Cover of Laughing Space
Book 247 Anthology 1982
TV: 2000 How Did We Find Out About Life in the Deep Sea?
1 spaceship-and-sun
Asimov fan
1 spaceship-and-sun
Target reader

Here is an irresistable treat and a must for sf fans the world around. It’s a great big cornucopia of stories, poems, and cartoons celebrating the lighter side of science fiction. There are contributions by such well-known writers as Bill Pronzini, Robert Sheckley, Russell Baker, Theodore Sturgeon, and Damon Knight; cartoons by the likes of Virgil Partch and Johnny Hart; poems by L. Sprague de Camp; as well as happy discoveries by lesser-known authors and artists whose small masterpieces of comedy have been rescued from possible oblivion by Isaac and Janet.

There are satires, spoofs, outrageous puns, old chestnuts and new plums, takes intellectual and bawdy, something to tickle every fancy. And to wrap it all up, Isaac has provided an introduction to each piece in his own highly personal, inimitable manner.

There is nothing quite like it in the world—or space, either, for that matter!

“Asimov is serious about his humor.”—The Boston Globe

The main problem with this collection of humorous science fiction is that it isn’t all that funny.

Oh, there are some funny items here, mind. Asimov’s own “Pâté de Foie Gras,” for example, as well as numerous others. And the book is sprinkled with cartoons—mostly “B.C.,” for some reason, which only marginally counts as sf so far as I’m concerned—and light verse.

It’s just that so much of it is only mildly funny, or vaguely amusing, or simply not as funny as some other sf that’s lying around—“Rejection Slips,” for example, or ”The Holmes-Ginsbook Device,” or even some stories by people other than the Good Doctor.

So while one might get a wry smile or two, and maybe even the rare belly-laugh while reading this book—don’t expect an awful lot out of it, because you‘re not going to get it.

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