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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  17,458 ratings  ·  1,260 reviews
Italo Calvino's extraordinary imagination and intelligence combine here in an enchanting series of stories about the evolution of the universe. He makes his characters out of mathematical formulae and simple cellular structures. They disport themselves among galaxies, experience the solidification of planets, move from aquatic to terrestrial existence, play games with hydr ...more
Paperback, 153 pages
Published October 4th 1976 by Mariner Books (first published 1965)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Cinzia DuBois
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
Take this book, and Moby Dick, and lay them in my arms as I lie in my casket. Then cremate me. It is only in ashes that we shall finally be one, forever and for eternity, and return to the universe the way we entered; as atoms and particles and my how beautiful we shall be.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Le Cosmicomiche = Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino
Cosmicomics is a collection of twelve short stories by Italo Calvino first published in Italian in 1965 and in English in 1968. Each story takes a scientific "fact" (though sometimes a falsehood by today's understanding), and builds an imaginative story around it.
The Distance of the Moon, the first and probably the best known story. Calvino takes the fact that the Moon used to be much closer to the Earth, and builds a story about a love triangle among
Nilesh Kashyap
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I became aware of two facts after reading this book
-Sometime people can be way over-creative
-And sometime this over-creativity can be real pain in the... umm... let’s go with ‘rear’.

So, what is cosmicomics?
I may say it is comics of the universe; it is book of twelve short stories, with setting in all across the universe and from time even before big-bang to present day, and telling us the story of evolution of the universe.
But that is about something written on the pages of th
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Climb up on the Moon? Of course we did. All you had to do was row out to it in a boat and, when you were underneath, prop a ladder against her and scramble up.
from Pixar - La Luna

This is what happens when you let a poet loose in a library full of science books: he will turn everything on its head and take you sailing across the galactic plane watching suns coalesce from the primordial dust, he will hold a conversation across light years with neighboring galaxies, he will dance around a multicolored, sparkling cry
Steven Godin
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Twelve dazzling stories from Calvino, where his ambition here was to create a ludic fiction that could reflect complex advances in science without losing his playful nature and sense of magic and lightness. The stories he wrote were direct attempts to assimilate new thinking in cosmology in recognisably human - and comic - dimensions.

Calvino prefaces his stories with a fact or hypothesis about the universe, then he moves on to get inside these vast abstractions, with his trademark qualities that
This one pretty much floored me. The scope and the way this was written kinda blew my mind.

What do I mean? Well, it's one hell of an accomplished SF... encompassing all time and space from a single viewpoint in what may as well be god... but isn't.

It's a love story with a very complicated relationship of an alien with another alien, it's a love story with time, physics, genetics, and all sorts of real math. I will admit that a very great deal of my enjoyment of this novel stems from the fact th

Qfwfq : Been there, Seen that, done that.

Been where? Where the distance of the moon from the ocean was just a ladder away.

Seen what? The formation of galaxies, A colorless world, A time when there was no concept of time.

Done what? Lived on the nebulae, Lived as a dinosaur, fallen in love with a tadpole.

A literary cosmos made up of staggering imagination, Calvino’s Cosmicomics exceeded the expectations I always have before reading any of his books and it makes me even more proud of declaring him
Stephen M
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful set of short stories which comes as no surprise from the Cuban born, Italian Italo Calvino. I had previously read If on a Winter’s Night A Traveler and Invisible Cities, both I highly recommend, and enjoyed both of them immensely. I once heard about the vast differences between all of Calvino’s novels; that certainly seems true, each one of those books bare vague resemblances to one another; the similarities residing in minor things like, short story format, magical realist e ...more
Megan Baxter
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm trying to find just the right word to describe these stories. Science fables isn't quite right - there isn't a moral at the end of each one. I'm torn between science myths and science legends. I think I'm leaning towards myths, in the sense of "stories that tell how something came to be." Let's go with that.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read
Mohsin Maqbool
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Italo Calvino with a beautiful woman on top of a New York City building.

