Two intrepid young scientists in quest of fame, fortune, and girls invent a marvelous device for lighting a cigarette without getting burned.

Why Asimov only put this story in Opus 100 is a mystery to me. Granted, it’s a satire of Jim Watson’s The Double Helix about the discovery of (surprise!) the double helix of DNA. And granted the story is funnier if you’ve actually read The Double Helix—but the fact is that the story is funny enough even if you haven’t and among Asimov’s best pieces of humorous fiction and a truly inspired bit of silliness, from the incredibly casual pursuit of nothing much beyond physical gratification to their incredibly deep desire to know nothing they don’t have to about the unmentionable Twentieth Century. This is a must, must read for any Asimov fan.

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3 spaceships-and-suns3 spaceships-and-suns Opus 100
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