Chiang, Ted 1967-
CHIANG, Ted 1967-
PERSONAL: Born 1967, in Port Jefferson, NY. Education: Graduated from Brown University (computer science).
ADDRESSES: Home—Bellevue, WA. Agent—Tor Books, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.
AWARDS, HONORS: Nebula Award, 1990, for "Tower of Babylon"; Asimov's SF Magazine reader poll, 1991, for "Understand"; Campbell New Writer Award, 1992; Nebula Award, 1998, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, 1999, for "Story of Your Life."
Stories of Your Life and Others, Tor (New York, NY), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Ted Chiang is an award-winning science-fiction writer whose work has met with an exceptionally enthusiastic reception from readers and critics alike. 2002's Stories of Your Life and Others is a complete collection of his short stories to date. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called it "the first must-read SF book of the year." Praising the collection's imaginativeness, a Kirkus Reviews writer noted that Chiang's "almost unfathomably wonderful stories tick away with the precision of a Swiss watch—and explode in your awareness with shocking, devastating force."
In an interview for Locus, Chiang was asked about his goals as a writer. He replied: "Everyone refers to science fiction's ability to evoke a sense of wonder. That is definitely a goal of mine, because I remember the sense of wonder I experienced when I read science fiction when I was younger. I would like to be able to evoke that in other people." Critics remark that Chiang's grasp of science is firm, but that his stories also demonstrate a willingness to explore deeply human issues: the loss of love and hope, the materialization of all of the suffering of hell, and the effects that such things have on human beings. The author's concern for the social and existential issues raised in his stories, critics have said, gives his work extraordinary depth. Reviewers have also consistently applauded Chiang's craftsmanship. Asked if he thought there was a recurring theme in his work, the author answered that "I suppose what comes to mind is the notion of an ideal language, the language in which thoughts can be articulated perfectly and things can be described perfectly." He added that, though the idea of a perfect language is considered impossible at this time, he continues to wonder if there could be a "system of representation in which the relationship is not merely arbitrary but intrinsic."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993, p. 921.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2002, review of Stories ofYour Life and Others, p. 711.
Publishers Weekly, June 24, 2002, review of Stories ofYour Life and Others, p. 44.
Locus,http://www.locusmag.com/ (August 28, 2002), "Ted Chiang: Science, Language, and Magic.*"