on November 11, 2002
Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific writers not just in science fiction, but in all of literature. Having written upwards of 500 books (distributed throughout every category of the Dewey Decimal System), compliling the definitive Asimov omnibus, clearly, is a monumental task. This, the first in a three volume series (I have never come across the two subsequent volumes), collects a good portion of Asimov's short fiction (though, indeed, not as many as the title implies) - including some of his earliest work, and some of his best. This collection includes about 50 stories, comprising the previous short story collections Earth Is Room Enough, Nine Tomorrows, and Nightfall and Other Stories in their entirety. Included in it are some of the classic science fiction short stories of all-time: Nightfall, The Last Question (one of my absolute personal favorites, as well as Asimov's own favorite of his writings), and The Dying Night; as well as personal and sentimental favorites such as The Ugly Little Boy, Jokester, Dreaming Is A Private Thing, Profession, and Breeds There A Man...? It also includes such widely anthologized pieces as It's Such A Beautiful Day, The Fun They Had, and The Machine That Won The War. The collection also picks up several lighter pieces - such as examples of Asimov's poetry, which show that, despite his often leaning toward the cerebral in his stories, the good Doctor was also one big goof. Though by no means a complete overview of Asimov's short fiction, this is a very good place to start if you are new to the author - or if you want to get a good portion of his works in one convenient place. One need not go into the individual merits of these stories: Asimov's reputation precedes itself. This is some of the greatest science fiction ever written, essential to any fan of the genre, or of imaginative writing in general. Very highly recommended.
on October 6, 2002
First off, it's Asimov short stories, so how could it be less then wonderful? Admittedly, the title is a bit misleading, Asimov wrote so many short stories that no single volume could hold all of them. There is, as could be expected, some overlap: stories in this collection that are also in others. That said, this is one of the best collections I've encountered, and it included several stories I have not seen in any other edition.
on February 7, 2001
You won't be sorry to read this book. This edition collects some of the finest and most clever short stories from a master writer. Each story speculates on our future and on the state of humanity; not dry, but through humor and twists of imagination.
This book includes about 50 short stories, ranging from 2-30 pages each, including "Nightfall".
If you have the chance, read "Jokester" first on page 123. You'll never think about humor again in the same way.
on April 12, 2001
The present volume of stories is just the tip of the iceberg. An exhibition that showcases what a fine story teller Isaac Asimov. The highlight of most stories of Asimov is his ability to visualise the future not just in terms of technological advances, but also its impact on human behaviour. If this is the first book of Asimov you are reading then you are well on your way to becoming a fan.
on April 20, 1998
I have to say many of the stories in this collection are pretty average, but there are a few which really push it into the realms of 8+. The stories you muct read are The Last Question, Profession, The dead past and The dying night