Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The end of eternity...and the end of a 'good sci-fi' drought

My first pleasant encounter with Asimov

The End of EternityThe End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I am still reeling from the effect of finishing this one. This is just my second Asimov novel, which I picked purely because it was unconnected to any of his other series ( viz. the Foundation and the Robots ), and what a treat it turned out to be! Such an intriguing story full of every bit of concept and paradox possible within the purvey of time-travel and such delightful flights of speculations( which mind you are very logical ) into the human future! Truly Amazing!

Although I agree, to an extent, to the common criticisms leveled against Asimov's works such as the characters being caricatures and not very fleshed out and the story being plot-driven only. But I enjoyed so much and it was so stimulating to read this that I hardly noticed the above mentioned 'pitfalls'. I mean, does it really matter if the time-traveler guy behaves like a comic book character when you are travelling up-when to 30,000 centuries in the future or are pondering over such delicious questions as in what were the 'reality changes' induced due to your last visit to 275th century ? or what would be the minimum necessary change required to be effected in the space-time fabric of 95th century so as to prevent an imminent war ?
There is just so much to enjoy as well as to ponder over here : dilemmas like whether the opening of an 'eternity' channel and insistence on 'correcting' the past in order to get the best possible future will stifle the evolution of man as a species ? Whether the advent of time-travel totally undermine human advances into exploring the universe and colonizing the galaxy! Heady stuff.

Though I admit that I haven't read a lot of quality science fiction to boast about, but surely this is the best I have had so far.

And so this last query to Mr. Asimov, if he doesn't mind : Where have you been so far ? Why on earth and time had I not discovered you earlier ?
'Guess it's never too late', I can hear him whisper this reply. :)

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