tremendously. I think that no sci-fi fan will be disappointed with it. I'll be definitely looking forward to reading new pieces from Ted Chiang!
Brain food -- this compulsively readable set of short stories plays with time, space, and digitalization, while maintaining a human focus. Chiang is a master of "what if", and the alternative worlds he creates are fascinating and sometimes frightening places. What's just as notable, however, is that his characters are involving if not always admirable: with many of them (digital as well as human) I felt a real emotional connection.
Having read the author's earlier book titled The Stories of Your Life and others, I looked forward to reading this. Sadly I found most of them not to my liking, though it's not to say they were poorly written. I did enjoy the first few but I felt they lacked cohesiveness and one in particular was much longer than needed.
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Exhalation’s nine stories are … fine. A couple are excellent, most are good, a couple don’t really work. It feels like damning the book with faint praise to say so, but isn’t that exactly how short-story collections generally work?
I can’t think of another modern genre writer like him, myself: his tales make me think of the same sort of impact a Bradbury or a Heinlein story had in the Golden Age, where readers would read something just because it is written by the author.
In the hands of a truly fatalistic writer, the premises and conceits in Exhalation would frogmarch us down the tired path to dystopia. But Chiang takes the constraints on our freedom as a starting point from which we have to decide what it means to act as if our decisions still matter.
Chiang is a writer of precision and grace. His stories extrapolate from first premises with the logic and rigor of a well-designed experiment but at the same time are deeply affecting, responsive to the complexities and variability of human life.
[Chiang's] voice and style are so beautifully trim it makes you think that, like one of his characters, he has a magical looking-box hidden in his basement that shows him nothing except the final texts of stories he has already written — just so he'll know exactly how to write them well in the first place.
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.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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