Stunned, grief-stricken, and outraged, Biron is determined to uncover the reasons behind his father's death, and becomes entangled in an intricate saga of rebellion, political intrigue, and espionage. The mystery takes him deep into space where he finds himself in a relentless struggle with the power-mad despots of Tyrann.
©1983 Isaac Asimov; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
Great story. Great science behind the science fiction - most of which is still not too dated to enjoy today. Though some of the 50's attitudes would grate against feminist beliefs today, but if read in a "Leave it to Beaver" mindset of that time, would still be enjoyable.
The Stars, Like Dust is the 2nd installment Asimov's Empire series, but sufficiently loosely connected to be a standalone rendition. Briefly, the tale takes place in the far distant future with current Earth history a distant memory. Star travel has been mastered and planetary systems are largely settled with humanoid intelligent life. Earth and the rest of the local inhabited worlds are under the tyrannical rule of distant overlords.
The plot revolves around a young man whose father, a fellow of considerable economic significance, has been murdered. The son embarks on a journey to discover the truth which leads to political intrigue and hints of rebellion. The sci-fi elements are limited to interstellar travel, a "radiation" bomb which was probably the concept for neutron bombs, and "massometers" which can detect gravitational fields. While all this seems rather simplistic, this was released in 1951.
The narration is excellent with a solid range of voices, appropriate pacing, and good tone and mood. While the story is short by current sci-fi standards, the plot is still quite engaging and rich in complexity.
I work in Financial Services and love History, Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
I would put The Foundation Series as Asimov's high water mark, this is secondary storyline (Galactic Empire Series) but worth reading/listening to fit into the larger context.I thought it was great but the Foundation Series is excellent. I consider his Non-Foundation books "boyhood science fiction", entertaining and well worth the effort but not as complex. You can almost see the blueprint here for later works by other artists, writers and move makers. Asimov is the original (in my opinion).
I like the way it ended, there was a twist that I did not see coming....
I thought he did a great job! The different characters had different voices, I am always surprised how the best narrators do this....he was fantastic.
It's not that type of material (to me). It reminds me of the old Buck Rodgers TV show a little bit, entertaining and a great diversion.
I would recommend it to anyone to enjoys SF and wants to fill out their understanding of the Asimov cannon. Good book for a vacation, the beach or just wan to mentally "get away".
I don't know if this book was actually written in the 50's, but it has that flavor to it. Anyway, it's a well-crafted story from a master of the genre. Not a monumental, life-changing experience, but an engaging little story, and Asimov's attention to detail always makes his work a pleasure to read.
excellent quality in sound and continuity, i also like that the book was broken down in 6 min. increments so you could easily find your place,or revue what you listened to when you last stopped. after ripping to cd's (which i found abit tedious)
i was easily able to transfer it to my mp3 player and still have a hard copy, (you know mp3 players go haywire occasionally)
ABOUT THE BOOK: this is an addition to my collection, as well as 3 other books i downloaded,(by the same author) and takes me into many long hours at night as i drive(my occupation). Hoping to complete the set! while the book itself stands alone as a short story, it fills in the gaps and the cronological order of man,space travel,robots,and empire. which in my opinion is better then "star wars". of course that is my opinion. And once you start listening to one of these books by Isaac Asimov, you'll, like me want to get another. i suggest you start with "Prelude to Foundation" the beginning of a man called Harry Seldon. 1 of 6 books about "Psycho-history". Happy listening!
Usually love Asimov but couldn't quite get into this one. Found it less engaging and harder to follow than his other works
Here is another great story by Isaac Asimov that goes along with the ‘Caves of Steel’ series. I can also see why Gene Roddenberry consulted him regarding Star Trek.
The story is a straightforward one where a young man is almost killed and begin his adventure. From there the story follows the character through synchronicity events until ultimately the end. In some ways this story reminds me of the ‘Mote In God’s Eye’. I won’t ruin it for you, but like ‘Robots of Dawn’ it will keep you guessing to the very end.
I read this little paperback book back in the 1980's which was still 30 years after Asimov wrote it. Today, another 30 years later, it is almost like time-traveling to experience the idioms and mores of a time long since passed. As a young man, a friend turned me on to The Foundation Trilogy which is not an uncommon way to be introduced to the Professor. In that massive book action was sparse and wrapped-up in all of the psycho-historical, psychological interplay between the characters. The details of a scene or of the thoughts driving an individual were so engrossing it was like it was played on a visi-sonor.
The Stars, Like Dust…, has a lot of the same attention to detail and intrigue that the larger, perhaps more famous tome wields but it also carries itself like the hero Biron Ferrill; trim and fit - ready for action. The Galactic Empire series fits sweetly between the Robot and Foundations series. There are some small details that drift but on the whole it is an amazing thing to imagine creating a story that spans millennia. RAH is the only other sci-fi master that I know of who accomplished anything similar. That probably only proves my ignorance. It helps a lot to have watched some television from that era while growing up to be able to parse the lexicon as well as the attitudes of the characters. Stephen Thorne lets it all trip off his tongue in a way that feels entirely natural to hear him say it.
However, there isn't much of a way the recording can be better or worse than the book. It is unabridged and so identical. Sometimes the performer can lend vocal characterizations to aid the story's flow. But sometimes it isn't even necessary. Like while reading, the mind fills in the faces and voices of the good guys, the bad guys, and the ones we just don't know about yet.
Now, with Audible's 2008 recording, the ability to take this story out of the "dust" on my bookshelves and with me as I go about my day, really lets me know that we are living in the future. There is nothing like sitting down or laying in a hammock and reading, but getting to head out and ride my bike while enjoying this gem from my youth on my Bluetooth headset? Well, I will be lying down for a long time soon enough. I am slowly but surely duplicating my sci-fi library in audio thanks to Audible.
Works done as dramatizations are always entertaining. Hearing the sizzle of a neuronic-whip or stun pistol can liven up a story. Frequently though that is when the books get edited down to something hardly recognizable. I do prefer the unabridged version in spite of anything a multi-cast version might bring. Mr. Thorne adeptly creates the sense of danger and urgency that the main character is experiencing throughout the story. His portrayal of Gilbert oth Hinriad is hilarious, or rather, "Quite Amusing." As our hero Biron confronts his supposed ally on a barren world, and the woman he loves but had to deny to spring his trap, runs out to rescue him with no adequate life support, it is very hard to not appreciate the melodrama. Ending the book with the rediscovery of the Preamble to the US Constitution was almost as melodramatic. Ya think this is where Star Trek got it - The Yangs and Kohns in The Omega Glory? Very similar.
The Stars, Like Dust… is what they used to call "Juvenile Fiction", but the place it holds in the Asimov Universe allows it to transcend its pulp origins and play its part in the circle that has no end in eternity.
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