Story of Your Life – Ted Chiang


5 star

Story of Your Life is a mind-blowing short story that is sure to alter the way you perceive the world and think about language.

Story of Your Life follows a linguist who is assigned to decode the language of the aliens who have shown up on earth unexpectedly. The entire story unfolds as she makes progress in understanding their language and the way they perceive the world and how, in turn, this affects her own thinking.

This short story is more than just your typical alien first contact story. It’s also about fate, predestination, perception of time, language, and worldviews. It’s a story that will remain with you long after you finish reading.

Despite how amazing this short story sounds, it’s not written for everyone. I would compare it to the writing style in The Martian by Andy Weir. To be more specific, I mean the writing style when the scientific portion of the situation takes precedent. There is a lot of linguistic jargon throughout Story of Your Life, so if you’re not interested in the slightest about how language functions then you’ll find this short story boring and difficult to read.


Overall, Story of Your Life has changed the way I perceive language and the world. It’s a story that will stay with me for a long time, so I highly recommend that everyone read it. It’s interesting, thought provoking, and mind blowing!


This story is the basis for a new movie releasing in November called Arrival. Arrival features Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.



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