Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Choice of Catastrophes” as Want to Read:
A Choice of Catastrophes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Choice of Catastrophes

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  244 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Scientist, author, and Earth-dweller, explores the many potential natural and man-made catastrophes that could change life as we know it, or erase us from the face of the Earth. Natural properties and laws might change at any time, rendering life on this planet--or anywhere in the universe--impossible. But the disasters that are most imminent are in our power to control--t ...more
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published November 17th 1979 by Simon & Schuster (Riverside, NJ) (first published November 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Choice of Catastrophes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Choice of Catastrophes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Florin Constantinescu
Story breakdown

- Isaac Asimov - The Last Trump (short story): 3*
Archangel Gabriel blows his trumpet and it's Dies Irae! All the dead come back to life, and it's quite an interesting situation and a funny read. It doesn't go anywhere in the end, so can't be more than 3*

- Edward Wellen - No Other Gods (short story): 1*
Incomprehensible mumbo jumbo. Some computer decides to kill humans...

- Harlan Ellison - The Wine Has Been Left Open Too Long and the Memory Has Gone Flat (short story): 1*
I never und
Jim Grammond
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book for the first time at age 10 (or so). Scared the hell out of me. Re-read it at a later age when I was past my fears of an imminent apocalypse (thank you, Catholic school) and I enjoyed it a great deal.
Apr 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book if a little dry. The premise is that the catastrophe is one of series ranking from first class to fifth - where the first is something that wipes out all of the universe to the fifth which only destroys civilisation but not the human race. Each class then is broken down in to various scenarios which are then discussed and explored. Some are only briefly looked at while others are discussed at great length. It is a mixture of personal opinion (and never let it be said ...more
Sep 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously, fuck mini-black holes.
Christa Maurice
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few clunkers, but mostly excellent tales. I first read it in about 1987 and one of the plague stories has stuck with me since then as one of the most interesting and creative stories I have ever read.
Jules Jones
An entertaining themed anthology, published in 1981 but containing stories dating back as far as 1938. Some stories have dated, many are still great reads, all clearly justified their selection at the time. I've been reading this on and off for several months, but got through about half of it last month, so my review of the individual stories is going to be a bit patchy.[return][return]The anthology is set out in sections covering different degrees of catastrophe, from the end of the universe do ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book, lovely piece of literature.
I would make it obligatory for anyone to read it above the ages of 16-18.
Nicely structured, wide topics, everything is explained with relevant scientific knowledge, put into historical perspective and proper estimates have been made for the future (like the prediction of internet as the "global computerized library").
Also, it is really enjoyable to read whatever Asimov wrote... :)
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ideas-and-faith
Nel genere, una perla

Isaac Asimov
l'ultima tromba
edward wellen
nessun altro dio
harlan ellison
la botte è rimasta aperta troppo a lungo e la memoria è evaporata
ben bova
stelle, volete nascondermi
Lloyd Biggler jr.
il giorno del giudizio
William Tenn
il custode
clark ashton smith
harry harrison
via dal fuoco
edmond hamilton
Larry Niven
nel centro
Fritz Leiber
Un secchio d'aria
chad oliver
il re del formicaio
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin
la nuova atlantide
Arthur Charles Clarke
lezione di storia
raymond zi
Ilya Cherkasov
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Прекрасная книга!

Азимов, как ни крути, очень крутой популист. В книге разбираются события, последствием которых является гибель человечества.

Автор делит их на пять категорий (от гибели вселенной до эволюции роботов) и каждую друг за дружкой рассматривает с точки зрения предпосылок, вероятности, последствий и причин.

При этом каждой катастрофе даётся научно-популярное объяснение - то есть, если речь идёт о ледниковом периоде, то автор подробно рассматривает явление с исторической точки зрения и н
Ashley Adams
Asimov tackles the apocalyptic truths of the universe via nonfiction. He discusses the catastrophes potentially facing humanity from a variety of perspectives- beginning with those catastrophes that would effect the universe as a whole (entropy, black holes, etc.) continuing to discuss impending doom for Earth specifically (asteroids, earthquakes...), and ending with the downfall of humanity (population, pollution...). The science is a bit outdated now, but the ideas are solid. His attempt to re ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: english, fiction
Подборка буквально худших образчиков SciFi, на мой взгляд.
Поверив другим отзывам, что в конце поинтереснее, домучил до конца. Но даже последний рассказ, действительно довольно занятный, изложен в общем напыщенном и скучном стиле, как и прочие рассказы.
Основная моя претензия к этим рассказам - тяжеловесный стиль изложения. Идеи, положенные в рассказы, довольно любопытны, но не в таком исполнении.
Tihomir Grebenar
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Only the final chapter was really interesting to me, where the author plays with various ideas concerning the future of humanity.
The rest of the book is by now pretty much recycled information (the book was written cca. 1980.).

I would have given it three stars but the authors could not withhold from openly berating certain other authors *and* ideas.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 16+ years
Shelves: nonfiction
I really enjoyed this book. Asimov explains complicated scientific theory clearly and without resorting to using complicated lingo that only a fellow scientist can understand. This book covers all of the horrible things that could happen to the human race, and how likely they are to happen (and in what time frame). Really puts things into perspective.
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
alot of remakes of this coming out now that the issues asimov approaced in the late 70s are coming to a head. cynics love reading about the end of civilization and optimists love reading about the chance of curbing it.
Feb 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Two or three interesting stories, a lot of Skip to the end! stories.
Brian Schwartz
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it

This book was a well edited mix of hard, speculative, and post apocalyptic science fiction. It also had a nice mix of Golden Age pulp writers and modern writers of science fiction.
Frank Taranto
SF shorts about the title.
I guess it makes an interesting topic for a book. I bought this many years ago and I recall I am yet to read it in full as its a tad depressing!
Lee Belbin
Short stories about catastrophes from various authors, all pretty good as edited by Asimov.
How will the world end; the Good Doctor speculates about various environmental and cosmic catastrophes facing humanity, the environment, and the Earth.
Frankie Mahrle
A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber is worth the price.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few extremely good stories, a few atrociously bad ones, and a bunch of moderately good ones, but overall the impression was positive.
Janet Jay
Apr 08, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting premise/whatever, but the best stories i've already read & otherwise ,not remarkable
Irakli Bakuridze
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2016
Doris Bytyqi
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2013
rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2010
Diniz Bortolotto
rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2013
rated it liked it
May 29, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Sixteenth Annual Collection
  • Alistair Cooke's America
  • Alien Plot
  • DAW 30th Anniversary Science Fiction
  • Not Quite Shakespeare
  • Hour of Judgment (Jurisdiction, #4)
  • Day by Night
  • Toast, and Other Stories
  • Heroes and Fools (Dragonlance Tales of the Fifth Age, #2)
  • Crime Spells
  • Tomorrow Happens
  • Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge
  • How Does Your Garden Grow? and Other Stories
  • The Silicon Boys: And Their Valley of Dreams
  • Crisis Point: Why We Must - and How We Can - Overcome Our Broken Politics in Washington and Across America
  • The Warmasters
  • Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago
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 about Isaac Asimov

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
    $12.74 $2.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival
    $8.49 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism
    $13.99 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Toltec Art of Life and Death
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
  • The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength, and Sparkle Your Way to the Top
    $17.99 $2.99
  • A Brief History of Time
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Penguin Lessons
    $12.99 $1.99
  • What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court
    $11.99 $4.99
  • The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
    $12.99 $2.99
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God
    $11.49 $2.99
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Johnny Cash: The Life
    $12.99 $3.99
  • No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend
    $12.99 $1.99