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63. Stories of Your Life and Others

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang clocked in at number 80 on The Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. And Barack Obama’s a fan too.

But what about Laura’s book club? What did they make of this collection of eight sci-fi short stories, one of which formed the basis for the film Arrival starring Amy Adams?

From a soaring Babylonian tower that connects a flat Earth with the firmament above, to a world where angelic visitations are a wondrous and terrifying part of everyday life; from a neural modification that eliminates the appeal of physical beauty, to an alien language that challenges our very perception of time and reality. . . Chiang’s rigorously imagined fantasia invites us to question our understanding of the universe and our place in it.

Rocket scientists Kristy and Ed join the discussion and weigh in on the big questions. Like, will reading Chiang make you more intelligent? Do you have to be a sci-fi devotee to enjoy him? And finally, did the book make for a good book club discussion?

Book recommendations

Books mentioned on this episode:


Ed also recommends authors John Brunner, James Blish and Algis Budrys.

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