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Earth is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov

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Earth is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov
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Earth is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov
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Anything can happen and probably will right here on earth. You don't have to rent a spaceship or sign up for a singles cruise to Saturn or spend your weekends star-hopping along the Milky Way because ... Earth Is Room Enough. Earth is where the action is and each tomorrow unleashes new discoveries. Here are brilliant, witty, frightening, and fascinating stories of the future by the greatest science fiction master of them all. Just hitch your mind to these weird and wonderful tales for a spin around the world of tomorrow that will take you right to the center of your wildest dreams. Contains: The Dead Past, The Foundation of S.F. Success, Franchise, Gimmicks Three, Kid Stuff, The Water Place, Living Space, The Message, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Hell-Fire, The Last Trump, The Fun They Had, Jokester, The Immortal Bard, Someday, The Author's Ordeal, Dreaming Is A Private Thing.

Reviews (7)
Very dated material, but nice set of short stories by the master of sci-fi. Mainly stories from the 1950s, which I actually found interesting as not only were the stories pretty good (as usual) but it was a window into how we felt about the future during this era.
You cannot lose with Asimov
Classic set of stories, I'm using Franchise and Living Space in my course on research design & methodologies.
A very nice collection of short stories, with Mr. Asimov's unique style. It is dated – the computers take up blocks and blocks, and there is mention of slide rules as well. The best one is 'The Watery Place,' but the one that, perhaps, ruins science fiction is 'The Foundation of S. F.' because it takes the mystery out of how it is written.
'The Dead Past' – A professor of Ancient History wants to see into the past for his work, bu the bureaucracy is in his way (the government has been trying to keep the genie in the bottle), so he does an end run and throws everything out of whack.
'The Foundation of S.F. Success (with apologies to W. S. Gilbert)' – A really good guide to writing these stories. I have noticed that in many stories the setting could be 1950's yet is supposed to be 2300's or something like that. The plot and characters are the important part, not so much the science (that just gets to be so much magic or 'pulling a rabbit out of the hat' denouement).
'Franchise' – A silly little projection of our future with computers being able to predict our choices. The computers are blocks long and no one can truly understand how they work, but it seems to be working, so the people let them rule.
'Gimmicks Three' – Isadore Welby has sold his soul to the devil, but he finds his way out of it.
'Kid Stuff' – A fantasy writer is visited by an elf, one he may have written about, only this one is evil.
'The Watery Place' – Bart Cameron is a hard bitten character and during tax season he is worse.
'Living Space' – In the future there are homes for everyone in alternate universes, but there is a limit.
'The Message' – A time traveler finds his way to World War II, North Africa, for his research project.
'Satisfaction Guaranteed' – A new model robot needs testing and Claire Belmont gets to test it.
'Hell Fire' - A different way of looking at an atomic explosion.
'The Last Trump' – There is an argument in Heaven over whether to end the world or not. The best part of this story is the fellow who realizes that his wife could sleep through the trumpet call for the end of the world, he always thought so, and now she was :))
'The Fun They Had' – The future of reading and learning. Only the part of tablets has come true so far.
'Jokester' – Noel Meyerhof is a computer programer for the Multivac, the blocks big computer of the future that can do anything. He is one of a rare breed that can understand the workings of the Multivac. He has been doing something secretly and others, not as able as he, get curious about what it is. When they find out it makes everything not so happy anymore.
'The Immortal Bard' – A fellow has perfected the ability to bring persons from the past to the present. He brought forward several, surreptitiously, the last was William Shakespeare, who was surprised by his reception.
'Someday' – A couple of kids playing around with old computers create something they did not imagine could be, but it broke anyway. They do talk of slide rules, though.
'The Author’s Ordeal (with apologies to W. S. Gilbert)' – Sometimes you write science fiction just to get the story out of you.
'Dreaming is a Private Thing' – Dreaming has become the business of specialists and Jesse Weill runs one of the businesses that develop the people who do the dreaming.
Isaac Asimov was, unquestionably, one of the greatest science fiction writers to ever pick up a pen. As well as his award-winning novels, he also wrote some of the classic short stories of the genre. This collection was one of his earliest such (preceded only by 1955's The Martian Way.) As these are early Asimov, they are not his best or most representative work. Although all are written in Asimov's clever and intimitable style (including the witty poem), there are not real, true classics included - some are very good, some are quite good, and a few merely pedestrian. Personal favorites of mine from this collection are Dreaming Is A Private Thing (concerning which Robert A. Heinlein accused Asimov of making money out of his own psychoses), and Jokester, a highly original and clever story. Pick this up if you are an Asimov fan and have already made headway into his works; otherwise, read a few of his better, more classic collections (such as Nine Tomorrows), first.
Having read several Asimov novel and one short story collection(I, Robot), I picked up The Earth is Room Enough expecting another great work. I was not dissapointed. Although some of the shortest stories are a little inconsequencial, there are many trully greta ones, including The Dead Past, Franchise, Living Space, The Last Trump, and Dreaming is a Private Thing. As always Asimov's stories represent his own unique philosophies, and require much cognitive effort to fully understand. Some of the stories, especially The Dead Past, are downright scary in their implications. A true must read.
There can be no question that Isaac Asimov deserves his place among the legends of science fiction. The original Foundation trilogy and the Robot series are canon deservedly so. Unfortunately, Earth Is Room Enough does not do justice to the Grand Master. The stories collected range from the fairly decent to the deadly dull. The sole stand-out is the brief "An Immortal Bard," answering the amusing question, "What if Shakespeare were alive today and taking a Shakespeare class?" Otherwise, the collection is largely forgettable.
This is one of Asimov's earlier books, so he hadn't worked out yet all the details of making complex subjects understandable for the average reader. If you've got a strong background in the sciences, or are willing to pick up a physic textbook or two to help you through the rough spots, this collection is a must read.
However, if all you're into is escapist sci fi, this book doesn't have much to interest you.
Also note: if you're one of the thinking people, and know very much about Dr. Feinman's research, the first story in the collection will scare the hell out of you.

ISBN: 0449233839

Rating: 4.9/5

Votes: 459

Other Formats: lrf docx lrf lit

ISBN13: 978-0449233832

Publisher: Fawcett (September 12, 1978)

Language: English

Subcategory: Science Fiction

Earth is Room Enough
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Author: Isaac Asimov
Title: Earth is Room Enough