ASIMOV'S GALAXY by Isaac Asimov

ASIMOV'S GALAXY

Reflections on Science Fiction
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixty-six essays, 1980-86, taken from Asimov's regular editorial column in the science-fiction magazine that bears his name (he has no other control over the magazine's content), and supplementing his previous remarks on the science-fiction field (Asimov on Science Fiction, 1981). Asimov regulars by now will be familiar with both format (short--about four pages) and style (genial, relaxed, informative, reasonable almost to a fault). Following a general, introductory section, and sometimes in response to readers' letters, Asimov discusses the writing of science fiction (advice for young hopefuls, sf poetry, rejection slips, editors); sf writers; the science in sf (including some well-chosen remarks on Star Wars, which some writers fervently support, others vehemently oppose); fantasy; magazines (with particular reference to Asimov's); and, finally, a more personal section. Here, Asimov reflects upon his own writing and characters (such as the famous Susan Calvin of the robot yarns) and, most interestingly, his well-known aphorism from the Foundation trilogy, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" (it may well prove more durable than his venerated Three Laws of Robotics). It is in this last section, though, that the limitations of the short format become apparent: the subject demands in-depth discussion. Tirelessly, Asimov dispenses precisely metered doses of information sweetened with old-fashioned liberalism--concern for individual rights, respect for the Constitution, an outlook that transcends the parochial--a combination that's hard to decline, even if the rewards are often regrettably fleeting.
Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1988
ISBN: 0385241208
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1981




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