Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Winds of Change and Other Stories

The Winds of Change and Other Stories
© 1983 Isaac Asimov

Having survived the flood of term paper deadlines, I can now cool my heels and relax -- and so I did, with another collection of Asimov's short stories. This particular collection contains 21 such stories, all preceded by one of Asimov's charming forewords, explaining the context in which he wrote it. A couple of the stories are quite short and function almost as lengthy set-ups to a pun -- Asimov loved wordplay.

A couple of the stories were repeats for me, not that I mind much. I re-read them and enjoyed them just as much as I did when I read them for the first time. There are some very funny stories in here, such as "How it Happened", which was supposed to be the first in a collection of short stories depicting cosmological history. It's...well, I shook with laughter for a while. One story, "Belief", deals with a physical scientist who realizes he can levitate -- and has trouble figuring out how to convince his (rightfully) skeptical colleagues that he's not pulling tricks on them. "Ideas Die Hard", written in the mid-fifties, concerns man's first space flight to the Moon -- interestingly enough, Asimov depicts the astronauts taking about three days to get to the Moon, which is how long it took the various Apollo astronauts to travel there. One of my favorite stories was "Lest We Remember", and it involves an experimental drug that is supposed to increase the ability to recall.

Asimov entertains and delights as usual. If you can find it, why not give it a try?

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