Our “Neuroscience in Fiction” selection for this Friday is Ted Chiang’s short story “Exhalation” (2008), published in the anthology, "Eclipse 2: New Science Fiction and Fantasy”, and winner of the British Science Fiction Association, the Locus, and the Hugo Awards.
Chiang does not write very often, but when he does the result is usually spectacular. “Exhalation” takes place in a pneumatics-based universe, where a scientist’s discovery reveals the neural correlates of consciousness and the mechanics of the upcoming end of life and time. Best of all, the neuroscience at the heart of the story originates in a memorable self-dissection of the protagonist’s own brain.
We hope that you will read “Exhalation” this weekend, and that you will let us know your thoughts. For extra credit, check out Chiang’s “Stories of Your Life and Others” (Tor, 2002), a compendium of his first eight stories.