LAUGHING SPACE by Isaac Asimov

LAUGHING SPACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sf funnies, Asimov style: a monster compendium of 51 cartoons, 18 poems, and 57 stories ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. In the latter category are such famous stories as Alan Nelson's "Silenzia" (an Air Wick that swallows noise instead of smells); Lion Miller's "The Available Data on the Worp Reaction," in which a congenital idiot makes an antigravity machine out of junk; Simak's "Lulu" (spaceship falls in love with her crew); Richard Matheson's "The Splendid Source" (where do dirty jokes come from?); Bester's "Something Up There Likes Me," about an Orbiting Biological Observatory playing god; Hal Draper's "Ms Fnd in a Lbry" (problems of information retrieval); and an excerpt from Leiber's The Silver Eggheads, with machine novelists getting their comeuppance. Others are superficially amusing but with rather chilling implications, such as Norman Kagan's quantum theory of multiple universes or Kevin O'Donnell's censorship-by-computer tale. And on the debit side, there's an excess of pieces whose sole justification is a concluding horrible pun (an Asimov obsession), sniggery attacks on critics (ditto), and yarns where Asimov himself appears in one guise or another. Still, some of the light verses (L. Sprague de Camp, Ogden Nash, Gerald Jonas) might raise a smile, as might the cartoons of Hart, Lorenz, Schulz, and Gahan Wilson; and famous names are sprinkled throughout. So just about anyone will find something to chuckle over here--even if most readers will prefer to browse. . . and choose more selectively than Asimov has.
Pub Date: March 26th, 1982
ISBN: 0395305195
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1982




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