Getting introduced to Isaac Asimov

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 🙂

http://www.uni.edu/morgans/astro/course/nightfall.pdf – Nightfall.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31547/31547-h/31547-h.htm – Youth.

Have fun and make a lovely lovely week, you folks! 🙂

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30 comments

  1. Bikramjit Singh Mann · October 8, 2012

    downloaded the pdf and bookmarked the other one.. Thanks will make sure to read them as soon

    • kismitoffeebar · October 8, 2012

      Ooooh that was fast Bikram! 🙂 Hope you enjoy them!

  2. Destination Infinity · October 8, 2012

    I like science fiction, but now I am not reading any fiction! I will definitely remember the authors name. In case I start to read fiction once again, I will definitely read these books. BTW, the author’s name seems like a Russian name, no? For some reason, I like the storyline of the first book… I mean, just the outline.

    Destination Infinity

    • kismitoffeebar · October 9, 2012

      Ya, his name does sound Russian because he was born in Russia as Isaak Yudovich Ozimov (Thanks Wiki!)
      Yeah, I liked the first story as well 🙂

  3. Amit · October 8, 2012

    I have seen I, Robot and loved it. I knew the guy who wrote it was well ahead of his times. I love science fiction too. I am reading ‘Rendezvous with Rama’ right now and it is amazing. Give it a try.

    • kismitoffeebar · October 9, 2012

      I really want to watch I, Robot. It is one of his best works reportedly.
      “Rendezvous with Rama” sounds tempting – I will definitely give it a try 🙂 Thanks Amit!

  4. The Girl Next Door · October 8, 2012

    Both the books sound very interesting! I haven’t tried any sci-fi books yet, and haven’t read anything by Asimov. I think I will give one of these books a try sometime!

    • kismitoffeebar · October 9, 2012

      I think you may liek the experience TGND. Go ahead and give it a try! 🙂

  5. greenboochi · October 8, 2012

    Sounds interesting Kismi!! I am going to come back to this post, when my works gets really boring 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 9, 2012

      hehe you do that Gb 🙂 You may liek sci-fi. worth a try 🙂

  6. Titaxy · October 8, 2012

    Never read the author before, but I have heard about his works plenty. Thanks for the post and the links, will read soon 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 9, 2012

      Awesome Titaxy! Look forward to knowing how you liked it 🙂

  7. anisnest · October 8, 2012

    thanks for the links. will try to read them soon.. 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 9, 2012

      My pleasure Ani! 🙂 Hope you enjoy them. Do tell me how it goes!

  8. Lifesong · October 9, 2012

    Haven’t read Asimov… but would love to read him sometime. I used to read science fiction… have read a few books by Arthur C Clark on space travels and enjoyed them 🙂
    Thanks for the links 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 10, 2012

      You a sci-fi fan too! Awesome 🙂 I haven’t read Clarke but yes, Amit recommended “Rendezvous with Rama”. That’s by him if am not wrong, right?
      You are most welcome dearie!

  9. Dew · October 9, 2012

    I did read Asimov and found his writing to be quite interesting. Not a major fan of sci-fi.. though Asimov had managed to get me hooked to the book..through his sheer writing style!

  10. Visha · October 9, 2012

    I love sci-fi movies, not the books. But since you have provided a mafat ka link, I can always give a try :mrgreen:

    I am tired of pinging you and GB, did I grow an extra pair of eyes that both of you dont talk to me 😥 😥 😥

    • kismitoffeebar · October 10, 2012

      hehe try it Visha! You may like it 🙂
      I am not online and haven’t been able to respond to any mails. Sorry really. If you grow dzens of extra pairs of anything and everything, we will still talk to you (out of fear?) 😛

      • Visha · October 10, 2012

        kudos, you brave enough to talk to a monster, wah wah 😆

  11. Spirit · October 9, 2012

    Thank you so much for the mention and the link back Kismi. It’s really kind (and sweet) of you :-). Am in office and grinning like an idiot from ear to ear, after seeing this. Am sure my colleagues think I have gone crazy!

    Nightfall looks really interesting, and am definitely gonna check it out one of these days. Thanks.
    Also, have just downloaded Asimov’s Foundation series,…which I am sure will be amazing. Will post a review once completed :-).

    • kismitoffeebar · October 10, 2012

      I was wondering who Spirit is 😛 You are most welcome. Thank you for introducing such a good writer 🙂
      Foundation series sounds good. need to find somethign Android or Mac friendly 🙂

  12. pixie · October 9, 2012

    I was such a huge fan of Asimov when I was a kid!!! Heh!! Used to read him and the Doctor Who series quite a lot!! A lot of evenings as a teenager were spent reading science fiction!!
    Thank you for the 2 links! It will be fun reading Asimov again 🙂 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 10, 2012

      Ah, that’s cool Pixie! 🙂 I am happy I got to know of him atleast now. You a sci-fi fan too – yay!
      Have fun reading them 🙂

  13. Roshni · October 10, 2012

    And, if you want to read science non-fiction, I highly recommend Feynman!! Try, Surely you’re joking, Mr Feynman!

    • kismitoffeebar · October 10, 2012

      Thanks Roshni! Yes, I have heard of Feynman and this book as well. soon soon ! 🙂 Thankee!

  14. techie2mom · October 10, 2012

    Hey Thanks for sharing the link Toffee 🙂
    I had to finish reading it once i started. And after youth, i went for nightfall 🙂
    Liked them both….

    • kismitoffeebar · October 10, 2012

      Heeeeeeeeey 🙂
      Thankee so much! Yay! I am so so happy you read them and liked them! 🙂

  15. Twistys Treat Month · October 14, 2012

    My friend sent me here and I’m thankful! I will definitely favorite it and come back!

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