Cover of The Beginning and the End
Book 187 Science Essays 1977
The Hugo Winners, Volume Three Mars, the Red Planet
1 spaceship-and-sun
Asimov fan
1 spaceship-and-sun
Target reader

The Incomparable Asimov On:

  • Interplanetary tourism
  • Monsters through the ages
  • Our water—all 28 trillion drops of it
  • A cosmic empire built on a network of black holes
  • A scientific prophet named Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Solar power stations in the world’s deserts

Once again, Isaac Asimov journeys from past to present to future, from earth’s recesses to the limits of the universe. Here is a provocative, endlessly fascinating foray from the moons of Jupiter to America’s quadricentennial, from the coming Ice Age to life beyond the solar system.

I hate to say it, but as Asimov essay collections go, this is a rather minor entry with few items of genuine interest. This is, of course, an inherent problem with Asimov’s non-F&SF essays: they generally cover ground he covers elsewhere, and he has to repress the chatty style of his F&SF essays when writing for other magazines. So there isn’t a lot here that’s new or outstanding— even the title essay is a rewrite of “I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover,” slightly updated.

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