Ted Chiang’s Story “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling” to Be Adapted for TV

One of Ted Chiang’s longer stories might soon be headed for television, says Deadline. The Flight Attendant creator Steve Yockey has picked up the rights to adapt Chiang’s story “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling”, a tale about writing and memory.

The story originally appeared in Subterranean Press’s Fall 2013 magazine, and was most recently reprinted in Chiang’s collection Exhalation. It received considerable acclaim when it was released, and was nominated for both a Hugo and Locus awards back in 2014.

The story flips between two perspectives—one, a journalist who’s writing a feature story about a new technology product called Remem, which collects every moment of your life and then allows users to use voice queries to find specific moments in their lives. The other half of the story is set in the distant past, as a European missionary journeys to the Tivs, where he introduces them to writing.

Chiang uses the story to explore the idea that writing is a form of technology, and looks at how writing can affect how people remember the past or transmit ideas to one another throughout time, and what impact a technological augment can have on relationships. The story came out in 2013, right as social media was really taking off, and it’s an interesting meditation on the relationship of what is factually true verses what is right. 

According to Deadline, Yockey will be developing the story as a hour-long drama for Heyday Television (which has produced Threshold, The InBetween, and most recently, The Adventures of Paddington). In addition to HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, Yockey also worked on The CW’s Supernatural.

Chiang’s work has been adapted before: Denis Villeneuve memorably adapted “Story of Your Life” as Arrival, and AMC was reportedly working on a series based on Chiang’s story “Liking What You See.”

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