Exhalation: Stories is a collection of short stories by American writer Ted Chiang. The book was initially released on May 7, 2019, by Alfred A. Knopf.

Exhalation: Stories
Hardcover edition
AuthorTed Chiang
Original titleExhalation: Stories
GenreScience fictionfantasy
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf
Publication date
May 7, 2019
Publication placeUnited States
Media typePrint, e-book, audiobook
Pages368 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN978-1101947883 (first edition, hardback)



This is Ted Chiang's second collection of short works, after the 2002 book Stories of Your Life and Others. Exhalation: Stories contains nine stories exploring such issues as humankind's place in the universe, the nature of humanity, bioethics, virtual reality, free will and determinism, time travel, and the uses of robotic forms of A.I.[1] Seven tales were initially published between 2005 and 2015; "Omphalos" and "Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom" are originals.[2][3]





Joyce Carol Oates of The New Yorker stated, "From technological ingenuity flows ethical intricacy. The stories in "Exhalation" are mostly not so magically inventive as those in Chiang's first collection, but each is still likely to linger in the memory the way riddles may linger—teasing, tormenting, illuminating, thrilling."[1] A reviewer of Kirkus Reviews added, "Visionary speculative stories that will change the way readers see themselves and the world around them: This book delivers in a big way."[4] Constance Grady of Vox gave the book four points of five, commenting, "The stories in Exhalation are a shining example of science fiction at its best. They take both science and humanism deeply seriously, which is why it's so satisfying to watch Chiang's shining, intricate machine at work: You know that whatever the machine builds, it will tell you something new about human beings."[5] Adam Morgan of The A.V. Club mentioned, "But if anything in this book has a shot at becoming the next Arrival, it's the 70-page novella that closes the collection, "Anxiety Is The Dizziness Of Freedom."[6] A reviewer of Publishers Weekly stated, "These nine stories introduce life-changing inventions and new worlds with radically different physical laws. In each, Chiang produces deeply moving drama from fascinating first premises."[7] The title was also included on President Barack Obama's 2019 Summer Reading List.[8]

The book was named one of the top ten books of 2019 by The New York Times Book Review.[9]