I read about half of Mr. Chiang's stories and found them moderately interesting. I got the book because the film "Arrival" was based on "Story of Your Life" within. I'd rate it 3 to 3.5 stars.

Rarely do I find the underlying book is NOT better than the film, but I thought the film "Arrival" was much more interesting and entertaining. Notable is Mr. Chiang's sense of humor, which doesn't compare with that of the film, and is even slightly annoying in its lameness. The dialog between the story's two principals fell flat, as did the dialog between the story's mother and daughter, where it got super-corny. Story of Your Life was replete with technical linguistics details -- yet the story left me so disinterested in linguistics, I felt no compulsion to do any research. On the other hand the FILM left me so interested in many of the film's aspects, I anxiously awaited the arrival of the book on the HOLD shelf and was totally disappointed. This sort of surprised me since I'm conversational in several languages and very much enjoy learning them. Some of the the other stories were too long boring, or dark for me.

Just my subjective, personal taste, but the film was done so exquisitely, visually, it inspired gorgeous, color, 3D dreams in me, while the Chiang's short story dragged and evoked NO strong images in my mind. And aren't audio narratives and books supposed to excel at working the listener or reader's imagination? Maybe the timeline and 3-dimensional nature of the aliens' languages (and plot) was difficult to convey in print. Some of the Chiang's other stories were decent -- some "married" science (or science fiction) and non-science. But not in the manner other Sci-Fi writers do. As a former SciFi LOVER, I didn't much enjoy Story of Your Life.

21223202744515a's rating:
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