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The Stars, Like Dust

(Galactic Empire #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  20,658 ratings  ·  979 reviews
Biron Farrell was young and naïve, but he was growing up fast. A radiation bomb planted in his dorm room changed him from an innocent student at the University of Earth to a marked man, fleeing desperately from an unknown assassin.

He soon discovers that, many light-years away, his father, the highly respected Rancher of Widemos, has been murdered. Stunned, grief-stricken,
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 1st 1991 by Spectra (first published 1951)
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☕ Lachgas ♿ I did correct the name now to Asimov, but came only across it by accident as there are many books to work on as you can imagine.
If you come across a r…more
I did correct the name now to Asimov, but came only across it by accident as there are many books to work on as you can imagine.
If you come across a record that needs correction you can always ask in the Librarians Group https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...(less)

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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  20,658 ratings  ·  979 reviews

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Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Robot/Empire/Foundation. Book #5. and the first in the Empire series, pubilshed back in Asimov's early career (1951), and tellingly so judging on most of the way the main female character is portrayed in this very 1950's space-mystery drama that sees the young and naive protagonist and male university student, Biron Farrill get caught up in a far reaching mystery involving the dominant Tyraan empire and the arrest and sentencing of his powerful father. Very old school and dated mystery that does ...more
Very enjoyable but “ Asimov light”. More tomorrow

Now Isaac Asimov is one of my all time favourite authors, his Foundation novels are to me the epitome of SF space Opera, and he is my "go to" author when I want a great book, so when I felt a bit down/lost/in need of a lift, I decided to read this book as I hadn't touched it in probably 20 + years.
It was an enjoyable book, without a doubt an Asimov book, but a little light, as in not as detailed and structured as some of his more famous books.
I'm trying to read all of the books that eventually fell under the umbrella of the Foundation series, in internal chronological order. Which brings me to this, one of the first novels Asimov ever published. In some ways, it shows. The pacing is far from smooth, and the characters tend towards the wooden. The romance, between Biron and Artemisia, is rushed and unconvincing. And yet, it's still a quick and entertaining read. So far, I've yet to be truly disappointed in any of these books. That's g ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Stars, Like Dust (Galactic Empire #1), Isaac Asimov
The Stars, Like Dust is a 1951 science fiction mystery book by American writer Isaac Asimov. The book is part of Asimov's Galactic Empire series and takes place before the actual founding of the Galactic Empire, before even Trantor becomes important. It starts with a young man attending the University of Earth. Biron Farrill is the son of the greatest nobleman on the planet Nephelos, one of the Nebula Kingdoms. The story starts with the news
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Ah boy. Man, Asimov disappointed me a bit with this book; fortunately it was short enough to where I could make it through without throwing in the towel.

The Stars, Like Dust is often regarded as the first book in the Empire series, though as far as I know it really doesn't have much to do with the other books in the series, or really much to do with the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series as a whole. This story surrounds Biron Farrill whom at the beginning of the book is studying at a Universit
Well, you can see from his writing that his 'scientist' side was stronger than the 'writer' one: he clearly writes better robots than humans :) ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Spoilers follow, but honestly...who cares with a book like this.

Honestly not really worth the trouble of reviewing, but I'll say a few things anyway...Asimov himself described The Stars, Like Dust as his "least favorite novel" and even that was pretty generous on his part given its tortured publishing history. Forced to include a hokey subplot that involved the Constitution of the United States by his editor and publisher that he detested after being forced to complete an outline and two complet
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Isaac Asimov's very first novel, "Pebble in the Sky" (1950), was the opening salvo in what would later be known as his Galactic Empire trilogy, and was set some 50,000 years in Earth's future. It may surprise some potential readers to learn, then, that book 2 in the series, "The Stars, Like Dust" (the use of a comma after the word "Stars" is not present anywhere in my 1963 Lancer paperback, but Asimov's later autobiography, "I. Asimov," does present the book title with the comma, so don't ask me ...more
Davyne DeSye
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable…

This is one of Asimov’s very early science fiction novels and is quite a reflection of his times. Having been written in 1951, it reflects the societal fear at the time regarding a possibly upcoming World War III and destruction of the planet by nuclear weapons.

