Ted Chiang

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ted Chiang at the 2007 World Fantasy Convention
Ted Chiang at the 2007 World Fantasy Convention

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.


  • "Forgive and forget" goes the expression, and for our idealized magnanimous selves, that was all you needed. But for our actual selves the relationship between those two actions wasn’t so straightforward. In most cases we had to forget a little bit before we could forgive; when we no longer experienced the pain as fresh, the insult was easier to forgive, which in turn made it less memorable, and so on.

Stories of Your Life and Others (2002)[edit]

Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others (anthology), 2002, Tor, ISBN 0-765-30418-X
  • 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.
  • God is not just, God is not kind, God is not merciful, and understanding that is essential to true devotion.
  • 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.
  • That wouldn’t be maturity; it would be letting an expert system make your decisions for you. Maturity means seeing the differences, but realizing they don’t matter. There’s no technological shortcut.
  • We can’t avoid these images and still live in the modern world. And that means we can’t kick this habit, because beauty is a drug that you can’t abstain from unless you literally keep your eyes closed all the time.
  • Technology is being used to manipulate us through our emotional reactions, so it’s only fair that we use it to protect ourselves too.
  • Anyone who says the calli movement is good for women is spreading the propaganda of all oppressors: the claim that subjugation is actually protection. Calli supporters want to demonize those women who possess beauty. Beauty can provide just as much pleasure for those who have it as for those who perceive it, but the calli movement makes women feel guilty about taking pleasure in their appearance. It’s yet another patriarchal strategy for suppressing female sexuality, and once again, too many women have bought into it.
    Of course beauty has been used as a tool of oppression, but eliminating beauty is not the answer; you can’t liberate people by narrowing the scope of their experiences. That’s positively Orwellian. What’s needed is a woman-centered concept of beauty, one that lets all women feel good about themselves instead of making most of them feel bad.
  • We’ve reached a point where we can begin to adjust our minds. The question is, when is it appropriate for us to do so? We shouldn’t automatically accept that natural is better, nor should we automatically presume that we can improve on nature. It’s up to us to decide which qualities we value, and what’s the best way to achieve those.


  • Contemplate the marvel that is existence, and rejoice that you are able to do so.

Quotes about Ted Chiang[edit]

  • (about Exhalation) If there’s an overarching theme, it’s that we should take time to appreciate the miracle of existence and cherish the free will we have to pursue our destinies — while we still can.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikipedia has an article about: