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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A collection of short sci-fi stories where central theme is a some sort of a catastrophe. The book is divided in five parts, depending on a kind of a catastrophe described.

Part I: Universe destroyed.
1. "The Last Trump" by Isaac Asimov (1955)
2. "No Other Gods" by Edward Wellen (1972)
3. "The Wine Has Been Left Open Too Long and the Memory Has Gone Flat" by Harlan Ellison (19
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 12th 1981 by Fawcett (first published November 1979)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  263 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Dino Olivieri
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gustosissimo. Letto che avevo, boh! undici, dodici anni. E comprato in edicola (primi anni 80, ragazzuoli, le librerie erano tutte in centro e io mi fornivo dal giornalaio ; ). Mi piacque da morire. Catastrofismo alla Asimov, un saggio che ricordo con tanto di lacrimuccia a distanza di quasi quarant'anni. Certo ora farà un po' sorridere, però sempre bello il case history snocciolato dal grande Isaac.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Frankie Mahrle
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it
A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber is worth the price.
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
Romuald Bokej
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
There are no really weak stories in this collection although some of them are written in a very uncomfortable style and might frighten off the reader - but story ideas for the most part are intriguing.
If you are not sure you are able to survive all 20 of the stories, you can at least taste the jewels of this collection:
Fritz Leiber - A Pail of Air
Raymond Z. Gallun - Seeds of the Dusk
Walter M. Miller, Jr. - Dark Benediction
Alfred Coppel - Last Night of Summer
Robert Sheckley - The Store of the W
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ilya Cherkasov
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Shelves: sci-fi
Two or three interesting stories, a lot of Skip to the end! stories.
Brian Schwartz

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.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
An interesting premise/whatever, but the best stories i've already read & otherwise ,not remarkable
Irakli Bakuridze
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Aug 22, 2010
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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