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The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate

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The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate

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Author: Ted Chiang
Publisher: Subterranean Press, 2007

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Book Type: Novelette
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Time Travel
Mythic Fiction (SF)
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Hugo- and Nebula-winning Novelette

The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate is a fantasy novelette by Ted Chiang originally published in 2007 by Subterranean Press and reprinted in the September 2007 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It won the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and the 2008 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.

This curious time-travel novella from Hugo-winner Chiang is a gracefully told lesson about accepting fate—or, as better suits this medieval Arabian setting, the will of Allah. A Baghdad merchant discovers an alchemical device that can send a traveler back in time 20 years. Despite the alchemist's warning that "what is made cannot be unmade," and three illustrative tales about others' attempts to alter the past, the merchant is determined to return to an earlier time to save his long-dead wife. Half lyrical Arabian Nights legend and half old school cautionary SF tale, this skillfully written story and its theme of insurmountable fate may comfort as many readers as it makes uncomfortable.


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The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate - Ted C...

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