In this book, the planet Earth is only one of many that has been settled by humankind, but – unfortunately – large portions of its surface are highly radioactive and everyone wears (or carries) radiation detectors (in the f
Michael Battaglia
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Those who have often accused Asimov of being historically, shall we say, lax on anything resembling action may have felt a faint flicker of hope when reading the opening passages to this novel, where mild-mannered student Biron Farrill discovers late at night that someone has broken into his room and planted a radiation bomb. There's a few tense pages that make you believe that this is a lost thriller from the master of cerebral SF, a novel of far future espionage where no one is safe and danger ...more
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
So, my plan to re-read the all the Asimov books that make up our future history in the Foundation Universe continues with this, the first of the Galactic Empire novels. Although, it has to be said, this is the only one of his books in this universe that I hadn't read before.

The galactic empire novels, like the "I, Robot" stories, the first two Elijah Baley novels and the original "Foundation" trilogy were originally published in the 50's. When Asimov began, many years later, to attempt to weave
Early Asimov. Read it 50 years ago.
What Baba said.
Roman Kurys
Feb 06, 2022 rated it it was ok
Maybe I should have delved into Asimov starting with “Foundation” series, or Robot stories. In full transparency I read many reviews advising against reading the “Empire” trilogy so I can say I’ve been forewarned, but as you see, I decided to forgo all the warning signs and charged right into the land of mediocrity. Feels weird even thinking that, as who am I to critique one of the most famous sci-fi authors of our time, I know. But if we’re honest, I never liked Tolkien either, so there: I’m a ...more
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It kept my interest without causing anxiety, something older media does much better than modern stuff. To think all this futuristic science and technology was envisioned in 1951; amazing! And, the history of that time shows through as well in an intriguing way. I gave it a 5 star before reading the very end. Now that I've read the very end, I wish I could give it a bonus star ;) ...more
Jason Pettus
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
THE‌ ‌GREAT‌ ‌COMPLETIST‌ ‌CHALLENGE:‌ ‌In‌ ‌which‌ ‌I‌ ‌revisit‌ ‌older‌ ‌authors‌ ‌and‌ ‌attempt‌ ‌to‌ ‌read‌ every‌ ‌book‌ ‌they‌ ‌ever‌ ‌wrote‌

Currently‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌challenge:‌ ‌Isaac‌ ‌Asimov's‌ ‌Robot/Empire/Foundation‌ |‌ ‌Margaret‌ Atwood‌ |‌ ‌JG‌ ‌Ballard‌ |‌ Clive‌ ‌Barker‌ |‌ Christopher‌ Buckley‌ |‌ ‌Jim Butcher's Dresden Files | ‌Lee Child's Jack Reacher | ‌Philip‌ ‌K‌ ‌Dick‌ |‌ ‌Ian Fleming | William‌ ‌Gibson‌ |‌ ‌Michel‌ Houellebecq‌ |‌ John‌ ‌Irving‌ |‌ ‌Kazuo‌ ‌Ishiguro‌ |‌ Shi
When I started listening to The Stars, Like Dust, I expected that I've have to suspend my frustration with Asimov's old school attitudes. I did. When the inevitable sexist moments popped up -- they really weren't as egregious as I'd expected (which surprised me) -- I was able to compartmentalize them in my brain box marked "Asimov: That Little Piggy," then I moved on without it hurting my enjoyment. I was able to do the same with Asimov's Orientalism. I opened my brain box marked "Asimov: That W ...more
Jan 08, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The stars, like dust, encircle me/ In living mists of light;/ And all of space I seem to see/ In one vast burst of sight.”

One of the first novels by an eventual master of modern science fiction. Written in 1950. Much better than many reviews would have you believe.

