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The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov

The Stars, Like Dust (1951)

by Isaac Asimov

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2,735463,239 (3.52)44
  1. 10
    The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (themulhern)
    themulhern: These books have much the same sort of plot and style, although very different settings.

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English (40)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Slovak (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (46)
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After narrowly escaping a radiation bomb planted in his dorm room on Earth, Biron Farrill is confronted with news of his father’s arrest and possible execution by the Tyranni, alien conquerors of the Nebular Kingdoms. Farrell’s father, the famous and respected Rancher of Widemos, was believed to be involved in plotting an insurrection against the Tyranni.

According to Farrill’s enigmatic acquaintance, Sander Jonti, the arrest of Farrill’s father was arranged by Hinrik V, Director of Rhodia and obsequious servant to the Tyranni. Jonti convinces Farrill to leave Earth and travel to Rhodia to seek an audience with Hinrik. He even provides Farrill with a letter of introduction, having previously worked for the Director.

Although traveling incognito, Biron is arrested and questioned aboard ship by the Tyranni Commissioner, Simok Aratap. From the commissioner, Farrill learns that his father has been executed for treason, yet he maintains his assumed identity of Biron Malaine and feigns ignorance about the Rancher of Widemos. Aratap releases Farrill but keeps him under surveillance.

On Rhodia, Hinrik orders Farrill imprisoned and contacts Aratap. Farrill quickly escapes, aided by Hinrik’s daughter, the lovely Artemisia, and his cousin, a dilettante named Gillbret. Both despise the Tyranni and yearn to leave Rhodia. After the trio steals Aratap’s ship, Gillbret regales Biron and Artemisia with a story about a mysterious “rebellion world” where ships and men were being assembled to overthrow the Tyranni. Although Gillbret is uncertain of the planet’s exact location, there is one man who might know, the Autarch of Lingane.

Upon arrival on Lingane, Biron strikes an uneasy alliance with the Autarch and together, they embark on an expedition into the Horsehead Nebula in search of the “rebellion world.”

The Stars, Like Dust is a fine interstellar adventure that moves at a steady pace but—as with many classic SF novels—lacks much in the way of character development. Despite a few clichéd, predictable plot points and occasional melodramatic dialogue, there are one or two unexpected twists that successfully fuel story tension. ( )
  pgiunta | Mar 2, 2019 |
typisch een jaren 50 verhaal. Geen echte spanning en weinig science fiction. Vooral het einde viel tegen. ( )
  EdwinKort | Jul 4, 2018 |
Not quite as good as any of the books in the Robots series, you can tell Asimov would greatly improve his craft as he got older. It definitely feels dated in a way, but the book was written about 68 years ago so you can hardly fault Asimov. However, saying all that, this is terrific space pulp fun. A breezy length, great action and feels VERY Star Wars...but 25 years prior to, so I'm sure Lucas or somebody that inspired Lucas was inspired by this. Feels very classic sci-fi, with a terrific ending! ( )
  hskey | May 16, 2018 |
Pretty bad melodrama with such a cheesy ending that I briefly thought of abandoning my trek through Asimov's Foundation universe. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
The Stars, Like Dust is not one of Dr. Asimov's classics that I read in my youth. I'm not sure what I would have thought of it then. It was written in 1951, before my parents had even met. I'm a 62-year-old woman who has long since lost patience with the depiction of women before Women's Liberation. Biron Farril's attitude toward Artemisia Hinrik, especially the parts about controlling her and wanting to hold her shoulders hard enough to bruise them, made me angry. What a jerk! (I found myself thinking of female characters written by modern SF authoresses when Artemisia was on the scene. I'd like to see Biron try to control young Cordelia Naismith, for example.)

The rest of the book was more or less okay, but the cynical mystery reader in me found the rebels' inability to think of something so basic that undid them was also difficult to bear. The action and intrigue were fun.

As for the mysterious document, I admit that I didn't select the right candidate until shortly before the big revelation. I'm not as impressed with it as the leader of the rebellion is, but I know more about its flaws.

I liked Stephen Thorne's narration very much. I think it enhanced my enjoyment of the book. It's not a great example of Dr. Asimov's work, but it's still entertaining. ( )
2 vote JalenV | Dec 17, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, Isaacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blackstone Audio, Inc.Publishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The bedroom murmured to itself gently.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon description; Biron Farrell was young and naïve, but he was growing up fast. A radiation bomb planted in his dorm room changed him from an innocent student at the University of Earth to a marked man, fleeing desperately from an unknown assassin.

He soon discovers that, many light-years away, his father, the highly respected Rancher of Widemos, has been murdered. Stunned, grief-stricken, and outraged, Biron is determined to uncover the reasons behind his father’s death, and becomes entangled in an intricate saga of rebellion, political intrigue, and espionage.

The mystery takes him deep into space where he finds himself in a relentless struggle with the power-mad despots of Tyrann. Now it is not just a case of life or death for Biron, but a question of freedom for the galaxy….
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Vintage Asimov, from the Empire series, now in a new trade paperback edition. PUBLISHER ANNOTATION, c2009.

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