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The Last Question

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4.58  ·  Rating details ·  19,818 ratings  ·  1,337 reviews
The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way ...
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published November 2007 by Ziggurat Productions (first published November 1956)
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Samira Elytess
This story tells us an enigma. We are the creator and the creation at the same time.

As humans evolve, they become "God" or Creator.
Each story shows hu…more

This story tells us an enigma. We are the creator and the creation at the same time.

As humans evolve, they become "God" or Creator.
Each story shows humans evolution in increments.
( We evolve from flesh and blood to disembodied mind/energy/nano-tech particle cyborgs)

First story, humans are on Earth.
Second story, humans are in Space.
Third story, humans are outside of the Galaxy.
Fourth story, humans got rid of their bodies and are Minds.As disembodied individuals each of them have retained their personality or identity.
Fifth story,all individual minds lose their identity as they merge and form "GOD" or the Cosmic AC computer

The cycle of life starts all over again when the computer=God=Merged Individual Minds, manifests itself in the universe as big bang:"Let there be light"
In which, time, space, and life is created and entropy starts all over again.Thus, the cyclical pattern of the universe continues and so does humans' saga.

The question is: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Cosmic AC/God or humans inventing the Cosmic AC/God?
Are we trapped in a computer glitch that with each big bang birth we all play the same story plots?

It helps to have mystical and transhumanisim backgrounds to understand the story.(less)

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Muneel Zaidi
What's the point in giving you a summery for a 4,000-word short story? So here's what I'll do instead: I'll give you a lesson in physics. Sound good? Cool. Ever hear of the second law of thermodynamics? Yes? But you have no clue what it means? Okay, well we can work with that. Here's what Wikipedia has on the subject:
The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium—t
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Last Question (When the World Ends), Isaac Asimov

A science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov.

The story deals with the development of a series of computers called Multivac and their relationships with humanity through the courses of seven historic settings, beginning in 2061.

In each of the first six scenes a different character presents the computer with the same question; namely, how the threat to human existence posed by the heat death of the universe can be averted.

The
...more
Tyler Bair
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi

JUST GOOGLE IT AND READ IT!!! A very quick 15 minute read and easily one of the best sci-fi short stories I've ever read. Whatever their literary tastes, anyone is capable of thoroughly enjoying this great work by one of the greatest sci-fi authors of all time! The last two sentences will leave your mind more blown than
a Chippendales stripper
anything in or remotely involved with a film directed by Michael Bay
Lindsey Lohan’s stockpile of cocaine
the proportions of human stupidity
the candles on a
...more
Nataliya
Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Nataliya by: Peter Tillman
Shelves: 2020-reads, shorts
This is certainly classic science fiction. A cosmic question that might not be ever solved. It’s even grander than the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, to which we know the answer (42!) but not the question itself.

Here we know the question - can the entropy leading to eventual, billions-of-years-in-the-future end of the Universe be reversed? Can the supercomputer answer that?

"THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER."

I can’t say my little human mind
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A short story about…entropy? A reader might question how exciting such a tale can be!

Image result for asimov last question

In “The Last Question,” Asimov presents nearly immortal humankind facing the end of all existence, “The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way ...” Asimov tells a story that stretches billions of years into the future with bot
...more
Adrian
It’s Asimov, it’s a classic golden age SF short story, it’s original with so much packed into so few pages and just maybe it’s prophetic.
I don’t often split out a particular story from a “best of “ or other compendium of short stories, but this is just so iconic that I’ve rated it as a separate entity
Komal
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mind blown in 5 pages.

I've never wondered so deeply about the walks of our universe in 22 years of my life as much as I have in the span of barely fifteen minutes, which began with me opening this story and ended with me finishing it.

There is no proper review for me to provide to do justice to a book this short-lived and astounding.
Read it and you'll know it.
...more
Pooja
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-novels
" THERE IS YET INSUFFICIENT VOCABULARY TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL REVIEW OF THIS SHORT-STORY. "

Heck, what enormous stuffs people are capable of thinking!!

And only thing in my mind now is :

...more
George
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
The only question worth asking.
Manny
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Steinhardt and Turok's book Endless Universe spends a surprising amount of time discussing this classic SF short story. I think that tells us something both about Isaac Asimov and about the state of modern early-universe cosmology.
...more
Kels
Our Sun will support life for billions of years, but what happens when it burns out? Perhaps future technology will enable us to seek out the safety of distant stars and habitat new planets, but then eventually those stars will die too. So is life as we know it, and all of mankind, destined to be doomed? Is it possible to reverse entropy?

This short story starts off in the year 2061 (keep in mind this was written in 1956) and follows the evolution of man and the subsequent advancement of techno
...more
Richard Derus
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I listened to this audiobook on YouTube.

