Asimov is a modern-day writer…He speaks in terms the lay person can understand and is, thankfully, a teacher first and a scientist second…He is a friend to science and reader alike.

—South Bend Tribune

Isaac Asimov has garnered many such accolades for his celebrated science writing. In Out of the Everywhere, Doubleday’s twenty-fifth collection of Asimov’s science essays, the Good Doctor once again expounds knowledgeably and skillfully on the seemingly arcane world of scientific phenomena.

Divided into six sections—Astronomy, Humanity, Radiation, Magnetism, Fuel, and Time—this volume includes seventeen compelling ruminations on the wonders of science, and tackles issues such as the formation of the solar system, energy, evolution, population control, and the deterioration of our environment. Each of the interconnected scenarios reveals the structural harmony of our universe and the crucial role of humanity in this grand orchestration. Always current and accurate, Asimov’s familiar tone illuminates the vital relevance of his chosen topics to our everyday lives, encouraging his readers to learn more about the world around them.

Informative and entertaining, Out of the Everywhere illuminates Dr. Asimov’s renowned talent for simplification, without trivialization of complex scientific concepts, proving yet again why Publisher’s Weekly has called him the “Balzac of science.”

This is, I am sorry to say, almost a “run of the mill” F&SF essay collection. That’s almost an oxymoron, of course, because it is filled (as usual) with seventeen interesting and readable examinations of the world around us. The problem is—and I say this with a touch of annoyance, I must admit—that there are none that are absolutely blow-your-socks-off outstanding, which is the case with most of the books in the series. (Indeed, the one essay which stands out the most from the lot—“Is Anyone Listening?”—does so largely by virtue of being an unusually bitter essay on overpopulation.)

So while there is nothing in here that I actually dislike or even come close to not enjoying—my enthusiasm is ever-so-slightly marred by this volume’s unfortunate failure to be quite as fantastic as its siblings. And if that’s not praising with faint damns, I’m not sure what is.

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