Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection
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Gold is the final and crowning achievement of the fifty-year career of science fiction's transcendent genius, the world-famous author who defined the field of science fiction for its practitioners, its millions of readers, and the world at large.
The first section contains stories that range from the humorous to the profound, at the heart of which is the title story, "Gold," a moving and revealing drama about a writer who gambles everything on a chance at immortality: a gamble Asimov himself made -- and won. The second section contains the grand master's ruminations on the SF genre itself. And the final section is comprised of Asimov's thoughts on the craft and writing of science fiction.
possible; even if it seems to be very bad. This is an extraordinarily difficult job. It is the mark of an unsuccessful book if it is hard to read; if it is clumsy, wearying, uninteresting, dull, monotonous, insulting to the intelligence, predictable, repetitious, infelicitous—any or all of these things. When you and I read a book of this sort, we stop reading. A competent reviewer mustn’t. He must stick to it to give the book an utterly fair shake. 2) A reviewer must read with attention,
smashed Russia, Poland, Hungary, and were penetrating Germany and reaching for Italy, all in a matter of a single year. And then they left and raced eastward again, smashing Bulgaria en route. (They left because their khan had died back in Mongolia and the army had to be there for the election of a successor. Nothing the Europeans could have done would have stopped them.) But the Mongols were “the last of the barbarians.” Partly because of the Mongolian empire that was set up, communications
fiction. It appeared as a three-part serial in the October, November, and December 1953 issues of Galaxy, and Doubleday published it as a novel in 1954. What surprised me about the book was the reaction of the readers. While they approved of Lije Baley, their obvious interest was entirely with Daneel, whom I had viewed as a mere subsidiary character. The approval was particularly intense in the case of the women who wrote to me. (Thirteen years after I had invented Daneel, the television series
worrying about the rationale behind the all-human galaxy myself. I had what I wanted, and I was satisfied. I did not ask myself, for instance, why it was that human beings were the only intelligent species in the galaxy. As it happens, it is possible that though planets are extremely numerous, relatively few are habitable; or that though many planets may be habitable, few may develop life; or that though many planets may be life-bearing, few indeed may develop intelligent life or civilizations.
and the freshness of concept and approach is quite likely to make up for what clumsiness of technique is brought about through inexperience. The clumsiness, after all, will smooth out with time—and at that point, the new talent will almost inevitably begin to write novels. Occasionally, then, we bend. If a story comes along by an established writer that is unusually good but is rather long, we are tempted to run it. We have indeed run stories as long as 40,000 words in a single issue. There are