The last week’s train journeys have been so so short and packed with action and I have Isaac Asimov to thank for. I am so thankful I got to know of him and read his works because I totally enjoy science fiction and reading his books made me realize all over again how much I enjoy them!
If there is one person I must thank it is Sri, who blogs on myriad topics under the sun in a very engaging manner. Thanks so much Sri! When I read his wonderful review on one of Asimov’s works in his blog here, I knew I wanted to pick this up and give it a try. It becomes all the more tempting when e-books are available. So if you saw someone with her head totally inside her tablet, it was me!
First for some wiki-bites. Isaac Asimov (1920 -1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. Considered one of the most prolific writers of all time (A big YES to that!), he has written an amazing number of articles, short stories, post cards and letters. I am not even going to mention the various accomplishments because my blog would then become another wikipedia.
So, I read two books or rather, stories by Asimov. Though they are separate books, they are really short, around 20 odd pages and it’s an amazing feeling to read them and re-read some parts.
First, I picked up Youth because that was the review I read first. And I really liked it! apparently, it is not one of Asimov’s best works but I really did like it. I was not familiar with Asimov’s twists in the climax and so the last line of the book was a total shocker! It is the story of two boys Slim and Red who want to make it to the circus (Red more than Slim). Slim‘s father is an astronomer who is visiting the industrialist father of Red on some important business. Red has found a way to make it to the circus by capturing some strange animals. At the same time, both the fathers are awaiting the arrival of aliens with whom they wish to open-up trade. It doesn’t take much to know that the boys have captured the aliens. Do the parents find out? Were the aliens powerless or did they deliberately choose not to harm the boys?
These are easy questions. But the last line is the total shocker! I am so scared to type this because I am writhing in stomach ache without being able to give out the secret.
The next one I picked up is Nightfall. I liked this one too!
The plot centres around Lagash, a fictional planet with 6 suns though they name only alpha, beta, gamma and delta. It can be inferred that this planet survives in total light throughout. The story is written in the conversational style between Theremon 762 (a reporter) and a group of scientists from Saro university – Sheerin 501 ( a psychologist), Beenay 25 (an astronomer) and Aton ( holds a senior position in the University). I love their names !
The scientists have discovered that the civilization collapses in a cyclical manner once every 2000 years or so. Their research focusses on what is causing this anomaly and how to prevent the collapse. They believe that it is the darkness that traumatizes the people and results in destruction.
However, there is another group called Cult that believes that darkness will result in the appearance of the stars that will inturn cause men to go mad and result in fires and self-destruction.
At the time of the story, Beta, the last sun is in the process of being eclipsed. Will the planet experience darkness and get destroyed? Or will the stars wreak havoc? What will happen to the inhabitants? Who is right?
I will not assure you that you will find an answer to all your questions. But, I had a great experience trying to see it as a metaphor for many ongoing events. I had this vague feeling that probably somethings were mentioned to indirectly hint at ongoing events or events that will happen in the future. That’s just me.
If you enjoy sci-fi, please try these. If you don’t still go ahead and see if you have a predilection for it. The e-friendly versions for Android and Mac are available as well. Go on and treat your tablets to some super sci-fi!
Leaving you with the e-books for the above two books, for your reading pleasure 🙂
Have fun and make a lovely lovely week, you folks! 🙂