As always, Isaac Asimov's stories take the reader to a variety of places, times, perspectives and situations. There were so many thought provoking stoAs always, Isaac Asimov's stories take the reader to a variety of places, times, perspectives and situations. There were so many thought provoking stories in this collection that I feel like I should immediately read it again to fully appreciate them. Unfortunately, I have library books to finish up and return that I completely neglected once I started this collection - so rereading will have to wait for another day.
Asimov deals with many themes, but most of the stories were along the same theme - (there were a few odd ones out) our relationship as humans with machines and other intelligent life and the many paths we may go as we get more advanced. Surprisingly prophetic in many of his stories as to technology and attitudes. Other stories deal with human civilization at a more advanced state and alternately inspire hope and fear for the future. I'm always surprised at how none of his characters are supermen - they're everyday people with their own set of problems and while they may exceed at one field or another, they are thankfully, never perfect people.
Some of Asimov's societies do seem quite perfect at first - as if civilization as a whole has everything figured out - in one story human beings have even transitioned from the physical world into simple consciousness and thus defeated death, yet it never turns out that life is perfect and not everyone is always satisfied. Asimov often takes you into a world that promotes progress, while nostalgic about the better parts of earlier days.
Still, on the opposite side of the spectrum Isaac Asimov writes terrible dialogue. I've read a lot of his work and he always has, but his concepts and scenes are so fascinating that you really have to stop and take notice to be bothered too much by the dialogue....more
I've always been a fan of Heinlein - but until now I'd never read any of his short stories. To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy them, asI've always been a fan of Heinlein - but until now I'd never read any of his short stories. To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy them, as I couldn't imagine Heinlein's genius being quite as powerful in short stories as in his novels. While it's true that the majority of these stories didn't delve as much into philosophical issues as his novels - they were still fantastic. Each one had it's own little moral, some are quite obvious and others left up to the reader to muse on. It's hard to do an in depth review on a bunch of short stories, but Magic Inc. (like many of the other stories) was engaging, enjoyable and very tongue in cheek. ...more