by Ted Chiang

From an award-winning science fiction writer (whose short story “The Story of Your Life” was the basis for the Academy Award-nominated movie Arrival), the long-awaited new collection of stunningly original, humane, and already celebrated short stories


This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. In “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary “Exhalation,” an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: “Omphalos” and “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom.”

In this fantastical and elegant collection, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth–What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?–and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.

Additional information

Book Condition





339 pages


Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Short Stories


June 30, 2020 by Vintage


Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Best Collection (2019),
Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novelette for "Omphalos" (2020),
Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novella for "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom" (2019),
Locus Award for Best Collection and Best Novelette for "Omphalos" and Nominee for Best Novella for "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom" (2020),
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction (Ray Bradbury Prize) (2020),
Premio Ignotus for Mejor Cuento Extranjero (2021),
Mary Shelley Award for Outstanding Fictional Work (2021),
Premi Ictineu for Millor antologia fantàstica (2021), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2019),
Ignyte Award Nominee for Best Novella Nomination for "Omphalos" (2020)



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