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Pebble in the Sky Hardcover – January 8, 2008
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--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-Winning author of Rollback
"One of the world's premier science fiction writers." --Newsday
"Isaac Asimov is the greatest explainer of the age." --Carl Sagan
"For fifty years it was Isaac Asimov's tone of address that all the other voices of SF obeyed.…For five decades his was the voice to which SF came down in the end. His was the default voice of SF."
--The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
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If you haven't read Asimov, if you think classical science fiction might be boring, think again. Pebble in the Sky is as good a place as any to quaint yourself with some of the best writing this genre has to offer.
I love everyone of his books, and each brings a great story to the table, if you are looking for a good Saga to start reading, check out his Foundation / Robot series. I've read them all the way through several times and each time, loved each book. Each book builds off the one prior and adds a whole new dynamic to the overall universe while still being able to be enjoyed individually. If you are reading this review, Just check out the book, I guarantee it will be worth it.
It was interesting to read this novel for the first time after reading all Foundation and Robot series. The Asimov's Galactic Empire is already there and the psychic powers of the Second Foundation wizards as well. No robots though.
Written in the 50s, there are no cell phone or other tech that we take for granted, and the inability to be "always connected" provides for some plot points.
The protagonist surname and his attitude remind us that the novel was written in almost immediate aftetmath of WWII and the Holocaust. Fascist undertones of villains are evident, and the triumph of democracy is lauded. Some truths never fade, even when more modern books take much more nuanced views on heroism and villainy.
Overall, the exciting read, even after 60 years.
Having said all that, there are interesting concepts addressed in the book. It's far from bad, but those expecting a time travel adventure on a par with The End of Eternity will be sorely disappointed.