Stories of Your Life and Others
by Ted Chaing
"Stories Of Your Life and Others" by Ted Chiang is contemporary science fiction. The book has 8 stories that originally were published separately. "Stories of Your Life" is both the book title and the fourth story in the book. It is the story that the movie Arrival was taken from.
There is also at the end another short chapter called story notes. It may be useful to read it first? The other chapters in this book are also very thought-provoking. I liked his fictional twist to the Bible story about the Tower of Babylon. His story "Division by Zero" would for sure be fascinating except for me it left me wishing my math foundation was stronger.
Clearly Ted Chiang is a very skilled writer. His approach to science makes you think. His stories are not causal reads. The movie chapter is about a linguist expert who was called to communicate with Aliens who were" heptapods" and had two distinct forms of language. Heptapod A, their spoken language. and Heptapod B, their written language. The relevance of what time really is ,for the Aliens and then for us, was also a key component of the plot.
Both the movie and the book are very thought-provoking. When I first read the book I finished it and the same day went to the movie. I was surprised that I found myself liking the movie more. I felt that was unusual and I posted my thoughts at that time in my post titled "Are Books Always Better Than the Movie". I have thought more about the comparison since then and have changed my thinking some. For me I still would prefer the movie mostly because the story line was more exact and I felt a closer connection to the characters. The pluses for the book could be that you may find yourself sort of feeling and sensing what was happening. That may lead to your having more options for the issue of how time worked with past presence and future. The book was very good. The movie was great.