Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wikipedia - Story Of Your Life

Story of Your Life
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"Story of Your Life"
Author Ted Chiang
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction short story
Published in Starlight 2
Publication date 1998

"Story of Your Life" is a science fiction short story by Ted Chiang. It was the winner of the 2000 Nebula Award for Best Novella as well as the 1999 Sturgeon award.[1] The major themes explored by this tale are determinism, language and an interesting take on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

* 1 Plot summary
* 2 Awards
* 3 Footnotes
* 4 External links

[edit] Plot summary

Dr. Louise Banks is enlisted by the military to communicate with a race of radially-symmetrical aliens who initiated first contact with humanity. Woven through the story are remembrances of her daughter.

The heptapods have two distinct forms of language. Heptapod A is their spoken language which is described as having free word order and many levels of center-embedded clauses. Understanding Heptapod B, the written language of the aliens, is central to the plot. Unlike its spoken counterpart, Heptapod B has such complex structure that a single semagram cannot be excluded without changing the entire meaning of a sentence. When writing in Heptapod B the writer knows how the sentence will end. The phenomenon of Heptapod B is explained by the alien's understanding of mathematics and Fermat's Theory of Least Time. Dr. Banks's understanding of the heptapods' writing system affects the way she perceives time and suggests a deterministic universe where free will is exercised by not affecting the outcome of events.
[edit] Awards

* Winner of the 2000 Nebula for Best Novella
* Winner of the 1999 Sturgeon award
* Short listed for the 1999 Tiptree award
* Ranked 10th on the 1999 Locus poll for best novella
* Nominated for the 1999 Hugo Award for Best Novella
* Nominated for the 1999 HOMer award for best novella

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ LOCUS Index to SF Awards

[edit] External links
Search Wikiquote Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ted Chiang

* Story of Your Life at - short story reviews and resources.

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