'All young fools who get their notions of interstellar intrigue from the video spy thrillers are easily handled.'

Reflects a time as foreign to contemporary readers as science fiction set centuries into the future. A cool MacGuffin.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Compleatists
Isaac Asimov is one of my favorite writers--truly. I used to joke he was my spiritual father, because his non-fiction pro-reason, pro-science essays had such a huge influence on me. And I love his fiction. Especially his short stories, which hold up well and I'd enthusiastically recommend a collection of them: "The Dead Past," "Nightfall," "The Ugly Little Boy," "The Last Question" are amazing science fiction. So is his Foundation series by and large and his Robot novels and stories, and I remem ...more
Ms. Smartarse
Biron Farrill is a senior student at the University of Earth, the planet now highly radio-active. He has also barely escaped a nuclear attack, good thing he didn't throw out his radiation counter . His father on the other hand, was definitely not as lucky. The late Rancher of Widemos had been imprisoned and executed for high treason.

Advised by the mysterious Jonti, our hero embarks on a top-secret and mysterious adventure to avenge his father. More specifically, to stage a coup d'état that would
May 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not what I'm used to from the grandmaster of science fiction. ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to try my first Asimov. I just randomly picked one off the library shelves, but perhaps it wasn't the best choice. The plot was mildly interesting, but the characters were impossible to understand, especially Biron the protagonist. One minute he was an innocent college boy, then he was being a jerk to a girl, then he saves the day by his mental jockeying—blech. The resolution was also fairly unsatisfying, since it was mostly just Biron explaining (view spoiler) ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Good start to the middle series
Ken Doggett
Luckily this was a quick read, because it was not a very rewarding one; I had trouble getting into the book, and almost quit midway. I do not recommend this book for modern readers. It has almost no characterization, so you're held as arm's length from the story, and the story itself is less than credible. On the one hand it's almost too convoluted to follow all of the unlikely twists and turns, and on the other its final conclusion, while probably significant at the time it was written, was too ...more
Sina Homayooni
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the worst of Asimov I've read up to now. Pretty boring. Full of stale ideas. Very slow turn of events. Lacking the same philosophical, mind engaging characteristics known of Asimov.
I really hope it gets better in the next one from Galactic Empire.
Jeff Miller
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Still enjoyable, just the usual flaws with Asimov and characters barely drawn out.
Tony Calder
This is very early Asimov - the second full novel that he wrote - the book is full of 1950's gender stereotypes, and the plotting is a bit all over the place. And the reveal on the last page is incredibly twee, although I have heard that his publishers required him to put that in. Still, it's not completely hopeless - the characters have some nuance to them, and no one is either all good or all bad. And it is an easy read.

Originally written as a stand alone novel, Asimov shoehorned this into the
Jan 08, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Story feels really rushed and characters are shallower than a puddle. Also the way Asimov describes the romance between Biron and Artemisia is really weird. It feels like listening to that one creepy uncle at a family gathering. The ending could be decent if it was executed right but it leaves so many loose ends.
Anna (DoesAnnaDreamOf)
Well, it may not be Asimov at his best. Overall, it was a quick and amusing read. The storyline is quite simple: a tyrant and a rebellion. Simple, but well executed all in all. But the ending… Wait until you discover the secret of the subplot. Not great, and that’s an understatement. I’ll try to get over it before attempting to read the second book of the trilogy.
Mackenzie Melo
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiolivros
The stars, like dust, encircle me
In living mists of light;
And all of space I seem to see
In one vast burst of sight
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Not the greatest Asimov book but it was an easy read and got me out of my reading slump. Certainly a book of the 50s, so beware if that kind of sci-fi isn't your favourite ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternative Cover - The Star Like Dust, Isaac Asimov 3 12 Jul 30, 2018 11:58AM  
Incorrect Series order 2 91 Jan 17, 2010 02:44PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Galactic Empire (3 books)
  • The Currents of Space (Galactic Empire #2)
  • Pebble in the Sky (Galactic Empire #3)

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