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The Martian Way and Other Stories

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  4,241 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Still thinking like an earthling?

Get out of your rut, open your mind—there’s a whole universe waiting. It’s waiting for people who aren’t afraid of thinking in new ways, of doing new things.

Can you imagine…
…mining the skies for water?
…building a new world beneath the surface of a strange planet?
…making pets out of alien explorers?
…putting your life in the hands of a teen-a
176 pages
Published July 1969 by Fawcett Books (first published 1955)
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The Genevan Way, a short story inspired by Isaac Asimov and some real events

"Oh fuck!!" wailed Not. "Our shower has no hot water again!"

"Don't worry," I said, and quickly assembled an anti-gravity device out of some spare parts we'd just acquired from a CERN friend who was moving house. Pausing only to put on my ex-NASA space suit and pack a laptop, a fondue set, some Gruyère and a bag of stale bread, I blasted off in the direction of Jupiter.

The trip was going to take a good half hour, so I pas
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, classics
I can never read enough Asimov! I loved The Martian Way and the other stories were fun as well. This book has:

The Martian Way 5 stars
Youth 3 stars
The Deep 4 stars
Sucker Bait 3 stars

The Martian Way was about trying to get the colony on Mars independent from Earth. Instead of relying on water and other resources from Earth, they looked elsewhere for their resources like the Astroid Belt, the rings of Saturn, and a couple of the moons. Earth was on the brink of cutting off its water shipments bec
Paul Weiss
Still thinking like an earthling?

Since time immemorial, Mars has always figured largely in Earth's mythology. And ever since the prolific imaginations of the likes of HG Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs first put pen to paper beginning the development of modern sci-fi as a genre, Mars, Martians, travel to Mars and life on a hostile Mars have continued to be favourite topics. With The Martian Way and Other Stories, Isaac Asimov proudly continues this hallowed tradition with a series of four stories
The first story The Martian Way begs the unanswered question: what will happen to the rings of Saturn, its moons, and the planet itself as its ice rings are systematically cut away? Will its moons (especially Pandora and Prometheus, the shepherding moons whose gravitational forces are responsible for the confining, shaping, and gaps between the rings) break their orbit with Saturn to become dangerous planet-killer comets? To what degree will Saturn itself experience atmospheric or orbital change ...more
Manuel Alfonseca
ENGLISH: This collection of Asimov's stories and novellas contains 4 titles published in the fifties. The one I liked most was Sucker Bait, an interesting mystery story during space exploration, with a special and likable main character, Mark Annuncio. Another story, Youth, which seemed at first sight to be a standard story about contact with extraterrestrials, turned at the end to have a surprising twist, the same used by Richard Matheson in a chapter (The invaders) of the second series of The ...more
Brian Clegg
A collection of three novellas and a short story from one of the recognised masters of the 'golden age' of science fiction. These 1950s stories demonstrate well both why this period was given this title back then - the quality was far higher than, say, the 1920s and 30s - and also why that gold has tarnished in quite a big way since. By Asimov standards, the characters here are slightly more three dimensional than usual, but still from the stock cupboard, while women only feature as part of the ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's quite fashionable to put Asimov down these days, and I don't recommend this without reservation. One doesn't read Asimov for characterization (For me, the best character he ever created was the robot detective in the "Naked Sun" and "Caves of Steel" novels), prose style, or insight about women (it's a male world in these two novelettes and two short stories). But before 1970 he was good at fashioning concise, hard science, idea-driven fiction. These are all from the early 1950's. The lean p ...more
Dane Cobain
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains four different Isaac Asimov short stories, and as with any short story collection, some of them are better than others. The good news is that it starts off well with the titular story in which a Martian colony comes to realise that the water that they rely on from the Earth might not be as secure as they thought. In fact, they have to find an alternative source of water, and it even had a couple references to what Asimov called “the hot house effect”. He was including climate ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover
The title story is one of the first SF stories I ever read. It was anthologized in some 50's collection lent to me by a friend. I never forgot that story. I even retold it to my stepdaughter (6 years old at the time and is in her twenties now) during a relatively long car ride. She retold it as a factual story the next day at school... She has never forgiven me for that.

The other stories in this collection are first rate Asimov.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There's only 4 stories in this collection and I wasn't impressed by any of them. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone looking to check Asimov's short story work. ...more
Bill Fish
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice collection of short stories, all from the perspective of space. Only 1 of the stories seems to partially take place on Earth (in an airplane, so technically over the Earth). The Martian Way is a story about politicians on Earth refusing to provide water to the colonies on Mars because of a made up fear of Earth running out of water (despite the majority of the Earth comprising of water). Resonates today with politically made up "problems" to divide our country - for example the fear of immi ...more
Georgy Wilband
I love Asimov's writing. He is plain talking and his stories have a lovely twisty feel to them. I can imagine him grinning to himself as he writes them out. I wish I'd discovered my love for this author years ago but never too late - I've amassed a fair collection to keep me going via ebay and I think I will start with the Robot books next! This was a collection of short stories - hmmm which one did I like the most ? Weirdly I started with the second story - it drew me in and it was very very cl ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
Isaac Asimov is one of my favorite science fiction authors. Some of his novels and story collections I've ranked five stars as simply amazing. Not in style or characterizations--but in ideas. Asimov's style I'd call decent--workmanlike. It's well-crafted but you don't linger over the prose as this thing of beauty. Asimov can (rarely) pull at the heartstrings (try reading the short story "The Ugly Little Boy") and at times he can create, if not complex, then memorable characters. (Such as "the Mu ...more
Neville Ridley-smith
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, asimov, scifi
What's interesting about some of Asimov's stories is how current and real they sometimes feel.

