Book Review: The Stars Like Dust by Isaac Asimov

 

Not too long after I started this book I realized that I had read it before, but so long ago that I couldn’t remember a single character or plot point – except for the finale.  So it was pretty much new to me.  I thought that it was a lot better book than Foundation.

There was a complex plot, a certain amount of suspense, and even some science about stars and the galaxy.  It was published 71 years ago, so the novel technology introduced is mostly either overcome by time or just magic.   It’s not possible to write interstellar fiction without a hefty dose of magic, but Asimov confines his wishful thinking to fairly modest dimensions.

Logical coherence is not big priority in either plot or background.  Humankind has figured out how to suppress nuclear weapons with some kind of force field but has not managed to clean up the radioactive debris from a nuclear war a thousand years ago that still dominates continents.

Society has regressed to feudal systems of government, probably just to facilitate intrigue, but social mores are solidly 1950.

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