HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Pebble in the Sky (1950)

by Isaac Asimov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Galactic Empire (3), Foundation Expanded Universe (8)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,133493,191 (3.63)55
One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in 1949 Chicago. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil--so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of sixty. Joseph Schwartz is sixty-two.… (more)
  1. 10
    Foundation by Isaac Asimov (br77rino)
    br77rino: Pebble in the Sky is the first book Asimov wrote regarding the Galactic Empire, a subject he used in his later masterpiece trilogy, Foundation.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 55 mentions

English (43)  French (3)  Norwegian (1)  Slovak (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Pebble in the Sky
Author: [a:Isaac Asimov|16667|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1341965730p2/16667.jpg]
Publisher: Tor Books
256 pages
Science Fiction

Joseph Schwartz, retired tailor, is walking in Chicago in 1949. Suddenly, mid-stride, he finds himself thousands of years in the future. The Universe is much different. Earth, and its inhabitants, are despised. The Galactic Empire views Earth as a radioactive wasteland, populated with a sub-species of human. The Empire wants to stop any belief that the human race began on Earth, and they want Earthlings controlled and limited to their own planet. Some Earthlings, however, are plotting to take their revenge for years of discrimination and abuse at the hands of the Empire, with a plan that could potentially wipe out most of humanity across the universe. Can an Archeologist from Sirius, an Earthling scientist and his daughter, and a man from 1949 foil the plot before it's too late?

I enjoyed this story immensely! This was Asimov's first published book. He wrote it in 1947 for publication in a magazine. When that fell through, he added to the story and it was published as a book in 1950. It was easy to pinpoint this story as coming from that post World War II era because Asimov's story discusses nuclear weapons, radioactivity and its effect on the planet and humanity. Through his writing, Asimov was questioning the use of nuclear weaponry, not only because of the devastation and loss of life, but because its full, lasting effect on the environment was not fully known.

The story is more than just a diatribe about nuclear ethics. It is a statement about human nature. Even when human kind has evolved fundamentally and spread throughout the universe, humanity is still held back by its basic nature -- racism, violence, and greed.

I found this story a bit more simplistic than other Asimov works that I have read. This being his first book, I think his writing gained complexity through the years.

Pebble in the Sky is actually book #3 of the Galactic Empire Series. Asimov wrote it first, but later wrote two other books giving more of the history and background of the Empire. I definitely want to read the other two books now!

My Rating: 9/10
Ages 16 ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
This is one of those Asimov novels that I am less familiar with, not having read this for almost 30 years, unlike the Foundation and robot novels I have read multiple times. This one is set in the early centuries of the Galactic Empire, whose final end many millennia later is the backdrop for the Foundation novels. The characters are less memorable than in most of the other novels, and the central theme is the mutual suspicion and bigotry between Earth and the rest of the Galactic Empire that has obvious racial parallels both for when this novel was written in the late 1940s and the present day. The controversial idea that Earth was the original home planet of the human race that features here is also explored in other Asimov novels. Not one of his greatest, but still a good read. ( )
  john257hopper | Jan 21, 2020 |
Asimov's FIRST novel - though he'd been writing many stories, some stitched later into books (eg. the Foundation trilogy).

I enjoyed this a lot - like the other Galactic Empire books, there are some creaky bits. (Let's just say romance isn't his forte). I appreciate a far-flung future with newspapers still around! Even with comics and sport sections.

The idea of Earth as an almost mythical place, forgotten as the birthplace of humanity seems to be one of the most interesting ideas in this series (as well as the Foundation). Troubling too is that Earth, while still inhabited has glowing regions of high radioactivity - presumably from past wars.
( )
  mrklingon | Dec 3, 2019 |
Classic science fiction from back in the Golden Age. The technology is very dated now, but still a good story. If you are familiar with Foundation or the Robot books, this may seem a little odd, as there are hints and echoes of what will come later, as this was written first. If you haven't read the others, this is a good example of his style, but by far from his best work. ( )
1 vote Karlstar | Nov 15, 2019 |
Quite an enjoyable read. I wouldn't have guessed this was his first novel - it's much stronger than The Stars, Like Dust (his second). The female characters are still very flat, though.

Now I can start the Foundation books! o/ ( )
  tronella | Jun 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, Isaacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fass, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Two minutes before he disappeared forever from the face of the Earth he knew, Joseph Schwartz strolled along the pleasant streets of suburban Chicago quoting Browning to himself.
Quotations
Not exactly... It had been *something* like a touch, but not anywhere on his body. It was in his mind...
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in 1949 Chicago. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil--so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of sixty. Joseph Schwartz is sixty-two.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.63)
0.5
1 7
1.5 3
2 35
2.5 9
3 159
3.5 47
4 201
4.5 10
5 86

GenreThing

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 160,254,235 books! | Top bar: Always visible