Ted Chiang is an American author that writes short stories and novellas in the science fiction genre. His parents are Chinese. During the Communist Revolution, they fled to Taiwan before finally immigrating to the United States. They met during their graduate studies. Though, their marriage did not last.
Order of Ted Chiang Short Story Collections
|1||Stories of Your Life and Others||2002||Description / Buy|
Order of Ted Chiang Standalone Novels
|1||Tower of Babylon (Short Story)||1990||Description / Buy|
|2||The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate (Short Story)||2007||Description / Buy|
|3||The Lifecycle of Software Objects||2010||Description / Buy|
|4||The Great Silence (Short Story)||2015||Description / Buy|
|5||Exhalation||2019||Description / Buy|
Born in Port Jefferson in New York, Chiang attended Brown University. He graduated with a degree in computer science. Quite a bit of his time is spent doing technical writing work. Though, fiction is an important part of his life. The author was still in high school went he started submitting stories to magazines.
He joined the Clarion Writers Workshop to hone his skills in the late 1980s. The first story he ever sold was ‘The Tower of Babylon’. It was published in a science magazine called ‘Omni’ and it paved the way for the author’s writing success down the line.
The people that have met the author call him a simple but complicated man. He is hesitant to delve into his personal life and how it has affected his writing. But the people who have read his work agree that he is one of the greatest science fiction writers of his generation.
He is a slow speaker, the kind that considers every single word carefully before speaking it. This is why those that have interviewed him often require multiple sessions to pry any meaningful revelations from him. Ted Chiang doesn’t easily volunteer information, and when he does, it leaves his listeners pondering because there is so much depth to his ideas.
However, no one has ever accused him of being cold and calculating. If anything, his interviewers always laud him for being warm and amiable. Everyone agrees that the easiest way to pry the author’s mind open is to broach the subject of science fiction.
Chiang gives science fiction far more thought than most people. However, he is more interested in the concepts behind the stories in the genre than he is the people. His books make an effort to bring his characters’ emotions to the forefront but those people are not the primary focus.
Chiang’s stories investigate the ideas at the heart of science because this approach allows him to ask philosophical questions that reveal the state of human nature and the place mankind has in the universe. In a way, the author’s stories are about people. But they generally emphasize the whole rather than the individual.
The fact that he has won dozen of awards has never stopped the author from pursuing his work as a technical writer that creates reference materials for programmers. In fact, he was working for a tech company (Microsoft) when he met Marcia, his long-term partner. She was an interface designer before she decided to give her life to photography.
Even though Ted Chiang has numerous short stories and novellas in his bibliography, he describes himself as an occasional writer. He doesn’t get quite as many ideas for stories as people think. And when he does stumble upon an idea, it takes him a long time to transform it into a written story. He is as careful with his writing as he is with his speech.
Ted Chiang Awards
Chiang has won numerous accolades over the course of his career, including the Nebula Award, Hugo Award, and BSFA Award.
Ted Chiang Books into Movies
‘Story of Your Life’, Chiang’s short story, became a live-action movie called ‘Arrival’ in 2016. It was directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Best Ted Chiang Books
Chiang’s writing style has been described as magnetic by his fans, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:
Stories of Your Life and Others: This collection of stories asks some difficult questions. It wonders what would happen if people broke through the ceiling of the earth to discover heaven on the other side and how people would react if the fundamental beliefs of Christianity were not only true but manifested tangibly on the streets every single day.
Lifecycle of Software Objects: People have spent decades wondering what it would take to build an operational AI system. Ted Chiang attempts to provide a fictional blueprint. This novella follows two characters as they create and then attempt to nurture AI systems.
When Does The Next Ted Chiang book come out?
Ted Chiang doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Exhalation and was released on May, 7th 2019.