Exhalation - Ted Chiang

Four things do not come back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.

Exhalation is a collection of stories by Ted Chiang, first published in May 2019. The titles include The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate (2007), Exhalation (2008), What's Expected of Us (2005), The Lifecycle of Software Objects (2010), Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny (2011), The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling (2013), The Great Silence (2015), Omphalos (2018), and Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom (2018). Each story touches upon a different subject that has something to do with science, philosophical, or technological endeavor, such as time travel, energy conservation, free will, human-machine relationships, search for intelligent life, quantum mechanics, and many more.

It takes the skill of a master to write one mind-blowing story that blends science with storytelling that evokes emotions beautifully, but it takes something entirely different to write nine of them. That's what Ted Chiang successfully did and presented in this book. A love letter to all the people who wants to reflect upon themselves through the most obscure aspects of their lives. A solid masterpiece that maybe should be read two or three times before it could be fully appreciated.

I just can't put into words about how amazing and fundamental Exhalation is.  Something I want my children and my children's children to read in the future. Truly a work of a genius.

Ted Chiang
First Published
May 7, 2019