I’m a science fiction fan, so I’d read pretty much anything in the genre. But more than anything, what I liked about Chiang’s stories is how they all involved linguistics in one way or another. In my line of work, both as a developer at a market research company and a manager of transcription services, I rub shoulders with languages and linguists on a daily basis. I graduated with a specialization in copywriting. And I continue to find the study of language and its structure fascinating. When a friend told me about Ted Chiang, and how his work combines linguistics and science fiction, I immediately ran out to the bookstore to pick up a copy of Stories of Your Life and Others.
One of Chiang’s short stories from this collection, “Story of Your Life”, is the basis for a recently released movie called Arrival. The movie was well received. I’m hoping that encourages Ted Chiang to write even more (he currently works as a technical writer in the software industry, writing short stories on the side).
If you saw the movie and enjoyed it, I recommend you check out Chiang’s other stories. Or, if you’ve never heard of Chiang’s work, but you find linguistics and science fiction interesting, give Stories of Your Life and Others a try.