Ted Chiang is one of the most acclaimed speculative fiction writers of a generation – he is, quite simply, on another level.
Chiang’s short stories are giants in the genre and consistently capture the wonders of the universe, taking you right to the edge, and over it, into other existences.
This ranking of all his stories by Grant Forbes on Tor.com is fantastic. Great Top 5. To Forbes’ point, “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling” is astonishing and should be more highly acclaimed. I’m glaring at him for putting “Exhalation” in the middle of the pack. On the “intellectual” metric he uses, “Exhalation” rates a 5 for me. It is a fascinating look at mortality and an original take on answering life’s biggest questions. Here’s an interactive chart of the rankings I was inspired to make.