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Exhalation

Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

Non-member price: $18.22

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Publisher's Summary

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 20 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 Exhalation, 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.

©2019 Ted Chiang (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the book but hated the female narrator

The stories and author's notes were interesting but the female narrator was terrible. She was robotic and lacked nuance. Other narrators were good.

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  • Magnus M. Hustveit
  • 13-09-2019

Anthology thought experiments perfectly executed

Ted Chiang combines excellent writing with interesting scenarios in a way which engages deeply. If you are not thinking after listening to this book, it's on you.

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  • darren
  • 10-08-2019

good but slow

I do realise that Ted's stories can be slow over a novel, but I hoped these may have been less of a plod. several chapters were given to one arc about AI which seemed a real waste of potential, whereas others lost the plot as they meandered along.

this isn't punchy short sci-fi, but worth listening to if you're a fan

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom D
  • 26-08-2019

some good stories

I enjoyed all the stories but some were much better than others. some 5*, some I'd rate 2* if they were stand alone. As a collection overall though, it's okay.

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  • Keith
  • 19-08-2019

Thought provoking and well delivered.

I really enjoyed this especially with the author's notes at the end of each story. Such a clever author and a master at work.