Sunday, April 20, 2008

Short Stories of Isaac Asimov

(The guy who made the book called "I robot" which was turned into a less-than-deep science fiction movie)

The Last Question
Two scientists ask the megalopolis-sized computer named Multivac the most important question of all time: 'Can entropy ever be reversed?', that is, can we ever stop the universe from dying down and ending all life as we know it? Millions of years pass while humanity sprawls across the known universe, yet Multivac still cannot answer this question. The scientists of each generation become increasingly worried by the prospect that the trillion/zillions of humans will eventually die if we don't answer this question. Can they find an answer?
Worth Reading? Yes.

This story also contains Multivac, but it really has nothing to do with the other story. In this story, a scientist loves to tell jokes, because that's the only way he finds himself socially acceptable among his peers. When doing this, he becomes interested in the nature of humor and all jokes since the dawn of time. It is through this that he realizes that he has never heard anyone create a genuinely unique joke. All the jokes people come up with are either bad puns or retellings of old jokes in new settings. He asks Multivac who made up the original jokes, that is, where did the first jokes come from? Once again, you have to read it to find the answer out.
Worth Reading? Probably.

In a world where there is no night, humans on a planet orbited by five suns finally come to a technological advance in astronomy to predict a day where all five suns will finally be eclipsed by a moon that was never previously visible during the day. During this day, mythical objects called 'stars' are prophesied to appear which will steal the souls of all men and cause civilization to become mad. Since nobody has ever seen a star, and night has never fallen on this planet in over two millenniums, most of the citizens are skeptical. So, the entire story revolves around the final sunset of the last sun to see if there really is such a thing as total darkness, and if these stars truly exist.
Worth Reading? Yes, probably.

The Ugly Little Boy
In the near future on Earth, a special company develops the power to create bubbles in time in which they may extract certain objects, items, or people out of different eras and bring them back to the current time in an enclosed environment. However, if the object attempts to leave its special bubble it is enclosed in, this may cause a massive power fluctuation which could knock out the power for miles around.
After the company successfully retrieves inanimate objects from past eras, they proceed to extract a three year old Neanderthal boy from the past and keep him in the present. It works, and they assign a young nurse to take care of him. She teaches him how to behave and slowly shapes him into a boy of society.
Trouble comes however when the company needs new space for new acquisitions (such as a knight from the crusades!), so they announce to the nurse that the boy must be sent back. She protests and things get woeful.
Worth Reading? The ending is predictable.

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At 4/24/2008 12:52 AM, Blogger ifedajay said...

You didn't respond to my comment on fight club...

At 4/24/2008 9:23 AM, Blogger TheJBurger said...

You wouldn't even want to know the real ending.

In the movie, he shoots himself in the cheek and his alter-ego dies.

In the book, he shoots himself (or jumps of a building, I can't remember) and successfully kills himself. Then he is in like in the afterlife and some weird conversations take place and then the book ends. A worse ending in my opinion.


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