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The Complete Stories, Volume 1

(The Complete Stories #1)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  6,428 ratings  ·  208 reviews
The first book of the planned definitive three-volume collection of short stories by the prolific Isaac Asimov, whose tales have delighted countless fans for over half a century--a must for every science fiction bookshelf. The series was discontinued after the second volume.

5 • The Dead Past • (1956) • novelette by Isaac Asimov
61 • The Foundation of S. F. Success
Paperback, 430 pages
Published July 1994 by Harpercollins Pub Ltd (first published October 1990)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  6,428 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short story can be as interesting, deep, meaningful and transcendental as any novel if it comes from a competitive writer, sometimes, ideas don’t need length but wit and passion. This is hard to review, Asimov’s work covers a wide territory, and to be honest, as a short story fanatic, he met my expectations. Every story is good in its own way, they come from a strong opinión, explore deep into our future as the technology codependents we are or exist just to entertain, but they never fail. Asi ...more
4.5 stars. If have not read all of the stories in this collection so this review/rating is only for the stories listed below (which means it may change over time as I read more of them):

The Dead Past: Great short story (actually a novelette) dealing with advanced technology being kept from the public and the conflict that creates with "scientific freedon." The parallels to atomic power and all the benefits and problems that arose as a result are clear. This is a great read.

The Foundation of S.F
Sorin Craciun
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the first book from the intented to be a three volumes complete Asimov stories (but only the first two was published). It contain 25 stories:

1. The Dead Past: ****

2. The Foundation of SF Success: ****

3. Franchise: ****

4. Gimmicks Three: *****

5. Kid Stuff: *****

6. The Wattery Place: ****

7. Living Space: *****

8. The Message: ***

9. Satisfaction Guaranteed: ****

10. Hell-Fire: *****

11. The Last Trump: *****

12. The Fun they Had: *****

13. Jokester: *****

14. The Immortal Bard: ****

15. Someday: *
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I sometimes joke that Isaac Asimov is my intellectual father: although that's not that far from the truth. His essays, pro-reason and pro-science, had a huge influence upon me growing up. He's probably best known for his science fiction novels, but I think his best fiction by far is to be found in his short stories. This first volume collecting his short stories has several of his best. There are 46 short stories here, one from 1941, five from the 1960s, but the bulk are from the fifties. Some d ...more
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
This is a collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov from the heyday of post-WWII science fiction. Atomic age blue sky stuff with a sense of the frontier in it a still with a bit of optimism in future. It is always fun to read fiction from a time when the future seemed like a good thing.
Mark Hebwood
May 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Oh dear. After reading the 25 short stories in this collection, I think I have three comments: (1) This is a book of jokes, but many of them are lame (2) Isaac clearly is a chauvinist, and maybe even something worse (3) Some of these are quite good. Overall, I could only give this two stars, and this despite the fact that some of the robot novels and the Foundation series rank, in my view, amongst the most excellent Sci-Fi I read. So what do I have to say for myself?

This is a book of jokes

Prashanthini Mande
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Prashanthini by: Vinoth
This is my first tryst with science fiction and I'm glad I started with Asimov. I expected all the stories to be brilliant, science-wise, but I did not expect Asimov to be this engaging a storyteller. Nor did I expect any kind of short story to have character development. Maybe it's because there is a recurring theme in all these stories, but it took surprisingly short amount of time to familiarize with every character in every story, enough for me to care.

Among his futuristic, sometimes dystop
Brian Hodges
Seriously, how has it taken me this long to discover Isaac Asimov. I'd read "I, Robot" last summer and totally dug it. Then, thanks to StumbleUpon I discovered the story "The Last Question" and was thoroughly mesmerized. After that it was settled, I HAD to read as much of this man's work as possible.

How can I even begin to express my love for this collection of short stories? I know it's a cliche, but they made me feel like a little kid again, curled up in a big comfy chair with a book that made
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
Forget science fiction, if you are the kind who is affected by story telling and the imagination involved therein, this is a must-read. It's amazing that even after half a century has passed, and humanity has advanced quite a bit, Asimov's work, even in terms of human relationships, raises questions we haven't even begun exploring. He has a great sense of humour, which raises its head at the most improbable moments, thereby making it all the more fun.
The collection has quite a few stories about
I finished! It would be hard to rate this as five stars since it is a collection of various stories the Good Doctor wrote. Some are better than others, and a very few are not particularly good. Most are, a surprising number are superb. It gives you an excellent idea why Asimov was so celebrated. His writing was good, almost always, and frequently great. I'd say of the ones I had not read before, my favorite was one that Asimov stated he felt it had been underappreciated for the most part. I agre ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual Asimov delivers. Some of those stories are still very smart and quite relevant, despite the fact that so many decades have past.
Ben Mok
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science-Fiction/Mystery Fans
Shelves: science-fiction
Isaac Asimov needs no introduction, I believe, not especially to those well-versed in the Science-Fiction genre, a much-maligned area of speculative fiction that has only in recent (well, recent at least in literary terms) years been receiving the recognition it deserves. Famous for genre mainstays such as "I, Robot" and the Foundation trilogy, his stories focus primarily around classic Sci-Fi themes such as possible futuristic social scenarios and the dangers of technological proliferation. He ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a gift. Since I’m definitely not a fan of sci-fi books or movies, I didn’t expect myself enjoying it. To my surprise, I did enjoy it!
The writing and creative thinking of Asimov is undeniably great, extraordinary even. I could enjoy the stories even despite the sci-fi stuff because the characters were described well and the scenarios interesting. There was action, intrigue, curiosity, and interest throughout majority of the stories in this collection.
Will I dig deeper int
Brenda (aka Gramma)
48 entries after the Intro, including some non-stories like Rejection Slips.
my top 5:
Spell My Name with an S
The Ugly Little Boy
Unto the Fourth Generation

next 5:
Satisfaction Guaranteed
The Immortal Bard
The Last Question
It's Such a Beautiful Day

