A copy of Exhalation sits outside the UCSB Library.

The UC Santa Barbara Library and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor are pleased to announce the selection of the 2022 UCSB Reads book, Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang.

Now in its 16th year, UCSB Reads brings the campus and Santa Barbara communities together to read a common book that explores compelling issues of our time.

Exhalation is a collection of nine science fiction short stories written in spare, dramatic prose that addresses essential questions about human life, including free will, fate, bioethics, time travel, virtual reality, cyborgs, and artificial intelligence.

Chiang combines speculative fiction and philosophy to imagine morally complex worlds with characters and dilemmas that (in the words of Joyce Carol Oates) will “linger in the memory the way riddles may linger—teasing, tormenting, illuminating, thrilling.” 

He has won more than two dozen prizes, including four Hugo, four Nebula, and four Locus awards, and has been featured in The Best American Short Stories. The Oscar-nominated film, Arrival, was based on a novella by Chiang called Story of Your Life.

UCSB Reads will launch in January with a book giveaway for students. From January through May, the Library will sponsor talks, panel discussions, film screenings, book clubs, and other events to explore the book’s themes. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate Exhalation into their winter or spring courses.

On May 10, UCSB Reads will culminate with a free, in-person lecture by Ted Chiang in Campbell Hall. This public lecture is presented in partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

If you wish to teach the book, participate in UCSB Reads programming, or support UCSB Reads 2022, please contact Alex Regan at UCSBReads@library.ucsb.edu.

See details about UCSB Reads events, sponsorship, and more.

Thank you for reading, teaching, and learning along with us.