Arrival - Ted Chiang

GoodReads Summary: From a soaring Babylonian tower that connects a flat Earth with the heavens above, to a world where angelic visitations are a wondrous and terrifying part of everyday life; from a neural modification that eliminates the appeal of physical beauty, to an alien language that challenges our very perception of time and reality... Chiang's rigorously imagined stories invite us to question our understanding of the universe and our place in it.


I'll be honest (again) and admit that I bought the book because of the movie (again -- the same thing happened with [book:All You Need Is Kill|6255949]/Edge of Tomorrow). This time, though, I haven't seen the movie yet, so I basically "read the movie" before watching it.

Thing is, this is not just about Arrival. It's a collection of stories by Ted Chiang -- one of them is "The Story of Your Life", which is the base for the movie. You have "Tower of Babylon", which is kinda like a fantasy story if said tower actually reached the heavens; "Understand", which takes a stab in a "Limitless" kinda-way; "Division By Zero", which talks about mathematics but it is actually about people (Pro-tip: if you read, keep an eye on the "chapter" numbers; it will explain the story); "Story of Your Life", which, again, is the base for the Arrival movie; "Seventy-Two Letters", about a world where golems and controlling stuff with written stuff actually exists; "The Evolution About Human Science", a short story about a future when humans can't keep up with their own science; "Hell is the Absence of God", about angels (although the author explains it in the end, it felt much more like "this is hell" than anything else); and "Liking What You See: A Documentary", which feels like a huge discussion about beauty and propaganda.

In general, all stories are pretty easy and interesting to read -- reading the whole book in two days may be a testament of this. The whole style reminded me of Asimov's writing, although I could skip half paragraphs without missing anything in the story, while that wouldn't be an option in Asimov stories.

The endings are also kinda loose, but because there are hidden clues about the story itself in other parts -- like in "Division By Zero" -- I guess I just didn't get them yet.