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Nemesis Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1990


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Eugenia Insigna of the Settlement Rotor, an independent space station, discovers an unknown red dwarf star two light years from Earth, she names it Nemesis. Led by Dr. Janus Pitt, Rotor and its population travel to the star to build a new, morally pure society. Insigna's daughter Marlene, who can read body language like a telepath, learns that Nemesis is moving dangerously close to Earth's solar system. After trying to communicate her knowledge, Marlene discovers that a conspiracy is suppressing it. Told alternately from two points of view, Marlene's and (in a different time frame) her father's, the book is repetitive, talky and unengaging. Asimov is at his best when his characters discuss science and their schemes for saving Earth's people from destruction by Nemesis.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A man's search for a daughter he has never known, a young girl's affinity for the mysterious planet around which her space station home revolves, and a space colony commissioner's desire to isolate his renegade community form the delicate framework upon which rests Earth's future. Although the prolific Asimov's forte lies in his dedication to hard science as the basis for his stories, his latest novel features an intriguing mix of believable heroes and villains, a pair of convergent plots, and a nicely foreshadowed conclusion. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (September 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553286285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553286281
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Isaac Asimov was one the best science fiction writers I've ever read.
Ana Maria Charlier Madeira
The characters have the same discussions and make the same points over and over through the book.
Eliminator Man
I really was liking this book until nothing happened for such a long time on Erythro.
Fatty's Big Chance

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Dan on December 22, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nemesis is often looked down upon in the world of science-fiction, and fans, as you can tell by the other reviews posted here, find it to be rather weak. And so it was only with reluctance that I picked up a copy of Nemesis, and again it was only with reluctance that I began to read. I had come expecting trash and the worst of Asimov but what I got was a surprise, a rather pleasant one actually. Despite what you may hear, Nemesis is great. It features many artistically crafted characters and a fine blend of science and adventure. If you've heard that Nemesis was no good, just take my advice, don't believe it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Jones on June 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read practically everything fictional Asimov has ever written, from the very earliest short stories through all the Foundation books and beyond. I love Asimov, as you would surmise. This story is not nearly as much like Asimov as it is like another of my favorite SF writers - Orson Scott Card.

This is late Asimov - very late - and it shows. Character is not Asimov's great strength, though he does have some compelling ones, but this is a character-driven story. The plot is thin, and serves mostly as a backdrop for the characters to play off against each other. They do. I love this kind of story.

Asimov is the king of hard SF, that is, his stories all have a great reliance on astrophysics as a major plot device. This story does have this element, but it plays a smaller role than I'm used to seeing. Rather, the main character's abnormal perceptiveness is the major plot driver, and that is very, very Card, not Asimov. Card's novels ordinarily have almost no science in them at all, but the characters leap off the page. Call this a blend of the two.

I liked the book. You need to be aware of the biases here, though, of those that also like it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Scott Merritt on November 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having Read much of the Foundation Series as well as what I feel is Asimov's most inspired work "I, Robot", I recently picked up a copy of Nemesis. At once, I found Nemesis to be very suspenseful, and I found the character development to be quite creative, though a little predictable at times. The book built more and more intensely towards a climax which sadly never came. It seemed to me that the Asimov must have been under a very tight deadline to finish this book because at the most interesting point, the entire story line simply dissolved in a matter of 4 or 5 pages with nearly nothing resolved. Needless to say, I found this work to be a little disappointing
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Lee on September 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Out of the many concepts explored in science fiction, from space exploration, to the colonization of other worlds, to new earths, and terraforming, I find that the concept that seems to have fallen by the wayside the most is that of the settlement of space through artificial habitats. Issac Asimov once commented that a sort of "planetary chauvinism" existed while commenting on all the efforts and speculations spent on searching for another planet like earth, both in science and in science fiction. In Nemesis Asimov tackles these concepts as well as a range of other issues.

Taking a break from the two (or one) universes that have made Asimov's name a staple in science fiction, that of the Foundation and the Robots/Spacers universe, Asimov has created a brand new world where humanity has settled the stars in space habitats that is as fascinating and deep as his others. In the two or so centuries following the twentieth, overpopulation has resulted in the mass migration of humanity to artifially created habitats located throughout the solar system. These habitats are not your usual modular space stations. they are like those envisioned by the likes of Gerard K. O'neil et. al. They are massive vessels with vast swaths of land, lakes, blue skies, curving horizons and artificial gravity. Through self selection, these communities have become thousands of little islands in the sky. Their citizens have developed a curious love/hate relationship with the earth, the origin of humanity. On one hand they hold their habitats and lifestyles to be superior to Earth, yet on the other hand, they hold an irrational reverence and psychological link with the Earth, perhaps as a reaction to the isolation imposed by life in the habitats from the rest of humanity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By not4prophet on July 8, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I give "Nemesis" three stars for originality and suspense, but none for the writing or the characters. It is an easily readable book with a decent ending, but it's not nearly as good as some of Asimov's earlier works.
"Nemesis" is set several hundred years in the future, when small numbers of humans have moved away from the planet Earth, which is in decay, and started to live on settlements in space. Janis Pitt, the leader of one of these settlements, decides to move it to a hidden star system nearby, where he hopes to establish a Utopia and prevent any outsiders from entering. The settlement, known as Rotor, is set in orbit around a planet called Erythro. However, a plague apparently caused by sinister forces on Erythro complicates the settlers' plans. Meanwhile, back on Earth, scientists are struggling to discover the secret to faster-than-light travel so that they can find Rotor. The story starts off pretty slowly, but it becomes pretty suspenseful once the main character, a girl named Marlene, starts being pulled by mysterious forces on the planet of Erythro.
For some reason, Asimov always chooses to write about ninety-five percent of each novel in dialogue format. In "Nemesis", this style becomes annoying because all of the characters sound almost exactly the same. There's no attempt to give any of them a unique and original voice. Also, despite the fact that most of the characters are supposed to be brilliant scientists, they're all fairly stupid. They prattle on for pages before suddenly realizing facts that have been obvious to the reader for several chapters. The worst character of all is the archvillian, who's supposed to be a big evil dictator but instead comes across as more of an annoying loser.
Anyway, "Nemesis" is a decent quick read, but it doesn't have the same imagination and character development as Asimov's better works. I recommend "Foundation" and "Foundation and Empire", "Nightfall", and "Fantastic Voyage" instead.
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