Your audiobook is waiting…

Exhalation

Stories
Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

Regular price: $31.50

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

“The universe began as an enormous breath being held.”

From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others - the basis for the Academy Award-nominated film Arrival - comes a groundbreaking new collection of short fiction: nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. These are tales that tackle some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only Ted Chiang could imagine.

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 second chances. In “Exhalation”, an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, the ability to glimpse into alternate universes necessitates a radically new examination of the concepts of choice and free will.

Including stories being published for the first time as well as some of his rare and classic uncollected work, Exhalation is Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic - revelatory.

©2019 Ted Chiang (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Ted Chiang’s stories are lean, relentless, and incandescent.” (Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad)

“Ted Chiang writes with such a matter-of-fact grace and visionary power that one simply takes on faith that his worlds and his characters exist, whether they are human or robot or parrot; he is the rare author who makes me feel, also, that he believes in his readers, in our integrity and our imagination.” (Karen Russell, author of Orange World

“Ted Chiang has no contemporary peers when it comes to the short story form. His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Carver, Poe, Borges, and Kafka. Every story is a universe. Every story is a diamond. You will inhale Exhalation in a single, stunned sitting, because true genius doesn’t come along nearly as often as advertised. This is the real thing.” (Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Long Wait for a Rare Display.

Chiang pens unique stories with perfect prose. This collection rivals his last. He and Jorge Luis Borges are unmatched. I waited a long time for these stories and I was not disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • San Francisco, CA
  • 05-15-19

Masterful and singular

TC's stories will resonate and stick with you for years. They're often sophisticated concepts told through a human perspective of experience. Great writing, dialog, narration. As the stories unfold they fill you with wonder, horror and satisfaction alike.

To describe TC's work, I ask you to imagine the best of Twilight Zone and Stephen King, with the sci-fi concepts of Liu Cixin and Hannu Rajaniemi with a dash of China Mieville; Then experienced through the heart-rendering relatableness of Kazuo Ishiguro.

This collection and "Stories of your life..." are among the top 10 most recommended to friends and colleagues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A surprisingly transcendent listening experience

So this collection of stories, all narrated by a different reader (I think!), we're done expertly and are each followed by an author's note presented by Ted Chiang himself - a nice touch that closes each story well, and gives you a moment to decompress.

I really loved the writing of each of these stories because they are undeniably sci-fi, yet they don't try to wow you with the mystifying tech or ideas presented within, even though there is plenty of that to be had.

Instead, in this case, Ted Chiang uses the genre as a canvas by which these introspective, thought- provoking tales are brought to life before the reader.

It is a rare pleasure to truly be lost in a story, when in the telling, there is not a thought of the author, or the writing, or the narrator, but simply just a wonderful story as it unfolds before you. And in the listening of Exhalation, that is exactly where I found myself.

I am now a huge Ted Chiang fan. 10/10 will read again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

thought provoking and very entertaining

Ted Chiang is a master of combining relevant technological and philosophical events and ideas with wonderfully realistic fiction

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unique and Mind Blowing as Ever

I hope he does a full book or movie soon. This is a “just read it” kind of book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spectacular! (seriously)

This is a stellar collection of thoughtful, creative SF stories. I know of no other collection I'd more highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Reading as well!

Omg
It is everything you wanted out of the outer limits. I shall bathe in this android flesh! Better than brazil.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One small suggestion for producers.....

Love anything by Ted Chiang, especially the second story....

However, and this producer isn't alone in this critique....

At the change of stories, such as the end of a story when Ted Chiang begins his commentary, there's an abrupt discontinuity when Amy Landon finishes speaking and Ted Chiang's afterword begins. Can it be a second? A half-second? Way too abrupt, without "the end" or "fin" or "-30-" to let us absorb the final thought of the story.

We need a new form of punctuation for audiobooks, a tone perhaps, or a musical interlude, that says "Attention. The story you've been listening to has ended and new content is about to begin."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing insightful sci fi

Loved this collection. Wonderful reflective stories, some of which I am sure will be retold as arrival was.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

9 stories, 2 are new. All are great

I’m a HUGE Ted Chiang fan. His stories have a heart and a fantastical quality that I can’t find in any other science fiction. When I saw he had a new book coming out, I ordered it right away and waited eagerly for the release date.

It turns out, now that I’ve finished it; that I’ve read 7 of these stories already. I’ve read everything he’s published, so to me these were review. I was hoping for more original stories but it’s always nice to hear the classics. Especially the alchemist gate, software objects and the one about writing.

Anyway if you’re already a fan, it’s a good review and 2 new stories, if you’re not a fan, come and have your mind blown. I envy you the experience of hearing these for the first time.

Minus one star on performance because the intonations of the female reader feel off, or repetitive. Maybe it won’t bother you