Isaac Asimov Presents Superquiz and the three "superquiz" books that, alas, follow it suffer from all the faults of Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts (q.v.).

#1. It was actually prepared by somebody else, in this case Ken Fisher. Asimov was asked to stick his name on it to help market the book, and he reconciled that by his conscience by being a fact-checker. His own contribution to the book’s preparation was minimal.

#2. It’s a book of trivia. This means that it’s fluffy and pretty insubstantial and a lousy read. (In fact, this book isn’t meant to be read. It’s really a game and meant to be played.)

#3. There’s no index, so it isn’t any good as a reference book.

Now, I’m not trying to denigrate Ken Fisher, who did a decent job of putting the books together. I imagine, too, that it was pretty effective in its original setting as a newspaper column. It could be a pretty fun game for those into trivia games (although in the case of this book, you either have to track down the very rare game version or spend your evening passing the book around and asking interesting questions). There are a number of pretty painful errors that I was able to find even in the course of casual reads, however, and that detracts from the overall experience. It’s moreover not terribly relevant to the Asimov fan and not much fun for people who—as do I—like to read their books.

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