This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. In 'The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate,' a portal through time forces a fabric…
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Why read it?
1 author picked Exhalation as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Any minute spent reading Ted Chiang is a minute well spent. Exhalation is a story of mechanical beings that are powered by compressed gas that is mined from underground. A seemingly innocuous observation (clocks are speeding up) leads a mechanical scientist to begin to explore the true nature of consciousness. The story itself is beautiful and fascinating, but as a neuroscientist, I was deeply impressed by Chiang’s description of the mechanism of cognition. If scientists ever figure out how the brain produces cognition, they might find that Chiang’s description is the closest to the truth.
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