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Better known as the basis for the film Arrival, this award-winning story from Ted Chiang is, in the best way possible, Independence Day for grown-ups. It’s narrated by Louise Banks, a linguist tasked with communicating with aliens who have arrived on Earth. As the story progresses, we learn that the aliens don’t experience time sequentially (one event at a time) but all at once — they are as aware of the future as they are of the present. This insight forces Louise to face some heavy questions, such as: if there are creatures who already know the future, what does that mean for free will