Saturday, November 26, 2011

Short Story Sunday - A Double Dose of Asimov

As the year winds down I am starting to think ahead to next year and Carl's SF Experience.  To get ready for it, I began reading Asimov's "Buy Jupiter and Other Stories".  

"Day of the Hunters" by Isaac Asimov
First Publication:  Future (Combined with Science Fiction Stories), November 1950

"Day of the Hunters" uses an old plot of having one person tell a group a strange story.  Asimov used it in his mystery series "The Black Widowers".  A couple of the more famous science fictional uses of this story structure was Spider Robinson's "Callahan's Bar" series and Larry Niven's "Draco's Tavern".

This time around, Asimov uses it to tell the tale of what happened to the dinosaurs.  A strange man claims to be a time traveler who went back to see what happened and narrowly escaped to the time of the story.

It was a fun story that I recommend to the reader.

"Shah Guido G" by Isaac Asimov
First Publication:  Marvel Science Fiction, November 1951

Although it is not classic Asimov, this is an amazing story for what the author fits into this short number of pages.  Asimov covers a future Earth, an island city that floats in the sky, a revolt of the lower class, and the results of the revolt.  At the same time, he makes you care for the main character.  

Recommended, even though it has a corny ending.

Re-reading Asimov brings back my love for the short story.  I think that more writers need to study Asimov.  I heard in a recent podcast that Kim Stanley Robinson is a big fan of Asimov's and wishes that he would return to prominence in the field.  In recent years, it seems that Asimov is slipping out of the fan's eye.  

1 comment:

Carl V. said...

"Re-reading Asimov brings back my love for the short story."

I've had that experience with Asimov as well. Or maybe I would have to amend that to "reading" rather than "re-reading". I remember reading the I, Robot collection a few years ago and it touched off an immersion into short stories that has not really slacked off. My reading is down this year but I still managed some short story collections.

I have bought a number of Asimov short story collections over the last couple of years. I'll have to see if either of these stories are in any of them.