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The Stars Like Dust

posted on March 3, 2021

The Stars Like Dust is not my favorite of Asimov’s empire novels. Apparently, the book was not one of Asimov’s favorites either. Asimov’s problem with it was a conceit that was shoehorned into it over his better judgement. When the book was about to be published, Horace Gold, the editor of the Galaxy Science Fiction pulp, wanted to serialized it in his magazine. Gold’s desire to serialize the book came with a caveat, however. He wanted Asimov to add a suggested element of Gold’s to the book. Asimov agreed to his apparent eternal regret.

My lack of strong enthusiasm for the book stems from the fact it’s Asimov’s closest veer towards the space opera type of writing that he eschewed. The hero is handsome, muscled and viral, the heroine is young, fair and beautiful, and the plot runs along the lines of the typical capture, escape, and chase stories of the day. To be fair, the content does give its due to Asimov’s societal and political thoughts on possible galactic development, but not with the same passion and fascination as I recall in the Foundation books. But, hey, it’s Asimov, so you’re still going to get a worthwhile read, just not one of his very best. The ironic thing for me is that I kind of liked the Gold suggested element that Asimov rued adding to the work.

On to The Currents of Space.

 

Robots and Empire

posted on February 23, 2021

Continuing what he started in The Robots of Dawn, Asimov ramps things up to eleven as he drops-in even more Easter eggs to tie together his earlier empire novels. This time the backfilling is even more momentous and slick as far as its impact on those earlier works. It’s also makes this one of the best robot books so far in terms of showing us how the robot stories tie in with Asimov’s galactic vision. Top that of with a particularly nice mystery,  and you’ve got yourself a really good read. That’s about all I can say without invoking the infamous spoiler warning, something I’m trying to avoid here.

Instead, I’ll press on to the the first empire novel The Stars Like Dust.

The Emperor’s Clothes.

posted on January 7, 2021

Yesterday was a sad and distressing chapter in our history. America’s strength has always resided in its middle… and the middle will see us through this. There really isn’t any other choice.

We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.