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The Stars In Their Courses

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The Stars in their Courses is a collection of seventeen scientific essays by Isaac Asimov. It is the eighth in a series of books collecting his essays from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (May 1969 to September 1970). Doubleday & Company first published the collection in 1971.
Published October 2nd 1975 by Panther (first published 1971)
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Simon Alterator
Nov 09, 2014 Simon Alterator rated it it was amazing
I'll admit it, I haven't read much Asimov. After reading The Last Question, I was totally blown away. After reading Foundation #1 I was super disappointed by both style and characters. So I came to The Stars in their Courses with some ambivalence and no expectations.

Had I read it in a different mood, I might have not liked it as much, but as it was I picked up Stars on a breezy Sunday afternoon and found it humbling, inspiring, interesting, fun and moving all at once. A wonderful light read that
Joe Martinez
Jan 15, 2016 Joe Martinez rated it really liked it
Genuinely interesting science and written in a way that is understandable. Its a must for the moon landing generation, although it might be a little dated.
Chance Spencer
I started to read this book right at the end of my freshman year of college and finished it up in the woods at my cabin where I lived when I worked as a park ranger. I have to say, this book exceeded my expectations by far. I really enjoyed Asimov's style and personality (even though he's kind of an asshole, but I find it funny) and even though this book was far outdated, Asimov really knew his stuff and taught me every topic he addressed from the ground up. He even changed my perspective of F = ...more
King Ævil
Jun 15, 2007 King Ævil rated it really liked it
Please see my review of X Stands for Unknown ([]) for general comments on Isaac Asimov's science essays.

The Stars in Their Courses anthologizes Isaac Asimov's science fact articles in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from May 1969 through September 1970. A recurring theme in this collection is the contrast between the process of legitimate scientific investigation and faith-based pseudoscience. This footnote, in the eponymous essay, particular
Jason Mills
Jul 21, 2014 Jason Mills rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Asimov fans, science buffs
This is a bunch of essays that Asimov groups under Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry and Sociology. Although he is keen to communicate science and dares to manipulate equations(!), there is nothing intimidatingly technical here and the tone is breezy and fun, judiciously sprinkled with a few comical anecdotes. Naturally at 40 years' remove the science is not cutting edge, but Asimov focuses as much on historical development as on the findings themselves anyway.

After shooting astrology in a barrel an
May 22, 2009 Fred rated it it was amazing
Asimov is the greatest author I've ever read at dumbing things down for the everyday man. He can explain medieval architecture, quantum mechanics or hypothetical faster-than-light travel in a way that makes sense to just about anyone. This collection of essays talks about the history of the naming of lunar craters, the history of the periodic table of elements, the disasters that may befall mankind if population controls are not implemented, and the lunacy of astrology.
May 05, 2009 Sara rated it it was ok
Interesting content, but Asimov comes across as completely full of himself and his own intelligence and as a result condescending to a reader who could not possibly have any reasonable knowledge or opinions. I find such a tone off-putting in the extreme and rather wish I had read some of his fiction first.
Feb 21, 2010 Raj rated it liked it
This is one of Asimov's many non-fiction popular science books, covering astronomy and physics in an amiable tone, yet still managing to derive Newton's laws of motions from first principles and easy for a layman to understand. My astronomy isn't particularly good so this helped cover some patches there, and getting a refresher course in Newtonian motion was nice as well.
Absolutely loved it. Since this book is decades old, I was worried it would feel out of date. Not at all the case, especially since it looked at science from a historical perspective.

Each chapter starts out with a little anecdote, which I loved. This is the first nonfiction of Asimov I've ever read and I absolutely plan to read more.
Jun 02, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
508 Science Essays - 17 columns from the May 1969 to September 1970 issues of The Magazine of Fantasy and Sci-Fi.
Apr 30, 2011 David rated it it was ok
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
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