I took an extremely long time to read this book, savoring each story for its originality and philosophy. And for the superlative writing.
Arrival (the movie) is based on The Story of Your Life. I watched this as well as Tales from the Loop, which may very well have been based on Ted Chiang’s writing.
As to the stories… I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but a common theme that I found was some form of circularity. Going back to the beginning, sometimes spatially, sometimes temporally, sometimes logically, sometimes physically (in the sense of physics) and sometimes emotionally.
The Story of Your Life is meticulously crafted; Chiang conveys emotions by describing what happens rather than what is felt. And the key insights into how the visitors view time builds up slowly and is up to us to interpret more than him serving up explanations. The overall concept and perspectives on life and time left me with a wonderful analysis framework.