Ted Chiang

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Ted Chiang
Chiang, Ted (Villarrubia) (cropped).jpg
Chiang in Madrid, Spain, 2011
Born 1967 (age 49–50)
Port Jefferson, New York
Occupation Fiction writer, technical writer
Nationality American
Period 1990–present
Genre Science fiction, fantasy
Notable works Tower of Babylon (1990)
Story of Your Life (1998)
Stories of Your Life and Others (2002)

Ted Chiang (born 1967) is an American science fiction writer. His Chinese name is Chiang Feng-nan (姜峯楠).

His work has (as of 2013) won four Nebula awards, four Hugo awards, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and four Locus awards.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Chiang was born in Port Jefferson, New York.[2] Both of his parents were born in China, but immigrated to Taiwan with their families during the Communist Revolution before immigrating to the United States.[3] He graduated from Brown University with a computer science degree and in 1989 graduated from the Clarion Writers Workshop. He currently works as a technical writer in the software industry and resides in Bellevue, Washington, near Seattle.[4]

Critic John Clute has written that Chiang's writing has a "tight-hewn and lucid style ... [which] has a magnetic effect on the reader."[5]


Although Chiang has published only fifteen short stories, novelettes, and novellas as of 2015, he has won a string of prestigious science 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 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); a British Science Fiction Association Award, a Locus Award, and the Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Exhalation" (2009); and a Hugo Award[6] and Locus Award for his novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects (2010).

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.[7]

In 2013, his collection of translated stories Die Hölle ist die Abwesenheit Gottes won the German Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for best foreign science fiction.

Chiang's first eight stories are collected in Stories of Your Life and Others (2002).[8][9] His novelette The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate (2007) was also published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

"The Great Silence," Chiang's latest story, was selected for inclusion in the prestigious The Best American Short Stories anthology for 2016, which is a rare honor for stories and authors that fall under the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.




A film adaptation by Eric Heisserer of Story of Your Life, titled Arrival and directed by Denis Villeneuve, was released in 2016. It stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.[10][11]


Chiang was an instructor at the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego in 2012 and 2016.[12]


  1. ^ Chiang's awards at ISFDB
  2. ^ "Ted Chiang – Summary Bibliography". The Internet Speculative Fction Database. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ Rothman, Joshua (January 5, 2017). "Ted Chiang's Soulful Science Fiction". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  4. ^ "An Interview with Ted Chiang". SF Site. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Chiang's entry at SF Encyclopedia
  6. ^ "2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards Winners". Locus. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chiang". fantasticmetropolis.com. 
  8. ^ Chiang, Ted. Stories of Your Life and Others (1st US hardcover ed.). Tor. ISBN 0-7653-0418-X. 
  9. ^ "Ted Chiang". Indie Bound. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Jeremy Renner Joins Amy Adams in Sci-Fi 'Story of Your Life'". The Hollywood Reporter. 6 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Zutter, Natalie (August 8, 2016). "Your First Look at Arrival, the Adaptation of Ted Chiang's Novella Story of Your Life". TOR. tor.com. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "Clarion at UC San Diego Graduates and Instructors". Clarion. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 

External links[edit]