MQ17J of Nicron saying the Galaxy would be filled in five years? VJ23X is such a putz. 20,000 years and the Galaxy is filled up, and that doesn't suggest an inevitable bad end for Humanity?! Thomas Malthus was right, per Asimov.

Happen I agree...though I doubt my sense that this is the one and only planet we'll have a chance to fuck up. Entropy is a mean ol' daddy and we don't have (and won't IMO) the nous to grow out from under his hateful rule.

THERE IS AS
...more
Janete
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a genius! I never read or listened to Isaac Asimov's text. An audiobook in Portuguese. This a science fiction short story written by Isaac Asimov in 1956. The story deals with the development of computers (artificial intelligence) called Multivacs and their relationships with humanity through the courses of seven historic settings, beginning in 2061. ...more
Sindhuja
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A review of this tale will not make sense for three reasons:

1) The unfolding of a certain twist in this short story is done with the last few words of this ~4000 word long story.
2) A review of any form will sweeten the pill - the crux of what Asimov is trying to get at.
3) Two is a reason in the first place because, it's simply impossible to describe this tale without giving away spoilers.

So read this after you read 'The Last Question'.
That said, I can give you this: This tale leaves room for
...more
~Jo~
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
An individual on GR sent me this short story, and I just read it in the hairsalon while I was waiting. This was an interesting short story, and I do admit, it's thought-provoking, but it wasn't really something I'd go out of my way to read. I would certainly recommend this to fans of science-fiction, though. ...more
Peter Tillman
Link to a nice PDF copy of the story text: http://youcanscience.com/wp-content/u... First published in 1956. Many, many reprints: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cg...

Dr. Asimov wrote: "This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written. After all, I undertook to tell several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story and I leave it to you as to how well I succeeded. I also undertook another task, but I won't tell you what that was lest l spoil the story for you..
...more
Fernando
¡Big Bang!
Ben
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
http://www.physics.princeton.edu/ph11...

edit: new link provided from a below comment

great read.
...more
Yasmin
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like my life has changed in the space of half an hour...
Myat Thura Aung
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It gave me goosebumps. This is one of the most beautiful and thrilling short stories I've ever read. :') ...more
Nat
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal!

You can listen to an excellent narration of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojEq-...
...more
Bev
This is most likely Isaac Asimov's best story. It appeared in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and Asimov said [when he read his own stories: HERE) that "it is just about my favorite story of all the stories I have written."

It is certainly a superb story on the nature of entropy and the ultimate question: Can entropy be reversed? The twist which provides the answer comes in the final lines of the story and is stunning. There is little more that I can say without completely g
...more
Bharath Thampi
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh I just love it when someone can eloquently point out how much capable we humans are of destroying ourselves with our obsessive self-love. No, not self-love maybe, but something comparable. A frantic desire to find answers to things that should be left alone. The mad will to live when living is less relevant as some other things.

"THERE IS INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER."

Perhaps this is really how everything will come to an end finally. Who knows....
...more
Minh
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.4 stars. I would have given the story 4 stars if there had been less redundancies within. Overall a creative and thought-provoking story.
Elizabeth
We all have that moment where we decide to look a wee-bit further than our bedroom window, past the sky, past the galaxy, and into the gaping expanse universe. It's a feeling that doesn't ping on your daily radar, but Isaac Asimov's The Last Question is the go-to when you decide to tackle the big questions of the universe.

Entropy is not just another pesky law you had to learn in your high-school chemistry class, but an overarching principle that governs our universe. So can we reverse the law?
...more
Alfaniel Aldavan
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing

The Last Question is a beautiful and engaging short story. Whether you pick reading its 20+ pages, or listen to an audio recording, I recommend you don't miss this little gem.

Asimov gives a visual account of a cosmological theory, an answer to the question "how to reverse entropy?", or the wonder of creation of an universe at all.

You can find it online for free.
...more
Amanda NEVER MANDY
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story, 2015
Great short story. I’m glad I took a moment to track it down and read it. It brought to mind another one that I read recently. They both were generally in the same ballpark theme-wise, but all bets were off when it came to quality. MASSIVE difference in my mind. When I finished this one I instantly thought, “…and that is how you’re supposed to do it!”
ti
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uni
HOLYYYY HEEEELLL. i had to read this for my lit exam tomorrow and it's so good. sci-fi isn't my personal preference but the last two sentences made me scream. literally. it's so so good!!!! ...more
Richard Dominguez
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, reviewed, sci-fi
Another classic from the fertile mind of Isaac Asimov. The story spanning thousands of years ask the question "can anything be forever?".
Well written and intriguing, this one is a fast read/listen (audio) and has all the signature Asimov trade marks that make it an enjoyable read.
...more
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19,995 followers
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

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