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Is Anyone There? : Speculative Essays on the Known and Unknown by Isaac Asimov

Is Anyone There? : Speculative Essays on the Known and Unknown by Isaac Asimov

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New York : Doubleday & Co., 1967. Inscribed/signed by Isaac Asimov on title page. Hardcover. 320 pages ; 22 cm. $6.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Glue residue on front free endpaper. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.


Is Anyone There? by Isaac Asimov

Dr. Asimov calls this unusual collection "speculative essays on the known and unknown." Spanning over a decade of inquiry — both casual and ardent — these writings deal with science, with conjecture, and with science fiction: the three legs of the sturdy Asimov tripod.

Whether deflating flying saucers ("Every reported sighting is either a hoax, a mistake, or something that can be explained in a fashion that does not involve spaceships from the distant stars"), prescribing L.S.D. ("Using L.S.D. without the greatest of professional care is a kind of Russian roulette. It is an invitation to temporary insanity for all — and possibly permanent insanity for some"), or describing what life might be like in 1990 ("There ought to be a going colony on the moon, composed of changing shifts of highly trained and specialized personnel, and there will be plans for landing a man on Mars"), Asimov's wit, erudition, and directness are equally visible.

Is Anyone There? by Isaac Asimov

'I don't believe in flying saucers in the sense of considering them to be space vehicles guided by extra-terrestrials. There is virtually no likelihood of intelligent life elsewhere in the Solar system, and the nearest samples of life capable of handling spaceships must occur many light-years away."

'My infernal modesty prevents me from explaining in great detail at this point that I am an acknowledged world authority on robots — so I'll just mention the point briefly. I am an acknowledged world authority on robots."

'Using LSD without the greatest of professional care is a kind of mental Russian Roulette. It is an invitation to temporary insanity for all — and possibly permanent insanity for some."

'By 2025, we may well have landed on one or another of Jupiter's satellites. A century from now, a landing may have been made within Saturn's satellite system, with plans in the making for reaching the satellites of Uranus and Neptune. By 2100, perhaps men will stand on Pluto, at the very limits of the Solar system."


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