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Pebble in the Sky

(Galactic Empire #3)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  16,108 ratings  ·  650 reviews
One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire.
Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, w
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Tor Books (first published 1950)
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Reinaldo In truth, no. Because that book it is first of the Galactic Empire series. But it's known as "third" because Asimov wrote other two books as the…moreIn truth, no. Because that book it is first of the Galactic Empire series. But it's known as "third" because Asimov wrote other two books as the prequel of this serie, that are "The Star, Like Dust and The Currents of Space".

Pebble in the Sky is, yet, a prequel of his important series, Foundation. (less)
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3.88  · 
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 ·  16,108 ratings  ·  650 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
In Isaac Asimov's very first published novel, Joseph Schwartz, a retired Jewish tailor, is instantly transported from 1949 Brooklyn to a time many thousands of years in the future, through an odd nuclear accident (scientific unlikelihood, but we'll let it pass). He finds himself on an Earth marred by high levels of radiation, presumably from past nuclear wars, that (scientific impossibility) apparently hasn't resulted in any physical ill effects to Earth's population, but has resulted in Earthme ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Schwartz, a retired tailor, walks along a street in 1949. Between one step and the next, suspecting nothing, he's caught by a side effect of a far future experiment and flung millennia into the future, to a forgotten Earth, the despised backwater of a far-flung human galactic empire. A violent history has turned far-future Earth into a world whose surface is unpleasantly radioactive and which is ignored whenever possible. Joseph, half scared to death, unable to speak the language and doub ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Pebble in the Sky, Isaac Asimov
Pebble in the Sky is a science fiction novel by American writer Isaac Asimov, published in 1950. This work is his first novel — parts of the Foundation series had appeared from 1942 on wards, in magazines, but Foundation was not published in book form until 1951. The original Foundation books are also a string of linked episodes, whereas this is a complete story involving a single group of characters. The book begins with a retired tailor from the mid-20th Century,
هادی امینی
مدتها بود که علمی تخیلی نخونده بودم و دلیلش رو هم نمیدونم.
حالا بعد از این همه مدت، خیلی برام شیرین بود. مخصوصاً با ترجمه درجه یک سعید سیمرغ عزیز.
نکته جالبش برام این بود که آسیموف حدود هفتاد سال پیش این کتاب علمی تخیلی رو نوشته، ولی با پیشرفت هولناک علم در این هفته دهه، هیچ خللی به اصول علمی کتاب وارد نیست.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a now-famous interview, sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov once revealed how he avoided getting stuck with writer's block. The hugely prodigious author would often be working at four or five books at the same time, with five typewriters arrayed side by side, and when he would get inextricably bogged down with one book, he'd simply move to the neighboring typewriter, and recommence work on that one! Thus, one can almost understand how it was possible for Asimov--who claimed, in his later years, to do ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another interesting look into Asimov's Empire. This was the first published in the Empire series, but the 3d overall. I wound up reading it first, but it fits in well with his Foundation trilogy. The same themes, overarching history, & such.

This one deals with a man of today suddenly transplanted into a far flung future where Earth is a pariah among worlds. He has to deal with a little wild tech, but mostly this concentrates on prejudice & fanatics. Well done, especially for the times.
Michael Battaglia
Don't you just hate those days when you're walking down the street just minding your own business and then suddenly poof! you're in another time completely? That's how Joseph Schwartz's day starts, and it more or less goes downhill from there. Before too long he's volunteered for a scientific experiment because everyone assumes he's mentally damaged (due to nobody being able to understand a word he's saying, and vice versa, thanks to a several thousand year language gap) and that, hey, it can't ...more
Davyne DeSye
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable! This is Asimov’s first science fiction novel (published in 1950), and is a wonderful example of the science fiction of the era.

This book has time travel, a galaxy-wide human civilization, deadly viruses, hyperspace, blasters… plenty of the traditional early sci-fi necessities.

It starts with time travel: Schwartz, a 60-year-old retired tailor, is enjoying his morning walk in downtown Chicago… Because of an unexpected phenomenon at a nearby research facility, Schwartz, between one
He steps through a wormhole in space and ends up in a future world where he has exotic Super Powers -

Like what, I hear you ask? Right, listen to this. He can obtain a deadly attack as White from the variation of the Spanish which starts 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Nc3. Impressive, huh?

