Friday, October 24, 2008

Literature Review

One thing that always depresses me when browsing through the new sci fi section at Barnes and Noble is that it is set up directly next to the sci fi authors whose names start with A. Included in this section are Isaac Asimov and Douglas Adams, both of whom are, by far, my favorite sci fi authors ever. Why does this depress me? Well, they're both dead. Never to publish again.
Invariably, I find myself scanning their titles in vain.

Earlier this week was no exception. But lo! What do I find but an Asimov book previously unknown to me. Pebble in the Sky was Asminov's first novel, and it was the first time I'd ever seen it. Needless to say, I snatched it up.

Today, at lunch, I finished the book. It was remarkable to read a piece from such an early time in his career. Not as polished as his later work, it was still a beautiful piece of literature.

Set in the future after humans have gone and spread themselves throughout the galaxy, the citizens of Earth are outcast by the rest of the galactic inhabitants because Earthlings fancy themselves the origin of man while the popular theory is that humanity evolved independantly on each planet. Today, of course, knowing what we know of evolution, this concept is ridiculous, but back when the novel was written, mayhaps it wasn't such an impossible idea?

Anyhoo, it's a remarkable book. Read it. You have to. Absolutely. It's a future sci fi, it's dystopia, it's alternate reality, it's political intrigue, it's megalomania, and, best of all, it's Asimov.

For realz. Read it.