December story choice - Story of Your Life / Arrival
A bonus for December 2020 - two variations of a story.
Story of Your Life is a short story by Ted Chiang, in the collection Stories of Your Life and Others. Blurb about the story says
Story of Your Life is a science fiction short story written by Ted Chiang. It was first published in 1998. The story revolves around a renowned linguist and how she makes a breakthrough in communicating with the aliens that have landed all over the world in massive spaceships.
“Despite knowing the journey and where it leads, I embrace it and welcome every moment.”
What would you do if you somehow chance upon the ability to be able to see your future?
Will that scare you, or will you be hopeful? Or both?
In 2016 the film Arrival was released, based on this story. Blurb about the film says
Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.
Link for the book is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stories-Your-Life-Others-Chiang-ebook/dp/B00L2EQODK (Kindle, £5.99)
Link for the film is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arrival-Amy-Adams/dp/B08289YB2J (Rent £3.49, Buy £7.99)
(or similar in other national Amazon sites)
I'm hoping that our discussion will cover both stories and how they are both similar and dissimilar. I am taking the book as the definitive version and the film as a variation thereof, but others might feel that the film should take precedence.
You might enjoy some of the other short stories in the book version, and if there's enthusiasm I'm sure we can briefly include some chatter about them. The blurb about the whole book runs
With Stories of Your Life and Others, his masterful first collection, multiple-award-winning author Ted Chiang deftly blends human emotion and scientific rationalism in eight remarkably diverse stories, all told in his trademark precise and evocative prose.
From a soaring Babylonian tower that connects a flat Earth with the firmament above, to a world where angelic visitations are a wondrous and terrifying part of everyday life; from a neural modification that eliminates the appeal of physical beauty, to an alien language that challenges our very perception of time and reality. . . Chiang's rigorously imagined fantasia invites us to question our understanding of the universe and our place in it.