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Is Anyone There? Speculative Essays on the Known and Unknown

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  120 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
This essay collection contains: Matter over Mind; I Remember I Remember; The Hungry People; Blood Will Tell; The Chemical You; Survival of the Molecular Fittest; Enzymes and Metaphor; A Pinch of Life; Constructing a Man; The Flaming Element; Let There Be a New Light; The Ocean Mine; Our Evolving Atmosphere; The Atmosphere of the Moon; Man and the Sun; The Unused Stars; Mea ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 1st 1967 by Doubleday (first published 1956)
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King Ævil
Dec 24, 2007 King Ævil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short essays—fully 37 articles averaging merely eight pages each—is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in general science but fearful of long-winded, dry or overly technical writing. Asimov writes clearly and simply, engaging the reader with his expertise on practically any subject. Unlike most of his essay compilations, Is Anyone There? is not distilled from Asimov's column in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, but rather from various periodicals (in ...more
G. Branden
Starts off strong, then flags (progressively) after about the halfway mark.

Some of my impression may be due to personal bias in favor of Asimov essays wherein he explains scientific, mathematical, or historical fact; essays of this type comprise the first part of this collection ("Concerning the More or Less Known", about half of the book's total length).

All of the essays in this part are solid; they are divided into two sections, "Life", consisting of nine essays on mostly biochemical subjects,
...more
Jen Mays
Mar 20, 2013 Jen Mays rated it liked it
A collection of essays written by Asimov for an assortment of publications is compiled into this single volume, and span a writing period of about a decade, mid 1950s-60s. Sectioned into themes, the essays cover science from the inside out, starting with such topics as atoms and the biological makeup of a human being, and ending with speculation about where humanity is going beyond Earth. The book is at once both dated and timeless.

There were aspects of the book that were too technical for my br
...more
Marie
Aug 09, 2014 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of essays. There's some repetition and some dated science - which is part of the fun, really. I read a good handful of these when I was young and I find that:

1. Wow, Asimov was a letch. i mean, am I right? Every time he needs an example, his default joke is "for example, you could be trying to hold your best girl" "for example, a pretty girl could walk by." :P

2. I miss optimism in SF.

The science articles in the first two thirds of the book are very basic, suitable to a teen audience
...more
Robert
Jun 09, 2013 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My copy is so old it is browning and the most of the pages are held together by static. I reread it from time to time to remind myself what was anticipated so many years ago. It is refreshing to see how close his thoughts came to so much of what has actually transpired. While there are several areas where the book is off base, some areas are still valid for the future. This book was one of those that shaped my way of thinking growing up. It is like an old friend and every time I pick it up it re ...more
Ana
Apr 17, 2011 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es de los poco libros de ciencia que he tenido la oportunidad de leer, se enfoca mucho en el funcionamiento del cerebro humano, la mente y el comportamiento de las personas visto desde un punto de vista científico.
Todo el libro es MUY interesante, jamás llega a ser tedioso, más bien es sorprendente.
Matias
Oct 03, 2013 Matias rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy reading Asimovs essays on various topics, so this was really intresting for me. The chapters I enjoyed the most were "The Cult of Ignorance" and "The Sword of Aquilles", which surprised me because of the topics involved. ...more
Jim
Quite dated now, there are still some interesting points brought up. His writing is easy for a layman to understand.
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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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More about Isaac Asimov...

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