The Writers’ Arrival

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It’s sci-fi and it has aliens in it but that’s not all it is. Arrival is thoughtful, atmospheric film with a great central performance from Amy Adams. The screenplay was written by Eric Heissener based on a short story by Ted Chiang called Story of Your Life. Film reviews rarely say much about the writers so I thought I’d tell you a bit about both writers involved in Arrival.

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Heisserer wrote the 2010 reboot of  A Nightmare on Elm Street and rewrote the prequel to director John Carpenter’s 1982 remake The Thing. He was also the writer behind Final Destination 5 and the supernatural horror Lights Out released earlier this year. On a personal level he is the son of Margaret L., a senior editor for a publishing company, and Andrew J. Heisserer, a professor of ancient history, of Norman, Oklahoma. Since 2010, Heisserer has been married to his second wife television producer/writer Christine Boylan.

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Ted Chiang turned down a Hugo nomination for his short story Liking What You See: A Documentary in 2003, on the grounds that the story was rushed due to editorial pressure and did not turn out as he had really wanted. In 2013, his collection of translated stories Die Hölle ist die Abwesenheit Gottes won the German Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for best foreign science fiction. Chiang’s first eight stories are collected in Stories of Your Life and Others and his novella The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate was also published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science FictionThe Great Silence, his latest story, was selected for inclusion in the prestigious The Best American Short Stories anthology for 2016. He was born in Port Jefferson, New York and graduated from Brown University with a computer science degree. In 1989 he graduated from the Clarion Writers Workshop. He works as a technical writer in the software industry and lives in Bellevue, Washington.

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