In days when big screen adaptations of single novels balloon into a 2- or 3-film series — I’m looking at you Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hobbit — it’s refreshing to see a science fiction adaptation that tells a complete story from beginning to end. Even better when the source material is by one of the field’s most lauded writers.

Variety is reporting that Ted Chiang’s novella, “Story Of Your Life”, is coming to the big screen.

FilmNation Entertainment and Lava Bear Films are partnering to finance the film, which is being written by Eric Heisserer (2011′s The Thing, Final Destination 5) and helmed by commercial director Nic Mathieu. Production begins next year. In the story, a linguist is hired to interpret the language of aliens who orbit the Earth and make first contact through an artifact. Her understanding of the aliens written language bring to her a unique view of her life.

If you haven’t read Ted’s Nebula Award-winning story, “Story Of Your Life” can be found in the collection Stories of Your Life and Others.

In this episode of SF Crossing the Gulf, Karen Burnham and Karen Lord discuss the Ted Chiang story “Hell is the Absence of God” as well as the Greg Egan stories “Crystal Nights,” “Yeyuka,” and “Closer.” They talk about topics such as third person omniscient narrators, villains, suffering, and the trope of Westerners sacrificing fingers for Africa. Karen Burnham would like to add that the story “Microcosmic God,” whose author she forgot, was written by Theodore Sturgeon.

Next week we’ll be discussing Erna Brodber’s The Rainmaker’s Mistake, and after that we’ll return to Greg Egan’s short fiction.
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Welcome to the debut episode of SF Crossing the Gulf with Karen Burnham and Karen Lord.

We’ll be discussing contemporary hard sf and Caribbean speculative fiction over the course of our new, twice-monthly podcast. We spend most of this first episode discussing “Exhalation” and the collection Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang.

Other books we’ll be discussing in the future:

  • My Bones and My Flute by Edgar Mittelholzer
  • A selection of short stories by Greg Egan
  • and The Rainmaker’s Mistake by Erna Broadber
  • More titles to be announced when we’re sure we can actually lay our hands on them ourselves.

We look at these stories from our perspectives as readers, writers, critics, scientists, sociologists, women, etc.
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