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The Best of Isaac Asimov

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,157 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Doubleday, 1974, hardcover. First published in Britain the previous year. STORIES: Marooned Off Vesta (1939); Nightfall (1941); The C-Chute (1951); The Martian Way (1952); The Deep (1952); The Fun They Had (1951); The Last Question (1956); The Dead Past (1956); The Dying Night (1956); Anniversary (1959); The Billiard Ball (1967); Mirror Image (1972).
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published 1974 by Doubleday & Company, Inc. (first published 1973)
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 ·  1,157 ratings  ·  85 reviews


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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Best of Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov

The Best of Isaac Asimov (Sphere, 1973) is a collection of twelve science fiction short stories by American writer Isaac Asimov.

Contents:
Introduction;
Marooned off Vesta (1939);
Nightfall (1941);
C-Chute (1951);
The Martian Way (1952);
The Deep (1952);
The Fun They Had (1951);
The Last Question (1956);
The Dead Past (1956);
The Dying Night (1956);
Anniversary (1959);
The Billiard Ball (1967);
and Mirror Image (1972).

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال1995میلادی

عنوان: بهت
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John Wiswell
I'm fairly certain this is the volume I read, but without a cover shot I cannot be sure. It contains most of the stories I recall in the collection I picked up. If you are curious, the stories contained in this volume are:

Marooned Off Vesta (1939)
Nightfall (1941)
C-Chute (1951)
The Martian Way (1952)
The Deep (1952)
The Fun They Had (1954)
The Last Question (1956)
The Dead Past (1956)
The Dying Night (1956)
Anniversary (1959)
The Billiard Ball (1967)
Mirror Image (1972)

This collection represent
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Melinda
Asimov at his best. I've always enjoyed his short stories tremendously, and this group shows a really nice span of topics and dates. ...more
Matthew
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this "best of" by Isaac Asimov. Being a huge sci-fi fan, I don't know why it took me so long to go back and read some classics of this awesome genre (I'm in my mid 30's and have been avidly reading sci-fi since middle school).

Since this is an anthology, I want to write a brief summary and review for each story. Also, I recommend reading Asimov's intro, which I found to be quite witty, especially concerning this anthology's title: "I suppose we ought really call the book, ‘The Pr
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Abraham Lewik
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fantasy
My favourite is, 'The Martian Way'. The best of the rest are; 'The Deep', 'The Billiard Ball', 'The Dying Night', 'Marooned Off Vesta' & 'Anniversary'. 'C-Shute' offers a more radical Alien. 'Nightfall' eschews a "real" alien, instead embiggening that sensation. ...more
Rohan
Apr 26, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
His reputation precedes him, and I'm glad I got to read the last story which included the three laws of robotics.

But, in another sense, it was at times boring. His imagination, scientific knowledge was so good that at times he was just describing boring realities today (e.g. the internet).

The futuristic parts were also too far away in the future.

I still think ender's Game series is better, as it has at the centre the human experience, which is much more relatable, whatever millenium it's set
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Sean Randall
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable collection. Plenty of material not new to me, but I hadn't come across the Billiard Ball before, which I really enjoyed, and this time The Deep resonated. Of course the Last Question and Nightfall are seminal, and ending on Mirror Image was a refreshing reminder. ...more
BadReetReviews
Feb 03, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars overall
3 ⭐ Marooned off Vesta
But not for long...but that inching across the sides of the broken spaceship was scary. I felt some vertigo while reading it.
2 ⭐ Nightfall
This is about a planet with 6 suns. All of the suns have set but one, and that one is about to be covered by an eclipse. The planet has a history of its civilization expanding until, every 2K years, this happens again, then the whole planet goes mad at the sight of millions of stars in their sky, and their civilization fa
...more
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Good representative sampling of Asimov's short form science fiction from the 1940s through the 1970s. "The Deep" is the dud of the collection, but the remaining eleven tales all have something to recommend them. ...more
John Carter
It’s Asimov and is therefore good. But it has aged sadly. Some stories are unsurprisingly timeless, such as “Nightfall”, but others suffer. In “Anniversary”—twenty years after the routine passenger flight to the asteroid belt featured in “Marooned off Vesta”—it’s worth remarking that one character has internet access: a typewriter for input and a feed for paper output. (One of the other characters is truly awed; he has never even seen an access terminal.) In “Mirror image”, set in a future so re ...more
Libby
The introduction to this 1974 collection of short stories perfectly encapsulates the writing contained in this book and they way in which they are told, being neatly and precisely written, intelligent, imaginative, fundamentally decent, self-assured, and self-aware. Asimov humorously suggest that the book should really be called "The Pretty Good and Pretty Representative Stories of Isaac Asimov," and relays a wealth of information on why each story was chosen for the collection and what he likes ...more
KJ
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a thrilling book. I wish I'd read this growing up. It's a series of facinating thought experiments which make you wonder how different life could've been. Because the characters are all chip-in-the-shoulder humans, what you have is an utterly believable account of panicked people in a fantastic situation. I can't wait to get back to it tonight :) ...more
Carla Remy
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never read Asimov before and am very impressed. The mix of real and/or incredibly well-thought-out science with character-driven thought-provoking stories is incredible. Maybe mind-blowing. ...more
Ned Summers
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly insightful author. Great display of the development of his style including some of the most famous stories.
Connor Mcintosh
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real corker. 12 short stories that just keep giving. Mac you will want to get in on this
Storm
Dec 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of 12 of Asimov's best science fiction short stories, with links to detailed reviews.