ONE day towards the fag-end of last year I was looking at some old issues/articles of The New Yorker which, as most readers know, comes out from New York City. I came upon a February 23, 2009 issue that had a short story titled "The Daughters of the Moon" by one Italo Calvino. Yes, the same Italo Calvino of "Invisible Cities", "If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller" and "The Baron in the Trees" fame. There was no stopping me no
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
I guess if there was nothing on tv and you were bored your mind might start wandering and you might possibly conceive that a civilisation of very tiny unicorns called Gzz and Tjsdfh might live up my arse but you wouldn't want to write a damn book about it, would you. However thin the book might be.
The Complete Cosmicomics: Cosmic Tales of the Universe’s Origins
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Along with his brilliant Invisible Cities(1972 in Italian, 1974 in English), one of Italo Calvino’s most enduring creations was his series of whimsical and erudite stories inspired by the origins of the universe and scientific principles, labeled Cosmicomics (1965 in Italian, 1968 in English). They are narrated by a mysterious being called Qfwfq, who tells of the Big Bang and the time before th
K.D. Absolutely
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Science Fiction)
Shelves: sci-fi, 501
Twelve totally enchanting tales about the evolution of the universe. This book is a good set of fanciful stories that a father can use to answer his son’s never-ending questions about the moon, the sun and everything up in the sky.

This is my third book by Italo Calvino and he still to disappoint me. Like Milan Kundera, he also does not re-write himself. He was a league of his own - writing about a unfinished manuscript being read by you, the reader - in If on a winter’s night a traveler. He loo
MJ Nicholls
Penguin Classics rounded up the entire output from Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics series in 2009 and collected them into this impressive and expensive hardback book, The Complete Cosmicomics.

The edition I read contains all the stories from the original Cosmicomics, Time & the Hunter, World Memory & Other Cosmicomic Stories, and Cosmicomics Old & New collections, plus one rewritten marvel, The Other Eurydice.

I made the mistake of devouring these stories in one quick glut and probably didn’t read the
Calvino opened this beautiful little collection with "The Distance of the Moon," a tale from the days when the lunar landscape could be reached with nothing more than a ladder and some well-timed gymnastics, so it struck me as appropriate that I began reading “Cosmicomics” on the night of a full moon.

I had its richly resonant first two stories running through my head while driving home from work that evening. The first half of my commute is a journey illuminated by the artificial lights of both
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Disclaimer :: Everything that follows is a lie. The book was received by me direct from the publisher for no charge, via that goodreads first reads giveaway.

What was greatest here was the opportunity to reread the original set of Calvino’s cosmicomics collected as Cosmicomics. These little things are simply gems, some of the best fabulist writing you’ll ever come across. Frankly, I prefer them to what Coover does with the fabulation.

All told, this recent publication of The Complete Cosmicomics
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Andrea by: Kris
Shelves: science
I read this on route to Vietnam, sad to leave my half-read but weighty Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid at home. It was strangely a related interlude, a different look at the laws underpinning our universe and our reality. However the motivation of both authors was very similar - how do we as humans try to understand the complexity and wonder of the constraints and possibilities inherent in the structure of our reality? How does physics translate to our human experience, and how does ...more
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Storytelling at its best. I rarely read anything as creative as this, I mean the book's narrator is someone (or something?) called Qfwfq, and other characters in the book include (k)yK, Kgwgk and Mrs. Ph(i)NKѲ! It's a collection of stories about the formation of the universe using scientific terminology and ideas so I guess to fully understand Calvino's genius, some knowledge of science (especially Physics, astronomy and Earth Science) is a good idea.
Italo Calvino, in Cosmicomics, writes a philosophical, pseudo-scientific fantasy that attempts, somewhat whimsically, to answer the kind of questions a child might pose: How did the earth begin? Where do we come from? How did language begin? The book charts the path of a character named Qfwfq who roams through emerging galaxies, romps with hydrogen atoms, and, in general, makes observations about an evolving universe.

Calvino’s book, a landmark of postmodern fiction, depicts a common postmoderni
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a strange and creative work. The briefest of descriptions about Calvino say something like "he's one of the world's greatest fabulists". So, generally people know what they are getting into when they crack the cover. But I'm not sure that I know what I experienced, even now.

So, the set up is easy--a bunch of stories about the evolution of the universe. But what the hell does that even mean?

