Ted Chiang Archive

The Unfamiliar and the Strange

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Ted Chiang demonstrates that balancing the familiar and the strange in science fiction is not simply a case of having new technologies alongside old, but understanding what is familiar in sci-fi and how logic itself can serve as a kind of familiarity to guide the reader through novel ideas.

Grief and Goodbye in Endings

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Octavia Butler said, “All good things must begin.” And lucky for us, they do. But “all good things must come to an end,” too.

ARRIVAL and the False Dichotomy of Free Will vs Determinism

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ARRIVAL has been hailed for carving a space for the “literary science fiction movie,” and rightly so. Director Denis Villeneuve achieved the nearly impossible feat of making a compelling, relatively crowd-pleasing movie about linguistics, complete with a new alien language composed of 100 logograms, while also weaving in themes of