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The Winds of Change ... And Other Stories Mass Market Paperback – December 12, 1983

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (December 12, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312431066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312431068
  • ASIN: 0345311884
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,404,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Asimov at his best! A 21-story salute featuring:
* A levitating professor
* Alien traders bringing something to sell
* A black hole hurtling toward Earth
* The universe being created
* And many other matters of great import!

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By s.ferber on January 28, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Winds of Change...and Other Stories" is a 1983 collection of Isaac Asimov's latter-day short pieces; just one of the 506 books he came out with during the course of his incredibly prolific career. The 21 stories in this collection were, with two exceptions, written between 1976 and 1982, and all display the clarity of thought, wit and erudition that are the hallmarks of all of Doc Ike's work. Four of the stories in this collection--"About Nothing," "Death of a Foy," How It Happened" and "Sure Thing"--are short shorts, or "vignettes," as Asimov calls them. Most of these are mere setups to terrible puns; puns that do leave a goofy grin on the reader's face, however. "A Perfect Fit" presents us with a world in which computers are so ubiquitous that the poor individual who is computer illiterate is quite unable to function; a world, perhaps, not so distant from where we are today! In "Belief" (1953), a college professor discovers that he has mysteriously acquired the ability to levitate. The problems that attend his newfound power make up the basis for this consistently amusing tale. "Fair Exchange?" is a time-travel paradox story that shows off Asimov's love of the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan. This compactly written story leads to a surprisingly tragic conclusion. In "For the Birds," a fashion designer is asked to construct wings for the residents of a low-gravity space settlement. His design solution for the inhabitants of the orbiting colony is both delightful and surprising, culminating in a wonderful final line. In "Found!," one of my favorite stories of the bunch, a man-and-woman team of computer technicians encounters an unknown space parasite whilst repairing the Earth-orbiting Computer-Two. This is a fairly creepy tale of first contact that ends on a distinct note of paranoia.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Isaac Asimov was an excellent writer, with a range of coverage that no one else has ever achieved. This book is a collection of his science fiction short stories, and each is either thought provoking or good for a groan at the end. The first takes up less than a page and ends with one of the best/worst puns that you will ever encounter. The last story, where the title of the book is derived, is considered by Asimov to be the best in the collection. I disagree, considering it to be the worst. It is a blast at the Moral Majority movement, and while I have no real affection for them, the story does not deliver a real blow to their position. Twelve of the fourteen pages of the story are a constant dialogue by a member of the Moral Majority that is a harangue of his colleagues in the physics department. I lost interest about halfway through it.

The other stories are much better, with my favorite being "Found!" which is about an interstellar virus that attacks metallic objects. Sunlight is used as an energy source and the metal is used to reproduce. The viruses are damaging satellites and humans are sent to investigate why they are failing. What I found appealing about the story is that it is so plausible. So many stories about the arrival of life from outside the solar system are based on that life being intelligent. However, the evolutionary development of life dictates that primitive life is much more likely to be found, and would be much more capable of successfully traveling across interstellar distances. Therefore, it is more reasonable to believe that any life that manages to arrive at our planet would be a primitive form that feeds on sunlight and minerals, the two things that it will be more likely to find.

Overall, the stories are very good. My only other complaint is that some of them first appeared in other venues, which is where I read them for the first time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "dybo" on January 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In this collection there are twenty-one short stories that run the gamut from humorous to profound. Included with the stories are small introductions by Isaac Asimov. Two of the stories, Belief and Ideas Die Hard, were written in the 1950's. The former is a charming story about a physicist who finds he can levitate. The latter is a good but self admitted out of date story about travel to the moon. The other nineteen stories were written in the late seventies and early eighties. They cover a variety of topics including alien traders, computer illiteracy, the creation of the universe, the last shuttle leaving earth, a clothes designer and much more. It's unreasonable to expect that you'll like every story in any collection of short stories. However, The Winds of Change has more hits than misses. I think fans of Asimov would enjoy this book.
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