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review 2018-11-11 17:28
2 Escudos: "NewTales of Space And Time" by Raymond J. Healy
New Tales of Space and Time - Ray Bradbury,Isaac Asimov,Anthony Boucher,A.E. van Vogt,Kris Neville,Reginald Bretnor,Cleve Cartmill,P. Schuyler Miller,Gerald Heard,Raymond J. Healy,Frank Fenton,Joseph Petracca

(Original Review, 1980-09-11)


I tend to think in too cynical channels, and some comments sort of swept me back to the days when I found a Pocketbook (that's the trademarked name, not the generic) called NEW TALES OF SPACE AND TIME on the racks in our local US Import bookshop, plunked down my 2 escudos, and got COMPLETELY blown away on SF.
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
 
 

 

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review 2018-08-31 00:15
Dua, Odeen, and Tritt: "The Gods Themselves" by Isaac Asimov
The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov

"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."

Friedrich Schiller



I admired it much more than I actually enjoyed it. Asimov's ideas are brilliant but his characters are somewhat bloodless and cardboard. Even when he tries to work against this it comes out all embarrassing. The third section on the moon is a pale imitation to Heinlein's 'Moon is a Harsh Mistress'. Given the timing on the publication that can't have been an accident.
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

 

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review 2018-08-29 17:31
Sextuple star system: "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg
Nightfall - Isaac Asimov,Robert Silverberg


"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!"

In "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg


The story, of course, being about how it doesn't quite work out like that.

When I think about “Nightfall”, Byron’s “Darkness” comes to mind, always:

"I had a dream, which was not all a dream,
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless; and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air.
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation: and all hearts
Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face...."

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-08-19 16:47
The Dead Hand: "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov
Foundation (Foundation Series #1) - Isaac Asimov


If I remember rightly, Asimov's robots do indeed find a cunning way around the three laws - they invent a Zero-th Law which states that "no robot can injure humanity or through inaction allow humanity to come to harm" which doesn't directly contradict the First Law, so their brains will accept it, but has the interesting effect in moral philosophical terms of turning them from Kantians to utilitarians. So rather than being guided by an absolute "thou shalt not kill" imperative they become able to kill or harm humans if and only if they have calculated it's for the greater good. Rather than becoming brutal overlords because of this (as the other laws still apply) they end up guiding the development of humanity quietly from the shadows, taking on a role not a billion kilometers from Ian M. Banks's AIs.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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