Since it took me far too long to read City of Bones, I decided to next read something short, and picked up Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others , which isn't a particularly short book, but is full of short stories.

Chiang's particular metier is writing stories in a classic hard-SF style using religious concepts as the base for extrapolation. The juxtaposition of supernatural subjects with a calm, precise tone and a focus on exploration, discovery, and consequence makes for interesting stories. Whereas a Golden Age hard SF story might have been about the discovery of an FTL drive and its consequences for human civilization, Chiang writes (in "The Tower of Babylon") about the construction of a tower so high it pierces the dome of heaven itself, or (in "Seventy-Two Letters") about the development of a science based on Jewish mysticism.

Every story in this collection is at least very good, and many of them are excellent. Go read it.


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