The story of your life arrival
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Now, collected here for the first time are all seven of this extraordinary writers stories so far-plus an eighth story written especially for this volume.
What if men built a tower from Earth to Heaven-and broke through to Heavens other side? What if we discovered that the fundamentals of mathematics were arbitrary and inconsistent? What if there were a science of naming things that calls life into being from inanimate matter? What if exposure to an alien language forever changed our perception of time? What if all the beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity were literally true, and the sight of sinners being swallowed into fiery pits were a routine event on city streets? These are the kinds of outrageous questions posed by the stories of Ted Chiang. Stories of your life . . . and others.
Story of Your Life
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And, perhaps also like many, I was initially somewhat surprised to find out how different Arrival is from Chiang's short story. But as I thought more and more about it, those differences are what make both the story and the film all the more lovable. Because of that, I was actually really happy to have seen the film first, because the film does such an immersive job of selling those heptapods, in what feels like, to me at least, some of the most realistically imagined aliens to ever grace a screen. Louise Banks, comes to know the aliens through the study of linguistics. And it's the alien's language that helps you understand the concept of time being non-linear. Gary Donnelly spends a good deal of the novella trying to figure out. Of course, to be a big Hollywood hit, there had to be more action, and so screenwriter Eric Heisserer took many liberties, seemingly all of which made for a stronger film, and certainly a more entertaining one.
Arrival: Ending Explained
Unlike others in the collection however, Story of Your Life probably the most accessible bar the award-winning Tower Of Babylon, which reads rather like a science fiction Bible story. Drawing heaving on academic references to linguistics then, Ted Chiang weaves a hypnotic, heartrending tale about a woman who is burdened with the knowledge her only child will grow up, only to die at the untimely age of twenty five in a climbing accident in a national park. Instead, our protagonist Louise Banks will meet aliens and in learning to converse with them via their strange and other-worldly language, she discovers an entirely new way of looking at space and time. This means she will be able to see everything in the space she occupies, from the moment she learns the alien language, until her death. In doing so, she also discovers this same time period will include the birth and death of her own beloved daughter. In the course of the story, we will discover how Louise deals with this knowledge both via grief and joy.
Its major themes are language and determinism. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novella. The novella has been translated into Italian, French and German. A film adaptation of the story by Eric Heisserer , titled Arrival and directed by Denis Villeneuve , was released in Louise Banks the day her daughter is conceived. Addressed to her daughter, the story alternates between recounting the past: the coming of the aliens and the deciphering of their language; and remembering the future: what will happen to her unborn daughter as she grows up, and the daughter's untimely death.