I know. Alekhine showed it was possible a couple of times. And then there was the game Spassky won against Beliavsky in 1988. If you can play through that and not conclude that Boris had Super Power
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Greatly entertaining, though that's no surprise. After a somewhat slow start, it turns wonderfully tense. Although this is the most cartoonish villain I've encountered in an Asimov book, the rest of the characters have the same "realness" that I've come to expect from his casts. Even though the Galactic Empire books don't really relate to each other on a plot or character level, it's been interesting to watch the Empire develop from one book to the next. I don't know yet how it will relate to th ...more
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
Wow. Holds up very well. Even to the point where it's the bad guys who diss the female. I don't know how readers who have never read the old stuff will like it, but I was weaned on these kinds of stories, this kind of writing and I love it so much I can't fully explain why. Very thoughtful, with great lines, plot, and ideas. The future may not be futuristic enough (but then, we are on a backwater, primitive planet) or the politics complicated enough (thank goodness, as I do not like intrigue), b ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peple said the early books Asimov wrote on his galactic empire were a little raw and ultimately quite skippable. I didn't want to believe it, mostly because I had yet to not love one of Asimov's works.

This trilogy of books however haven't had the greatness I expect of Asimov. They seem to lack the ambition of the Foundation and Robot series. Concentrating on smaller stoires when a subject as big as a whole galactic empire beckoned to be explored.

I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit in pl
سعید سیمرغ
ترجمۀ فارسی این کتاب رو بارها خوندم. یه داستان فوق العاده البته با یه ترجمۀ افتضاح! ببخشید جناب غیاثی نژاد ولی ترجمۀ شما یه سمبل کاری بی نظیر بود.
الآن خودم دارم ترجمهش می کنم. نصفش هم به پایان رسیده. امیدوارم کار خوبی از آب در بیاد.
Travis O.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to begin this review with a generalization: every fan of science fiction should read at least one Isaac Asimov book in their life. Whether or not they enjoy it in the end is superfluous; it is the tax one pays to the (arguably) first patriarch of the genre as a concrete entity. Pebble in the Sky, the book on my docket today, was Mr. Asimov’s first novel, though it had been published serially between January and June of 1933. I came upon the book years ago, after binging on the Foundati ...more
Nikola Pavlovic
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jako dobra prica, ali u konkurenciji predhodne dve iz serijala o Carstvu verovatno i najslabija. Asimov jos jednim izolovanim incidentom, ali ovoga puta na teritoriji same planete Zemlje, kolevke citave ljudske civilizacije, koja i dalje pati od posledica radijacije, o cemu ste mogli da citate u predhodnim knjigama iz velikog serijala (Roboti, Carstvo, Zaduzbina), konktetno u knjizi Roboti i Carstvo, govori o tome kako je Galakticko Carstvo jos jednom spletom cudnih okolnosti izbeglo smrtonosnu ...more
Jared Millet
(2013 Asimov Re-Read, book 2)

So when I decided to revisit Asimov this year, my battle plan was to do the original Foundation Trilogy interspersed with the three Galactic Empire novels in the order of publication. I enjoyed Foundation as much as I did back in high school, but I remembered having a hard time with Pebble in the Sky. I'd hoped that I'd appreciate it more coming to it as an adult, but while it has plenty of interesting ideas, they don't quite fit together as a novel. This was Asimo
Peter Tillman
This one is online at
In a nice, clean e-reader. On the priority reread list. This would be a novella by current standards.

I'd forgotten about these, and that Galaxy failed to renew copyrights after they went under. I still have one crumbling, obscure Galaxy novel reprint (I think) in my library?

Asimov's first novel, [caution: SPOILERS] (1947-50) -- WikiP doesn't make it clear whether the first mag pub (40K words
Hedieh Madani
Apr 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ترجمه افتضاح بود. نمیدونم آسیموف این کتاب رو بد نوشته بود یا ضعیف بودن عجیب کتاب به تمامی حاصل کار مترجم بود. ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miei, 2010

E già, che libro!
letto in un batter d' cosa ci posso fare? lo ripeterò fino alla nausea..Asimov lo adoro!

Mi ha catturato da subito...lette solo due pagine e già non volevo separarmi più da libro!
Insomma non capita tutti i giorni di camminare e ritrovarsi in un'altra era!

Letto ovunque...lavoro (in pausa) treno, metro, mentre cucino, prima di andare a dormire...insomma era sempre con me!