Introduction - 4⭐ - Asimov honestly says the dozen stories were chosen in such a way as to span a third of a century of writing, with two early samples, two late samples, and eight from the gold decade (for him) of the Fifties, which he and the editor both liked. They're representative, but that won't sell so it's "Best of".

🚀🪨💦 Marooned off Vesta - 3⭐ - Asimov's first published story about how 3 sur
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Elmer Foster
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-books
What an introduction to Isaac Asimov albeit 50+ years after the fact! And in some of the stories, it shows greater than others. However, at their core, these are solidly told Sci-Fi tales.

Highly enjoyed the thought provoking - The Last Question (1956) (5/5).

And these were the more favored readings:
- The Martian Way (1952) (4/5) was intriguing as an evolutionary tale.
- The Deep (1952) (4/5) and the - The Dead Past (1956) (4/5) felt like they belong with the Black Mirror franchise.
- The Fun They
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Vincent
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
complete peace in the middle of a beauty-drenched universe


I once read, somewhere, that the movie Tremors is the prime example of a movie that does not waste any scenes, minutes, or words. Every moment builds the story and no dialogue feels wasted.

This is how I feel about each of these Asimov short stories. I picked up this book hoping to enjoy some sci-fi, and I did, but what I really enjoyed most was the writing itself. Check out the first few sentences of The Dying Night:


It was almost a

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Andrew
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of Asimov's short stories, with a brief introduction in the beginning by Asimov himself detailing some autobiographical notes.

Asimov of course is a seminal figure in science fiction, and his impact on the field continues to impact how we conceive of the genre today. That said, most of the stories, in my opinion, did not age well. Black Mirror and other contemporary sci-fi works, though morbidly dystopian compared to the optimistic Asimov, are much more gripping and thought-provokin
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Elsbeth Magilton
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection starts in his early(ish) life as an author, the first story being published in 1939 and spanning some work through the 1970s. I hadn’t read any of these before. In particular, in the early works, it was notable that the only female characters were wives, whereas in some of his later novels characters like Susan Calvin were instrumental. That said his creativity, clever but simple wit, and mastery of the human condition shines through. True “before it’s time” classic science ficti ...more
Zack Hester
The Best of Isaac Asimov (_/5)
Rated (_/5)

• Marooned off Vesta (1939) (3/5)
• Nightfall (1941) -
• C-Chute (1951) (3/5)
• The Martian Way (1952) (3/5)
• The Deep (1952) (2/5)
• The Fun They Had (1951) (4/5)
• The Last Question (1956) (4/5)
• The Dead Past (1956) (3/5)
• The Dying Night (1956)
• Anniversary (1959) (3/5)
• The Billiard Ball (1967) -
• Mirror Image (1972) (2/5)

( - ) previously read, skipped in this collection.

A good representation of Asimov's over a 30 year period.
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James Miller
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book includes some cracking tales as one might expect given the title. Night falls is very good and I liked the Martian Way. I feel Asimov had a keen eye for human psychology and these stories have loss, guilt, manipulation, courage and more; the sci-fi is oftenmerely a vehicle.
Franks V.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Doubleday, 1974, hardcover. First published in Britain the previous year. STORIES: Marooned Off Vesta (1939); Nightfall (1941); The C-Chute (1951); The Martian Way (1952); The Deep (1952); The Fun They Had (1951); The Last Question (1956); The Dead Past (1956); The Dying Night (1956); Anniversary (1959); The Billiard Ball (1967); Mirror Image (1972).


**

Tommy Tang
A little bit boring.

Not for you if need characters and prose; plot is bare and clear to the point of just feeling like a permutation of some stuff spat out by an rng.

But mildly interesting facts if you're really into hard sci-fi, but idgi, just read a paper instead lol.
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Gr1972
5 out of 5
Bob Box
Read in 1975. Sci fi legend's short stories and essays. ...more
Holly Dolezalek
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They're not as good as I remembered but they're still good. ...more
Joe
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And there was light --
Stephen Burridge
Oct 02, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, short-fiction
Some very good stories, others not so good. Many quite dated in different ways. “Historical” importance bumped my rating up from 3 to 4 stars.
Kasey Jane
My mom first checked this out of the library for me when I was fifteen. A few of the stories -- The Deep, The Dead Past, and The Last Question -- have stuck with me over the years, and so I revisted that library to read it again (they'd gotten rid of the book, sadly).

This is a great collection of classic, unusual science fiction by the master.

Stories
(view spoiler)
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22,762 followers
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
...more

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