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The Ugly Little Boy (1991)

by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8251119,479 (3.76)16
Two of science fiction's brightest stars team up to re-create a classic tale of what happens when past and present collide. Asimov's story The Ugly Little Boy, first published in 1958, told of a 21st-century time-travel experiment in which a Neanderthal child is plucked out of time and transferred 40,000 years into the future. Now Asimov and Silverberg have expanded on the original tale.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

English (9)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Right from the beginning I knew this was going to be a book I was going to read more than once. It takes on intense subjects such as the morality of time travel and the awareness that one is growing old, with a light airy tone, and I dare say beautiful tact. Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg have done a wonderful job of creating a wonderfully refreshing strong, yet feminine woman. No one is right and no one is wrong, but depending on who the POV character is and how they are feeling, you get to see the good and bad side of everyone. This makes it feel so much more real.

There are few books that end in such a satisfying way that you just have to smile for a few moments after you read it (and it isn't the way you think it will end!!). This will be my new go to book when I am feeling down or sick. ( )
  ameliadefield | Jul 29, 2017 |
Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg write a wonderful tale of how the bond between a mother and son doesn't have to be by birth alone but by a woman's love and attention to a boy who was frightened and alone. Miss Fellowes is a woman who modern society considered an ugly spinster but a boy from the past shows that it's not what is outside but what is in the heart that makes someone beautiful. I loved the development of the relationship between Miss Fellowes and Skyfire Face (The Ugly Little Boy). One question though - does the ending change the future? ( )
1 vote mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
Silverberg did a good job of expanding Asimov's classic short story. The characters are much fleshed out, and the drama is important, not contrived. Maybe 3.5 stars really, though, compared to. the intense power of the original, as read in [b:Nine Tomorrows|1051969|Nine Tomorrows|Isaac Asimov|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328346942s/1051969.jpg|1065287]. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Stasis Technologies Ltd has perfected a way to reach back into time and bring forth objects for scientific study. Their most recent triumph was a baby dinosaur and now they’ve taken a Neanderthal child from the Ice-age to the 21st century. The nurse assigned to care for the child must somehow bridge a 40,000-year cultural gap. Initially shocked by the “ugly little boy,” Edith Fellows soon recognizes that he is really a frightened child, and slowly forms a deep emotional bond with Timmie.

Originally written as a short story in 1956, Robert Silverberg teamed with Asimov to expand the work into this novel format (released as The Child of Time). According to Wikipedia, Silverberg added the storyline of the Neanderthal tribe, and the child advocate subplot, both of which definitely do add to the basic plot. This also explains how I was reminded of Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear when reading about Silver Cloud, Goddess Woman, She Who Knows and the other members of the Neanderthal tribe from which Timmie was taken. (I started out wondering if Auel had borrowed from Asimov, but now think Silverberg wrote these sections after Auel’s publication).

I do wish I had a copy of the original story, however, so that I could see how Asimov wrote the ending. I had pretty much figured this would be what happened, but don’t know if it conforms to the original story or is a result of the added elements. Sort of the same conundrum faced by the characters when bringing the child into the future – are you altering the course of history?

I did like that the characters are portrayed as fully developed – having both good and bad qualities. Miss Fellowes is dedicated and truly devoted to Timmie, but also very judgmental and frequently fails to see clear signals of what is to come. Hoskins is not merely a profit-seeking CEO, but a family man who listens to Miss Fellowes arguments and tries his best to provide the child with a nurturing environment given the constraints of the Stasis bubble. Child advocate Bruce Mannheim is originally painted as a rabid rabble-rousing attention-seeking hysteric adept at media relations but turns out to be genuinely concerned and willing to help.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
NIL
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, IsaacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silverberg, RobertAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Scatasta, GinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spångberg, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
“E, solo nel buio vuoto degli alloggi dei marinai immersi nel sonno, egli sembrava più grande, un colosso, vecchissimo; vecchio come il Tempo stesso, che si fosse recato in quel luogo quieto come un sepolcro per contemplare con occhi pazienti la breve vittoria del sonno, il consolatore. Invece era solo un figlio del tempo, solitaria reliquia di una generazione consumata e dimenticata...”

JOSEPH CONRAD
Dedication
For Martin Harry Greenberg --- with a double measure of affection
First words
Snow had come in during the night, a fine dusting of it, thin as mist, traveling on the western wind.
Prologue:
Snow had come during the night, a fine dusting of it, thin as mist, travelling on the western wind.
Edith Fellowes smoothed her working smock as she always did before opening the elaborately locked door and stepping across the invisible dividing line between the is and the is not.
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This is the novel by Asimov and Robert Silverberg.
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Two of science fiction's brightest stars team up to re-create a classic tale of what happens when past and present collide. Asimov's story The Ugly Little Boy, first published in 1958, told of a 21st-century time-travel experiment in which a Neanderthal child is plucked out of time and transferred 40,000 years into the future. Now Asimov and Silverberg have expanded on the original tale.

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Book description
Edith Fellowes, the nurse of a Neanderthal ape-boy taken from a primordial past during an experiment in time travel, discovers that the scientists who brought the boy back have evil intentions.
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