Pebble in the Sky Audiobook | Isaac Asimov | Audible.com
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Pebble in the Sky | [Isaac Asimov]

Pebble in the Sky

One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil - so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of 60. Joseph Schwartz is 62.
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Publisher's Summary

One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil - so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of 60. Joseph Schwartz is 62.

This is Isaac Asimov's first novel, full of wonders and ideas, the book that launched the novels of the Galactic Empire, culminating in the Foundation series.

(P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America

What Members Say

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3.8 (369 )
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  •  
    Bonnie hayward, CA, United States 08-18-09
    Bonnie hayward, CA, United States 08-18-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jewel of a book"

    I don't know why I am always so surprised at how wonderful an Asimov story turns out .. and this was no exception.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan San Diego, CA, United States 10-18-13
    Jonathan San Diego, CA, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be..."
    Any additional comments?

    Grow old along with me.
    The best is yet to be.
    The last of life, for which the first was made.

    --Robert Browning (Quoted by Joseph Schwartz)

    This is a great transitional book to the Foundation series and should be read before starting it with the book "Prelude to Foundation". This is the only book which includes a person from Earth in the present day (1949). It's amusing to have someone experience Earth in the distant future like the reader would have. The main character returns to Chicago after 10,000 years have elapsed and sees a city without the remotest connection to what he was used to except for the waterline. There are some great ideas in this book like every book in the Foundation series. The development of an ability to control other people telepathically is portrayed so well as to seem kind of realistic. The characters represent the final chapter of life on earth and it really puts perspective in understanding the view toward earth in the Foundation books

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 04-19-10
    Dean 04-19-10 Member Since 2009

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

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    "Rip Van Winklestar."

    A quaint Sci-Fi Rip Van Winkle story set in the "distant" future. The Story is OK, at times I thought it a bit trite but was worth the read. I have not read any book length Asimov before, and although I would not place this in my top 10% for literary quality, I think I will look for some additional IA pieces.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saundra Houston, TX, USA 09-07-09
    Saundra Houston, TX, USA 09-07-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Incredible!!"

    I may have finished Asimov's Pebble in the Sky but it has not finished with me. Written shortly after we dropped the first atomic bomb over Japan, the story takes the atomic era to an imagined level not yet reached. It will stay with me as long as we are bickering with other atomic powers.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 04-23-13
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2012

    I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid Boyhood Sci Fi"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pebble in the Sky to be better than the print version?

    I would. I think the Asimov series in Audible is very well done. It captures the "old time radio" feel of the stories. This is not heavy literature, and the production is well done and appropriate.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a good story relative to the rest of the Galactic Series which in turn is a fine back story to the classic Foundation Series. The time travel concepts also inter play with The End of Eternity which in my view is Asimov's best stand alone novel.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Fass’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I thought he did a great job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I think this novel is more contextual within the cannon of Asimov. I am glad I read it because it helped to fill out some data relative to the Galactic Empire.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great summer book. Not heavy, interesting plot and very enjoyable. If you only read one Asimov I would recommend End of Eternity, if you only read 3 I would recommend The Foundation Series, but if you like Asimov and want to connect the Robot, GE and Foundation Series this is a must read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramon B. Cano Orem, Ut 02-04-13
    Ramon B. Cano Orem, Ut 02-04-13 Member Since 2012

    tvaelm

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    "Good story with interesting premise."
    Would you listen to Pebble in the Sky again? Why?

    This is classic Asimov story telling. The technology and cultural stuff is, of course, dated (having been written in the 1950's) - but the premise of the story is interesting and it's a quick read/listen. What I love about Asimov's books is his consistent universe between different books. This book takes place during the time the galactic empire is expanding from Trantor. Other books take place before and after this time - but the empire and it's history are always consistent (which is nice). The narration is good - but a little over dramatic at times - But not too distracting from the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-30-11
    11-30-11 Member Since 2000
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    "Real life time travel"

    I read this as a boy along with many other books by Isaac Asimov. Now as a working adult I don’t have as much time for reading as I used to. Hearing the performance was a chance to visit this work again and enjoy it in a new way. It’s still as good as I remember.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Columbia, MD, United States 05-16-11
    Joel Columbia, MD, United States 05-16-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Interesting sci-fi take on an old topic"

    Set in the same universe as Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, but set about 11,000 years earlier, this is an interesting treatment of vibrant, huge, growing Galactic Empire and a backwater planet called Earth.

    Earth is now slightly but definitely radioactive, which has some implications about the rate of mutation among the humans who live there (and is the subject of concern of the outworlders who are visiting). As a result, other planets shun Earth citizens...including an archaeologist who is determined to prove that Earth was the origin of humanity.

    It's well-written, but the plot seems to combine several elements that you've seen elsewhere; I'm not sure how original all of it was.

    Good not necessarily great.

    Robert Fass' narration is pretty good.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Springfield, MO, United States 05-28-11
    James Springfield, MO, United States 05-28-11 Member Since 2010

    New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

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    "A lot of talk"

    There were a lot of seeds for future novels and stories by future authors in this story. The galaxy is settle by man, a dark age happens and man forgets that Earth started it all. A man is operated on and now he can learn faster then other humans. Everyone must die at a certain age, so others will have more resources and of course the main topic in 1950, the result of atomic warfare. The problem I had was that it read more like a thesis then a story. The whole story took place mostly in a couple of rooms and the main characters talked and talked and talked. At a couple of points we were lead to believe the main character was going to explore the forbidden zone, but it never happened. IA usually has great ideas that are best showcased in short stories, whenever he lengthens them into novels they get to boring or silly.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
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