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Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang at the 2007 World Fantasy Convention
Born 1967
Occupation Writer, technical writer
Nationality American
Writing period 1990—Present
Notable work(s) "Tower of Babylon" (1990)
"Story of Your Life" (1998)
Stories of Your Life and Others (2002)

Ted Chiang (born 1967) is an American speculative fiction writer. He was born in Port Jefferson, New York and graduated from Brown University with a Computer Science degree. He currently works as a technical writer in the software industry and resides in Bellevue, near Seattle, Washington. He is a graduate of the noted Clarion Writers Workshop (1989).

Although not a prolific author, having published only eleven short stories as of 2009, Chiang has to date won a string of prestigious speculative fiction awards for his works: a Nebula Award for "Tower of Babylon" (1990), the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1992, a Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for "Story of Your Life" (1998), a Sidewise Award for "Seventy-Two Letters" (2000), a Nebula Award, Locus Award and Hugo Award for his novelette "Hell Is the Absence of God" (2002), a Nebula and Hugo Award for his novelette "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" (2007), and a British Science Fiction Association Award, a Locus Award, and the Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Exhalation" (2009).

Chiang turned down a Hugo nomination for his short story "Liking What You See: A Documentary" in 2003, on the grounds that the story was rushed due to editorial pressure and did not turn out as he had really wanted. [1]

Chiang's first eight stories are collected in Stories of Your Life and Others (1st US hardcover ed: ISBN 0-7653-0418-X; 1st US paperback ed.: ISBN 0-7653-0419-8). His novelette The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate was also published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

In a recent interview (May 19, 2008) [2], Chiang mentioned that he is currently writing a couple of new stories, with one being a novella that explores the theme of artificial intelligence.

List of works

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Ted Chiang (born 1967) is an American speculative fiction writer. He has won a string of prestigious speculative fiction awards for his works, including multiple Hugo and Nebula awards.


  • Centuries of their labor would not reveal to them any more of Creation than they already knew. Yet through their endeavor, men would glimpse the unimaginable artistry of Yahweh's work, in seeing how ingeniously the world had been constructed. By this construction, Yahweh's work was indicated, and Yahweh's work was concealed.
  • The universe was a language with a perfectly ambiguous grammar. Every physical event was an utterance that could be parsed in two entirely different ways, one causal and the other teleological.
  • What made it possible for me to exercise freedom of choice also made it impossible to know the future. Conversely, now that I know the future, I would never act contrary to that future. [...] Those who've read the Book of Ages never admit to it.
  • Just as seeing Heaven's light gave him an awareness of God's presence in all things in the mortal plane, so it has made him aware of God's absence in all things in Hell.
    • Hell Is the Absence of God; first appeared in Starlight 3, 2001. [1]


  1. a b c d Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others (anthology), 2002, Tor, ISBN 0-765-30418-X

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