Ted Chiang's collection of short stories, "Stories of Your Life and Others," is out. Ted is a national treasure. He writes one story every million years or so, but each of those stories is a goddamned jewel. He's won two Nebula awards (I was at one of the Neb banquets where he received an award, though he wasn't, and sat at a table filled with three or four of Ted's agents; that's right, three or four
of Ted's agents. The guy's never written a novel, has no plans to, but just in case, there's a whole queue of agents ready to represent him). He's sold a short-story collection -- this collection -- to Tor, even though he has no novel planned; an occurrence that's basically unheard of. I'd be jealous if he wasn't such an amazing, humble, decent guy -- check out his bio from the jacket-flap: "Ted Chiang lives near Seattle, Washington." If I could write as well as Ted, I'd be (even more) insufferable.
So even if you're the kind of person who waits for the paperback, even if you're the kind of person who doesn't read short stories (which is basically everyone except short-story writers, it seems), this is the book you need to make an exception for. If you've read all of Ted's stories -- that's not a very large number of stories, so it's quite possible that you have -- buy this book so that you can read the original story, "Liking What You See: A Documentary." It's worth the price of admission.
I can't say enough wonderful things about Ted. Tor used to have his fantastic story, "72 Letters" online on their site, but they've since take it down. Luckily, we have the Wayback Machine, so you can still read it. Give it a shot and ask yourself why you don't own an entire book full of Ted's stories.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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