At the regular meeting of the Honorable Society of Ananias, a remarkable tale is spun of a rogue planet which is about to strike the sun—and cause it to explode. Or is it just a tale?
I can’t say I like this story very much. Asimov tends to cite it a lot, because he shows here that, on the one hand, he understood uranium fission years before it was generally known (thus illustrating that science fiction circles knew a lot more than the general public about such things in 1940 and 1941), but, on the other hand, he can’t name the other elements correctly (which shows that he didn’t know everything).
Anyway, it was intended to be the first of a series and is actually mildly interesting as the story gets told, and objection after objection is raised and met. Still, it is somehow lackluster and one is not terribly disappointed that it had no sequels.
(Ananias, for those who haven’t read Asimov’s Guide to the Bible, Volume Two recently, was a man who lied to the Apostle Peter and got struck dead as a result.)
|The Early Asimov|