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Earth Is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov

Earth Is Room Enough (original 1957; edition 1981)

by Isaac Asimov

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1,164126,969 (3.64)13
Title:Earth Is Room Enough
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:Fawcett (1981), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Earth is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov (1957)

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    Zima Blue and Other Stories by Alastair Reynolds (mackviking)
    mackviking: these book explore little imagined conrers of human interactions while cracking the nutshell of our basic collective thinking to expose meaty substrate of our beliefs

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nice collection of short stories, some better than others and many dated technologically (punch cards with super powerful multivac etc). Asimov gets quickly to the point with an interesting premise and conclusion without a lot of wasted time and develops the stories with just the right amount of flesh. ( )
  bzbooks | Jan 4, 2017 |
There's a peculiar charm to Golden Age SF, perhaps especially in its short stories. This collection is a prime example. On the one hand, the details are hopelessly antique; nobody in 2011 can possibly consider the technology or science realistic. The themes and ideas, though... those have a bizarre, almost eerie resonance.

For example, "The Fun They Had" treats electronic books as the norm, a simple fact of life accessible to any child...something we're still struggling with over fifty years later. Aside from its anachronistic Multivac, though, "The Franchise" could have been written last month as a commentary on modern political campaigns.

There's a lot of good fiction being written now, but sometimes there's just no substitute for the old masters. ( )
  RevBobMIB | Oct 21, 2015 |
When I was young I enjoyed Asimov's stories a lot. I almost always found them smart and clever. His later work didn't thrill me and I suppose I outgrew him also. He was an incredibly prolific author and there are a lot of stories I have never read. This collection published in 1957 is one of them.

There are a lot of stories in this collection:

7 • The Dead Past • (1956) • novelette
55 • The Foundation of S.F. Success • (1954) • poem
57 • Franchise • (1955) • shortstory
75 • Gimmicks Three • (1956) • shortstory
83 • Kid Stuff • (1953) • shortstory
97 • The Watery Place • (1956) • shortstory
103 • Living Space • (1956) • shortstory
119 • The Message • (1956) • shortstory
121 • Satisfaction Guaranteed • (1951) • shortstory
137 • Hell-Fire • (1956) • shortstory (variant of Hell Fire)
139 • The Last Trump • (1955) • shortstory
157 • The Fun They Had • (1951) • shortstory
161 • Jokester • (1956) • shortstory
175 • The Immortal Bard • (1954) • shortstory
179 • Someday • (1956) • shortstory
189 • The Author's Ordeal • (1957) • poem
193 • Dreaming Is a Private Thing • (1955) • shortstory

These science fiction stories are all set on earth. That is where the title comes from. The subtitle of the book is "Science Fiction Tales of Our Own Planet." The 15 stories and 2 poems were first published in a wide variety of science fiction magazines primarily in 1956, with the earliest from 1951 as can be seen in the dates listed above. This is an OK collection of stories that I enjoyed reading, although they really feel dated. On the downside here, Asimov's humor always fell flat, very flat, with me.

There are only a couple stories that I can say I really enjoyed. My favorite stories here start with the first one, "The Dead Past." I've read this a long time before (I even have the 1956 magazine copy of Astounding in which it first appeared) but that didn't spoil my enjoyment. An older professor of ancient history wants access to a time viewer and super-computer to further his research on Carthage. That is how it starts but it rather quickly runs away from that. The story was set in what is our present. The technology here is way off the mark but the political and social ramifications are spot on. This was the longest story by far. Other favorites here were "Living Space," and "Satisfaction Guaranteed." There are several stories I'd call clunkers, but passable, and the two poems ... blah.

I would only recommend this collection to Asimov fans and those who enjoy old-time science fiction stories. ( )
  RBeffa | Dec 19, 2013 |
I sometimes joke that Isaac Asimov is my intellectual father: although that's not that far from the truth. His essays, pro-reason and pro-science, had a huge influence upon me growing up. He's probably best known for his science fiction novels, but I think his best fiction by far is to be found in his short stories. There are 15 short stories here in this 1957 anthology. Below I name my three favorites:

1) "The Dead Past" - This is my favorite Asimov story, not just of the collection, but of any I've read. It might very well have been the first Asimov, maybe even the first work of science fiction, I ever read, and it's amazing, because it forever shifted my perception of the meaning of time. And more than that, it's psychologically penetrating and emotionally moving in ways Asimov rarely managed.

2) "The Fun They Had" - The irony in this light-hearted story of computer-schooled children is smile-worthy. One of Asimov's most anthologized stories.

3) "Dreaming is a Private Thing" - This is something of an allegory for creative writing in general, but it's one story that really stayed with me, that I recognized just from the title, and even had imagery so vivid and memorable I immediately recognized it.

I'd probably recommend Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, Volume One as an introduction to Asimov's fiction over this one--that book includes the content of Earth is Enough but this book is definitely full of memorable classics. Some details in the stories are dated, certainly, especially in social matters. Asimov considered himself a feminist and he created one of the most brilliant female characters in science fiction in robotologist Susan Calvin (featured in "Satisfaction Guaranteed"). But in these stories that men make all the important decisions, both at work and home, is taken for granted. Central planning--done by computers, of course--is also taken for granted as the wave of the future. But what struck me nevertheless is how well these stories held up, and how memorable they are. With many here I only had to see the title to remember the story--even though it had been decades. With others it didn't take many pages for them to come back to me. The ideas are clever, the twists unforgettable. ( )
4 vote LisaMaria_C | Oct 24, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Affonso BlacheyreeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blanco, FranciscoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutsch, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Those Admirable and Amiable Gentlemen Who
First Occasioned the Publication of These Stories:
Anthony Boucher...Howard Browne...John
Campbell...Horace Gold...Robert Lowndes...
Leo Margulies...Ray Palmer...James Quinn...
Larry Shaw...Russ Winterbotham
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Arnold Potterley, Ph.D., was a Professor of Ancient History. (The Dead Past)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
'Here are fifteen of Isaac Asimov's expertely contrived science-fiction stories. They vary from an absorbing tale of the frightening possibilities of a machine that views the past to a chilling viginette about the first superslowmotion film of an atomic explosion during which the unmistakable outline of - But just what appeared in the musrhoom cloud is part of the story.
Between these extremes is a wealth of imaginative, humorous, wryly philosophic tales of uncommon interest, gripping to read but not soon forgetten. This book differs from other ones of science-fiction because all of its stories have settings right here on Earth.
Each story contains the ingedient that is vital to great science-fiction tales--impeccableset of scientific facts which only a distinguished, real-life biochemist like Isaac Asimov would have.'

by Isaac Aimov
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Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. They had been best friends since they were six, spending hot Minneapolis summers and cold Minneapolis winters together, dreaming of Hogwarts and Oz, superheroes and baseball. Now that they were eleven, it was weird for a boy and a girl to be best friends. But they couldn't help it--Hazel and Jack fit, in that way you only read about in books. And they didn't fit anywhere else. And then, one day, Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to friends at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out she was right. Jack's heart had been frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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