Exhalation by Ted Chiang

March 2020

This long-awaited new book of Ted Chiang short stories did not disappoint. I was blown away by Stories of Your Life and Others, and while these stories maybe didn’t leave as much of a lasting impression on me (for the most part) as the ones in his previous book, Chiang’s writing is consistently gorgeous and his ideas consistently thought-provoking. My somewhat cooler response to this book probably also has to do with the circumstances under which I read it: as the coronavirus began to engulf Europe, and the UK went from ignoring the problem (when I started the book) to going on full lockdown (last night, when I finished the book). Chiang’s stories have an understated delicacy to them that is at odds with what I’m feeling right now, so I might revisit the book again the future when I can appreciate them even more.

Further reading…