I could keep going, and these outweigh the few forgettables and things like I'm in Marsport Without Hilda.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, sci-fi
This was very cool read. I enjoyed some of the stories better than others, but overall I enjoyed it greatly.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I say Isaac Asimov is a genius I don't mean that he's an excellent writer who brought great innovation to the sci-fi genre. Well not only that.
To me a genius is someone who is able to conceptualize and imagine something completely new, creative and original. To me genius comes with the creation of complete novelty, not necessarily with an invention or scientific discovery, merely with an idea. That's what Asimov brings with his stories.
Besides the obvious extraterrestrial themes and futur
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
It's funny reading vintage sci-fi - there's an element of fantasy and religion that you don't get in the modern stuff, like the short short about the A bomb that feature the cameo. Women tend to be motivated by romance - Dr Susan Calvin being a notable exception.

I read and reread this for years, and I haven't picked it up for well over a decade. Doing that now made me re-evaluate it a bit. Isaac Asimov will always be a name to conjure with, particularly when it comes to stories about robots, bu
Ken Doggett
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever read Isaac Asimov's stories you can understand why he was considered such an enormous talent. This book is a collection of his short stories that were written and published in the 1940s, throughout the 1950s, and into the 1960s. Certain social situations and much of the technology is now dated. For example, his idea of the dating scene in the 1950s aligned more closely, I believe, to the 1890s, and resembled more the customs depicted in Pride and Prejudice, than, say, in the James ...more
Mr. Garcia
Must read stories include: The Last Question, Nightfall, and Profession. I believe Asimov was a true optimist, and he helped me to believe that we should have faith in our abilities, our society, and technology to make our future better. His short stories quickly establish interesting and compelling characters and unfold unpredictably.
Jun 07, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fun
totally fun short stories that make you think of things you wouldn't otherwise
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is fascinating to me upon reading short stories and sci-fi books from different eras what the major events and preoccupations were during those times. At the time of Asimov writing these in the 50's computers were becoming a bigger thing. There are many stories dealing with his "Multivac" creation, which is a gigantic computer that grows bigger all the time and is constantly being fed new information. People were very much concerned with AI and the possible negative effects from it. Asimov al ...more
Asimov knew how to write a story. He had a fluent style that I like a lot. Unfortunately, the stories here are not good. This compilation has 25 short stories (although Wikipedia says it should have 46). They were mostly bad stories, but well written. "Satisfaction Guaranteed" is the best story, by far, and belongs to the well established Robot's series. "The Last Question" was very good when I first read it years ago. "Dreaming Is a Private Thing" has all the ingredients to be a novel, and as a ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
1. The Dead Past - 5*
2. The foundation of SF success - 3*
3. Franchise - 3*
4. Gimmicks three - 3*
5. Kid Stuff - 5*
6. The Watery Place - 2*
7. Living Space - 5*
8. The Message - 2*
9. Satisfaction Guaranteed - 5*
10. Hellfire - 4*
11. The Last Trump - 5*
12. The Fun They Had - 3*
13. Jokester - 5*
14. The Immortal Bard - 4*
15. Someday - 4*
16. The Authors Ordeal - 5*
17. Dreaming is a Private Thing - 5*
18. Profession - 5*
19. The Feeling of Power - 4*
20. The Dying Night - 5*
21. I'm in Marsport without Hilda
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Asimov is one of the only authors I know of where every short story is fascinating, creative, and unique. It's really unfortunate that this anthology set was never completed. I figured out if i read Fifty Years of Isaac Asimov, Early Asimov, the Complete Robot, Edge of Tomorrow, Winds of Change, Azazel, Gold, and Magic, i'll get all but 25 of the scifi stories that have been published in anthologies. (There are 15 more that were never anthologized)
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection of stories. Prescient and thought-provoking in terms of the psychology and AI possibilities. You can forgive the fact that many of the technological predictions are way out, considering Asimov was writing in the 50s. All the Troubles of the World made me gasp, and The Last Question is absolutely the right story to finish on. Highly recommended.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A classic. Becomes more fascinating over time as many of what were futuristic devices become reality. Asimov's world is gratingly dystopian in its nearly complete lack of women, the sole focus of characters on work to the exclusion of nearly all other activities and the fearsome social control of his imagined future.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading through this volume might make you wonder if Asimov's left anything for anyone else to think about the future.
Some of these stories could have inspired Black Mirror episodes and it surely seems that more of his fiction will come alive as AI evolves.
A collection that will get you hooked to sci-fi by stretching your mind to very edge of the universe.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great stories from great scifi author, Asimov. After so many decades, all of the stories are still relevant and highly enjoyable. I pushed myself to select 3 favorite stories and it was really a difficult job.
My favorites are:
- The Dead Past
- Satisfaction Guaranteed
- Profession
and of course "The Last Question".
Enjoy reading and dreaming.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it! These stories are so good and there's so many of them, several I wish were longer. There's only 2 stories (1 very short) in the whole bunch that aren't worth reading. Got a lot out of this book overall. Asimov had such a creative imagination and had me really thinking at times.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely classic. The fact that it is science fiction is almost by the by. He’s a classic storyteller, and there is always a twist in the tale. It’s really good to go back and remind myself of why I grew up loving sci fi and the old masters in particular. Wish I could have met him.
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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

The Complete Stories (3 books)
  • The Complete Stories, Vol. 2
  • Otros Cuentos de Ciencia-Ficción

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