Title page
Book 0 Chemistry and Biochemistry 1948
    Pebble in the Sky
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Asimov fan
A mule
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This is Asimov’s doctoral dissertation and, if you are fortunate enough to actually find a copy, you‘re probably just as well off never to read it. It is, in fact, quite dull.

Of course, nobody ever said that a doctoral dissertation is supposed to be exciting reading, and Asimov himself was sufficiently disenchanted with the writing style he was expected to use in his dissertation that he lampooned it in his first thiotimoline article. And the writing style well deserves its lampooning.

Even more, the topic is rather on the obscure side and frankly relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Were this not Asimov’s doctoral dissertation—and among the things that made the Good Doctor a "doctor"—it would well-deserve the total obscurity into which it has all-but fallen.

On the other hand, it is not quite as obscure and unimportant as Asimov himself implied it to be, and it does show a certain amount of creativity and original thought. There is no doubt that Asimov deserved his Ph.D.

And yet, this particular opus has no particular meaning or interest beyond two points: One, it proved that Asimov earned the letters that followed his name, and two, it provoked the writing of the hilarious "The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline and its sequels, which are worth any hundred Ph.D.’s.

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