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.


Published May 7th 2019

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