Except for the fact there's no women and a few other anachronisms (eg devices with dials and gauges instead of screens), the last story, Sucker Bait could easily have been written yesterday. It's got good science, a mystery, it's set a long time in the future, and a nice resolution. It's also got great characterisation - the socially inept savant, the perceptive guy in charge of him, the scientists, som
Isaac Asimov was a master of the science-fiction short story. The Martian Way and Other Stories is a collection of four of them, all about life on other planets that make statements about human nature and our perceptions of reality. While they may not be his most famous tales, or even some of his better ones, they are still good and this collection is a worthwhile way to spend your time reading.

The titular piece, “The Martian Way”, tells the story of some astronauts from Mars, the main charact
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asimov, Isaac. The Martian Way. 1955. Signet, 1957.
This 1957 paperback with the iconic cover of astronauts spacewalking above the rings of Saturn is the first paperback science fiction book I remember purchasing off the rack in a local drugstore. Asimov has said he is proud of having introduced the idea of spacewalking into science fiction—and maybe even inspiring NASA. The title story, first published in 1952, is the one that stuck with me. An overpopulated earth is short of fresh water and it
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A far cry from my favorite Asimov writings, but still, and I shit you not, a steep distance ahead of most science fiction media in general. Asimov is just on another level by himself through his page turning, emotion inducing, and thought provoking storytelling.

The book has 4 short enjoyable easy stories, each of which has a drastically different mood, atmosphere and direction. But they're all very classic in essence since they were all written back in the golden era of Sci-fi; 50s and 60s.

I a
M00se Gurl
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first three short stories; the martian way, youth and the deep were very entertaining and thought churning. The endings to them seemed to hit you like the realization of backing away from a picture, seeing it in its entirety and it was almost an opposite of what you thought it was in the first place.

They gave a whole different angle to the story I had finished and surprisingly I was able to look at the whole telling in a new way. The last story, Smucker bait... Was a more lengthy story fill
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly I'm a bit disappointed. I liked the first short story, The Martian way but a deeper look at this and other stories annoyed me. There were too many sudden mcguffins or science out of the arse moments or attempts at parables about harm of science advancement or forgetting the past or overuse of something like nuclear power and so on. The pacing in many stories was a bit poor, with a good establishing shot (as it were) and then boom the end or you can see where the story is going too early ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though not quite as exotic as some of his other short story collections, Isaac Asimov's The Martian Way is still a fun and interesting read.

It has four stories, the titular one involving Mars colonists taking a big risk to secure water. Youth is about if extraterrestrials visit a planet, The Deep is arguably the most bizarre of the group and involves an underground civilisation, and finally Sucker Bait is a lengthy but interesting look at a expedition visiting a planet.

Asimov's combined talent
Jean Dupenloup
I am a gigantic Asimov nerd but I have to say this particular book was not my favorite.

The stories are all fine and well told, but I just couldn’t get into them the way I usually do. Not sure why.

Perhaps I am setting the bar a bit too high? After all, every single one of his 440 books cannot be of the same quality as I, Robot or the Foundation cycle.

Still, a worthy read from which I wouldn’t dissuade anyone.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved how they talked about earth clearly not understanding what is so beautiful about nature (how would they know? they only know space and empty planets) and loved what the character of Hilder can teach us (politics is too much about emotion, too less about facts and moving a lot of people works by showing them what to be frustrated about).
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s easy to forget just how innovative Asimov was. Yes The Martian Way is clearly dated in terms of gender roles but the ideas themselves are fascinating and the political play at the end still rings true today. Youth also has a wonderful twist to it and The Deep is one of the few stories I’ve read that tries to imagine a truly alien way of thinking.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometime in the future a human Martian colony struggles to cope with political changes on Earth. We follow the Scavengers, and then watch their world get turned upside down. Faced with the rise of a Trumpian politician on Earth, drastic action is required.
It is plain to see why Asimov is one of the greats.
Tom Howell
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The reading becomes a little stilted as it is divided into separate stories - I found myself drawing parallels or connections between the separate stories which may not have been there. Certainly an interesting and poignant assessment of humanity and human nature. Glimmers of hope mixed in with catastrophe.

A good choice if you're time constrained and need to be brought back down to earth.
Rakshith Kunchum
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-i-own
All of them are good and worth reading once. Not a must read for casual science fiction readers. Ardent asimov fans like me who earnestly crave for science fiction short stories that entices, will enjoy this book and shouldn't miss it. ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
These were really good. It's just that these are short stories (and naturally a bit more shallow) and cannot possibly be compared to the 4/5-star-books.
I'm definitely planning on reading more by Asimov.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
I thought this book was very nice. The first story was pretty fun, the second story surprised me at the end, the third story had a nice message at the end, and the last story poses an interesting thesis that pays off at the end. Overall I found this book very enjoyable.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Asimov, fun to read. It's a mix of short stories, some more thrilling than others and each has very different settings than others, but in general all good quality sci-fi. My favourite is Martian Way, but not by far. ...more
Alex Jory
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asimov's writing is timeless, still standing up to its modern day counterparts. Great little book, with thought provoking stories which could each be the basis of decent sci-fi film. ...more
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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 one of the most prolific writers 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 o

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