Title: The Science Fictional Solar System
Author: Isaac Asimov
Page Count: 324
This book made me feel kind of old, purely due to the nature of it. It’s essentially a short story collection that’s themed around the solar system, with a short story for each of the planets as well as the sun. The reason I feel old is that it was published when Pluto was still a full planet, and I remember those days. I’m literally so old that the planets have changed.
I’ve got used to enjoying Asimov’s little introductory essays, and they’re just as fascinating here as they are elsewhere. He also prefaces each story with a few notes on how scientific research has changed since the stories were written and to analyse whether the short stories still held up with the latest scientific thinking.
There are some cracking authors here too, including a piece by Arthur C. Clarke. Asimov has a story in there himself, too. All of the stories had something different to offer, and in fact what was quite interesting was that they covered such a wide variety of topics while still retaining an overall cohesive feel. It’s difficult to do that, and Asimov was pretty harsh on himself when it came to his abilities as an editor, but I think he did a pretty solid job.
It’s also kind of cool because this was published in 1982, and a bunch of the stories were 30+ years old. That meant that the introductory essays were written pretty much in between when the stories were written and the modern day, making them a nice little bridge.
So overall then, I’d definitely recommend giving this book a go, especially if you’re into science fiction and you want to read a bunch of new authors. I certainly enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to reading more of Asimov’s stuff.