Il libro ci introduce nella galassia precedente al ciclo delle fondazioni.
Shwarz sarto di se
It has been a while since I read this, so I decided to listen to it as part of my listening homework. It is an excellent, all too believable, story about a possible future earth that is radioactive with a much diminished population from the mid 1900s, which is when Joseph Schwartz is from. Suddenly he finds himself many centuries in the future through a device that was probably the weakest part of the sci fi story: a beam of radiation let loose and sent him into the future in the midst of taking ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scifi klaické, scifi dobré. Tentokrát o Zemi, ktorá je rádioaktívna, o rasizme, láske a konci sveta tak ako ho poznáme. Rýchle čítanie. Treba čítať!
Miloș Dumbraci
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
aveam așteptări să fie ok (o mai citisem în anii 80 și atunci aveam gusturi mai simple) - când colo, am fost surprins, mi s-a părut chiar foarte bună, la cât, 70 de ani de când e scrisă? revin cu o recenzie în ceva timp
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oldukça güzel hikaye, oldukça akıcı anlatım. İmparatorluk serisinin 3. Kitabı. Fakat ben bu seriyi yazarın yazım tarihi sırasına göre takip etmeyi planladım. Robot ve vakıf serisinin de 50 lerde yazılan kitaplarını ön sıraya aldığım gibi. Kitabın baş kahramanı Joseph Schwarz bir terzi ve günümüz dünyasından bir anda kendini gelecekte buluyor. Orada dünya dışından gelen arkeolog Arvardan, dünyalı Dr. Shekt ve kızı Pola ile birlikte çözümü zor bir komployu çözmeye çalışıyorlar. Hikaye oldukça heye ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in October 2000.

In 1949 when he was writing his first novel, Isaac Asimov had already had some success with published short stories. Pebble in the Sky shows both experience as a writer and inexperience in the longer form, as it tends to jump around rather too much for a continuous narrative to emerge. The style is basically fully developed, and (in his fictional writing) did not change a great deal over the next forty years.

In terms of the rest of Asimov's fi
John Park
Two and a half stars. Mainly curiosity value, but . . .

This was Asimov's first published novel; it preceded 1951's Foundation by a year, though most of the contents of the latter were older, having appeared in magazines in the 1940s.

Coming belatedly to Pebble after reading other Asimov novels was something of a revelation. It has energy, variety, some sense of human complexity, and female characters who show occasional spirit. Asimov's narrative voice tends to be garrulous and undisciplined but
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El ultimo libro del Galactic Empire novels. Muy parecido en disfrute a sus predecesores... supuestamente me los leí alberrez... el primero de ultimo, pero la verdad esto no afecta en nada ya que las historias no están relacionadas, se hace alusión a algunos planetas pero nada mas... por ejemplo Trantor. Asimov es simplemente brillante, las historias son tan creativas, que es rajado pensar que fueron escritas hace tanto tiempo. El mae hasta profético es en algunos tech gadgets y no me extrañaría ...more
Simona Bartolotta
"Un giorno, ancora una volta, i terrestri sarebbero stati un popolo fra i popoli, gli abitanti di un pianeta fra i pianeti, e avrebbero guardato in faccia gli altri esseri umani con dignità e senso d'uguaglianza."

Era tanto tempo che non leggevo un Asimov come questo Paria dei cieli, per me senza dubbio il miglior episodio del Ciclo dell'Impero. E' semplice, lineare e puro come l'acqua gelata; rapido, cangiante e vivace come la stessa acqua che scende giù a torrentelli sul dorso di una montagna.
Mary JL
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any Sf reader
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of this author.
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
As a long time fan of Isaac Asimov, I enjoy almost everything he wrote. Certainly some books are a bit more dated than others, and this is his first book. Nevertheless, Asimov tells a good story. The idea of Earth being hated by the Outer Worlds, instead of being the center of everything, was an unusual idea at the time this was written. And I found some of the political in-fighting interesting. I also liked the idea of a man from our time going so far in the future that everything he knew was l ...more
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Such an interesting book. I think that in a way this book should be read really close to 1q84 not only because they have a similar starting point, but also because they complete each other. The story was fascinating and I have to admit, very close to the end I was so much into it that I almost screamed in anger when it seemed that there is no hope left for the Galaxy. However, there is one thing that I couldn't swallow, and that is Bel and Pola's relationship, which at times felt forced and out ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Add Cover - Pebble In The Sky, Iassac Asimov 4 11 Jul 30, 2018 12:18PM  
Incorrect Series order 2 58 Sep 10, 2008 04:21PM  
  • The Rings of Saturn (Lucky Starr, #6)
  • Inferno (Isaac Asimov's Caliban, #2)
  • The Seedling Stars
  • Rapporto di minoranza e altri racconti
  • Citizen of the Galaxy (Heinlein's Juveniles, #11)
  • They Walked Like Men
  • The Sands of Mars
  • Perihelion (Isaac Asimov's Robot City, #6)
  • The Players of Null-A (Null-A #2)
  • Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)
  • Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy #3)
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

Other books in the series

Galactic Empire (3 books)
  • The Stars, Like Dust (Galactic Empire, #1)
  • The Currents of Space (Galactic Empire #2)
“Any planet is 'Earth' to those that live on it.” 1894 likes
“They won't listen. Do you know why? Because they have certain fixed notions about the past. Any change would be blasphemy in their eyes, even if it were the truth. They don't want the truth; they want their traditions.” 253 likes
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