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Exhalation
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Table of Contents

  • Chapter - 1: The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate
  • Chapter - 2: Exhalation
  • Chapter - 3: What's Expected of Us
  • Chapter - 4: The Lifecycle of Software Objects
  • Chapter - 5: Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny
  • Chapter - 6: The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling
  • Chapter - 7: The Great Silence
  • Chapter - 8: Omphalos
  • Chapter - 9: Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom
    • Chapter - i: Story Notes
    • Acknowledgements - i: Acknowledgements

About the Author

Ted Chiang's 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.

Reviews

As much thought experiments as stories, Ted Chiang's exquisite mechanisms employ science fiction as an instrument to probe the human condition. Like the chronicler of Exhalation's title narrative, he opens the back of his own head and lays bare its mysterious golden motion for the hushed appreciation of an awestruck audience. Beautifully written and conceived, this is a marvellous, astonishing collection that we would do well to read before the worlds it conjures are upon us. Urgently recommended. -- Alan Moore
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 *
Exhalation is a breath of fresh air . . . If there's an overarching theme, it's that we should take time to appreciate the miracle of existence and cherish the free will we have to pursue our destinies - while we still can. * Financial Times *
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
`Like such eclectic predecessors as Philip K. Dick... Jorge Luis Borges, Ursula K. Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, China Mieville, and Kazuo Ishiguro, Chiang has explored conventional tropes of science fiction in highly unconventional ways... Magically inventive... each [story is]... likely to linger in the memory the way riddles may linger - teasing, tormenting, illuminating, thrilling.' * New Yorker *
Ted Chiang's stories are lean, relentless, and incandescent. -- Colson Whitehead
`Chiang is a master. . . . The Alice Munro of science fiction.' * LitHub *
`[Chiang] is so good that this book qualifies as an event.' * Newsday *
Illuminating, thrilling . . . Individual sentences possess the windowpane transparency that George Orwell advocated as a prose ideal. -- Joyce Carol Oates * New Yorker *
Smart, sharp, self-contained experiments of thought and feeling whose impact goes beyond their page count; the more you think about them, the more possibilities they open up. * SFX Magazine *
`Ted Chiang has no contemporary peers... His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Carver, Poe, Borges, and Kafka. Every story is a universe. Every story is a diamond. 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; he is the rare author who makes me feel, also, that he believes in his readers, in our integrity and our imagination.' -- 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... Chiang's stories are uniformly notable for a fusion of pure intellect and molten emotion... narrative[s] of refined human sensitivity and soulfulness... While this combination represents the ideal definition and practice of all science fiction, it's seldom achieved... 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 *

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