Back to Books

Full title The Alternate Asimovs [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1986
Pages 320
Synopsis

Contains Grow Old Along with Me (which became Pebble in the Sky), The End of Eternity (which became a novel with the same name), and two versions of Belief (the unpublished and the published versions).

Grow Old Along with Me takes place in the Galactic Era (when humans have colonized millions of worlds) and deals with an Earth plot to take revenge at the rest of the Galaxy for its poor treatment of the Earth, and to establish the Earth as the ruling world. (As a side-note, no one in the Galaxy really knows if humanity originated on a single planet, or if they originated on several worlds more or less simultaneously and, when each planet became space-faring, met and interbred to form the humanity that is the Galactic Empire. Most adhere to the latter, which they call the Merger Theory. The former is called the Radiation Theory and is believed by a small sect on Earth calling themselves the Ancients.)

The End of Eternity is a time travel short story about the so-called Eternals who live in Eternity and alter the realities of different centuries by making quantum changes.

Belief is a story about Roger Toomey who one morning discovers that he can levitate, and centers around his attempts at getting his fellow physicists to believe him. The two versions (the unpublished and the published) differ only in the endings. My favorite of these is by far the published version of Belief (Asimov preferred the unpublished one), because it tells a beautiful story in a beautiful way. My least favorite is The End of Eternity, because time travel is full of paradoxes (and I really dislike paradoxes).

Back to Books