For one, each story begins with an italicized blurb that reads like something out of a science te
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The concept is simple: take an abstract scientific concept and bring it to life through the art of the short story. Yet what Calvino achieves in Cosmicomics is unparalleled.

The collection contains twelve short stories, each beginning with a short statement describing a scientific theory, a dry, explanatory piece of writing that feels like it could've been pulled out of an introductory astronomy (or biology) textbook. For example, the first story, "The Distance of the Moon," begins with the follo
Nick Craske
Reading this was one of the most rewarding reading experiences I've ever had. Enchanting, fantastical and enlightening. A beautiful book with beautiful wordplay and language. Each story takes a scientific "fact" (though sometimes a falsehood by today's understanding), and builds an imaginative story around it. An always extant being called Qfwfq narrates all of the stories save two, each of which is a memory of an event in the history of the universe.
Connie G
Qfwfq, an eternal character who lives through all the ages of the universe, is telling a fable about consumerism. This tale is set in an undisclosed time in New York City "where every object was thrown away at the slightest sign of breakage or aging, at the first dent or stain, and replaced with a new and perfect substitute". But the one imperfect thing was the moon which was smaller and out of its orbit after being bombarded with meteorites. The moon looked like a large pumice stone descending ...more
Why, oh why can't I read in six different languages?

I've been a fan of Calvino for many years and have just finished the Cosmicomics for the first time. I read them one per evening and let them sink in slowly. There is a lot here to absorb and meditate on, and I would definitely suggest reading each of the stories separately, as they were written. One of my favorites in the collection is 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. An excellent brain twister!

I have one criticism/concern, and it is about the tra
Pictures at an Exhibition
I have never written any comments here on Goodreads before, and even though there are a lot of masterpieces I really need to pay the proper homage to, I felt the urge to declare in a couple of words my love for Calvino right after closing the Cosmicomiche. Italo has the ability to both let me live again the enthusiasm for the immaginative realities that animated my childhood as a voracious little reader and to impress my more mature, young-adult mind with his crucial innovations, investigations ...more
Jun 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who are interested in the Universe
Recommended to Junta by: A Winter's Night's Traveler
A collection of short stories I like for its creativity. I should probably take more time with my short story collections since you're bound to appreciate them more that way, letting the ideas from each story seep into your subconscious over a course of weeks, if not months.

Calvino's 34 stories each focus on some entity or event through the history of the Universe, often from the very beginning . I especially liked the first collection in the compilation, Cosmicomics. I had some friends ask abou
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
collecting all of calvino's cosmicomics writings, the complete cosmicomics features 34 stories spanning some twenty years (or rather, billions, really). included are the dozen tales that make up 1965's cosmicomics, the eleven in 1967's t zero (published in the uk as time and the hunter), four from the posthumous numbers in the dark, and seven stories not previously rendered into english. never released in the united states, the complete cosmicomics is four hundred pages of rich, imaginative fict ...more
A link to Italo Calvino's short story The Daughters of the Moon in The New Yorker is available here:

Several of us will be discussing the story from May 8, 2019 here:

My thoughts after having read the story:

Tell me, who today doesn’t criticize consumerism?!

A story I feel I should like more than I actually do. A story you are supposed to like nowadays.

Too make-believe, too phantasmagorical for me.

The last sent
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5 stars despite the fact I totally didn't like a few chapters and I took roughly an year to complete it! You will never read anything like this that calling it a book seems a misnomer. Or to be more precise, nothing like this can ever be accomplished by a writer. This pseudo absurd leap of creativity explores science like never before.

Calvino's collection of stories have as characters 'entities'(for the lack of better word) which morph into characters in a story to explore a science fact. The m
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
The Cosmicomics are a set of short stories published in the sixties by Italo Calvino. All of them follow the same structure: it starts with a sentence from a scientific publication, usually about the creation of our universe and planets. And then our narrator Qfwfq tells us he remembers that period in time, and takes us back in time on his train of thought.

These stories are dreamy, philosophical and funny at the same time. I think of them as bedtime stories for adults – they have the enchanted f
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Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979).

His style is not easy to classify; much of his writing has an air reminiscent to th

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