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GOLD by Isaac Asimov


by Isaac Asimov

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0006482023
Publisher: HarperCollins

A posthumous anthology of previously uncollected science fiction writings from Asimov (192092; Forward the Foundation, 1993, etc.) comprising 15 stories, 18 nonfiction pieces about science fiction, and 20 essays on the craft of writing science fiction. In the fiction, there are a few nuggets among the less memorable short-shorts--such as the title story, a wonderful account of how a visual artist of genius struggles to represent and dramatize three undescribed alien characters (strongly resembling the aliens in Asimov's The Gods Themselves) from a science fiction novel. And "Cal" is a robot who yearns to write; given the capacity to do so by his writer owner, Cal so outshines his owner that the latter dismantles him. Part Two, "On Science Fiction," consists of magazine editorials, essays--such as "The Robot Chronicles," a fascinating exploration of how Asimov conceived and developed his definitive robot stories--and book introductions. These, devoid of context, lack even footnotes to tell us which books are being introduced. Finally, in Part Three, "On Writing Science Fiction," Asimov, at his most genial and avuncular, dispenses useful advice on "Plotting," "Ideas," "Suspense," "Originality," "Symbolism," "Revisions," "Dialog," and other aspects of the craft. A chance to browse through the prolific Grand Master's last words of, and thoughts about, science fiction. But the pleasure would have been enhanced if somebody had bothered to provide an introduction and some much needed background information.