Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Planet That Wasn't” as Want to Read:
The Planet That Wasn't
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Planet That Wasn't

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  185 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
From astronomy to rainbows to God

The astonishing story of the planet Vulcan, an astronomical oddity that intrigued scientists for over a century, is the jummping off point for Isaac Asimov in the scintillating, easy to understand explorations of everything from ecology and space colonies to witchcraft and UFOs.

Here is Asimov at his best, where his wide-ranging intellect ca
Mass Market Paperback, A Discus Book 35709, 237 pages
Published December 1977 by Avon Books (first published 1976)
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 The Planet That Wasn't, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Planet That Wasn't

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Anthony Faber
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
F&SF science fact columns from '74 - '76. Enjoyable.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tanya by: Lee
Shelves: insightful
I've not read many Isaac Asimov collections or books - a few articles here and there up to this point. I was pleased by the diversity of topics in this book, despite being a person who tends to prefer a novel to short stories or articles.

A few things that struck me - the discussion on chlorofluorocarbons was one of the clearest I've ever read, and since this book was published in 1976, action has actually been taken to limit the further release of CFCs into the atmosphere, primarily in changing
King Ævil
Please see my review of X Stands for Unknown ([]) for general comments on Isaac Asimov's science essays.

The Planet That Wasn't, a collection of essays from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction spanning December 1974 through April 1976, is on the whole, surprisingly mediocre, given the high proportion of skeptical essays criticizing, and occasionally lampooning, pseudoscience and religious enforcement of ignorance. Three notable essays stand out, a
Luis Munoz
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brillante! Luego de haber repasado tres decenas de libros del buen doctor hace casi una década es un placer encontrar algún libro de ensayo que había pasado por alto y reencontrarse con su prosa limpia, clara e iluminadora, lo que siempre un placer. Esta colección de ensayos, a diferencia de muchos otros, planea algunas opiniones sobre religión, ciencia y pseudo-ciencia que vale la pena leerlos. Y los ensayos científicos, aunque fueron escritos en 1974, aun son tan frescos como cuando fueron pub ...more
Keith Bell
All right, any of Asimov's non-fiction collections are great. Pure genius. The man could teach/explain just about anything. Reading these books again revealed to me where much of my teaching style at work came from.

Essays range from physics to chemistry to biology, sociology, religion and more. Each essay holds some nugget of insight and I laughed out loud more than once. Yeah, that makes me a geek as I was laughing at humour found within essay's re: math and physics.

Glad I decided to dive back
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Es imposible aburrirse de un libro que toca tantos temas.
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books. Complex and interesting concepts from astronomy and gravitational pulls to molecules and the ozone layer, explained in clear yet dramatic prose.
Hunchback Jack
Another excellent collection of science essays from Asimov's contributions to F&SF magazine. Highly recommended.
Mar 01, 2011 added it
No grade. Essays.
AJ Beirens
rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2016
Dan Pavelescu
rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2012
Stuart Hutton
rated it liked it
Nov 06, 2016
Ovidiu Neatu
rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2012
rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2017
Roy Bohling
rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2014
rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2016
Dan LO
rated it did not like it
Oct 30, 2017
John Carney
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2008
Barry Wight
rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2012
C. L.
rated it really liked it
Aug 06, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2015
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2013
rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2014
rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2013
Don Sakers
rated it really liked it
May 03, 2013
Pattie Brassard
rated it it was amazing
Sep 07, 2007
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Fourth Dimension: A Guided Tour of the Higher Universes
  • Theories for Everything: An Illustrated History of Science
  • Narabedla Ltd.
  • The Common Sense of Science
  • Planets
  • Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation
  • Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb
  • Hot Sleep (Worthing, #2)
  • A Most Incomprehensible Thing: Notes Towards a Very Gentle Introduction to the Mathematics of Relativity
  • National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe
  • Report on Planet Three
  • Sidereus Nuncius, or The Sidereal Messenger
  • Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction
  • Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer
  • The Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet
  • Six Easy Pieces / Six Not-So-Easy Pieces
  • Norby Through Time and Space (Norby, #5-6)
  • Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations
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...