Understand (story)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Understand by Ted Chiang.jpg
Audiobook cover
Author Ted Chiang
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction
Published in Asimov's Science Fiction
Publication type Magazine
Publication date August 1991

Understand is a science fiction novelette by American writer Ted Chiang, published in 1991.

Plot summary[edit]

The story follows a man who is given an experimental drug to heal brain damage caused by anoxia after he nearly drowns. The drug regenerates his damaged neurons and has the unintended side effect of exponentially improving his intellect and motor skills. As he gets smarter and smarter, he is pursued by several government agencies and eventually receives a message from—and then enters into conflict with—another super-intelligent test subject.


Understand was nominated for the 1992 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, and won the 1992 Asimov’s Reader Poll.[1]

Recorded and film versions[edit]

The story has been recorded by Rhashan Stone and broadcast as a four-part series on BBC Radio 7.[2]

In 2014, Fox acquired a spec script by Eric Heisserer that is based on Ted Chiang's story.[3]


External links[edit]