Nightfall and other stories

by Isaac Asimov
Reviewed date: 2004 Aug 12
343 pages
cover art

A collection of Asimov's best stories, as chosen by himself. And each with an introduction by the author, witty and interesting and humbly self-promoting as only Asimov can write. Asimov is the single best science fiction writer in history.

  • Nightfall: A world with six suns sees the first darkness in two thousand years. Everyone goes mad. This is one of Asimov's best stories; not his best written story, as he points out. But science fiction is about idea first, execution second.
  • Green Patches: A bit of stowaway alien consciousness plans to bring change to Earth.
  • Hostess: In my opinion the most chilling story in the collection. An alien visitor to Earth stays with biologist Rose Smollet and her husband. They discuss the curious rise in cases of Inhibition Death striking the alien worlds, and does Earth have anything to do with it.... Again Asimov displays his brilliance in writing a riveting story in which the only action is people sitting in small rooms discussing theories and ideas. Asimov is a master at ideas.
  • Breeds There a Man?: Genius scientist becomes suicidal and insane, claiming that mankind is a vast experiment and is about to be wiped out via nuclear holocaust.
  • C-Chute: Human passengers on a spaceship captured by alien Kloros fight amongst each other while trying to take back the ship. One of the best stories in the collection.
  • In A Good Cause--: Richard Sayama Altmayer spends his life trying to persuade humanity to unite under one government so that they will be able to meet the eventual threat posed by the alien Diaboli race.
  • What If--: Married couple see what would have happened had they not met by chance on a bus.
  • Sally: A retirement home for smart automatic cars.
  • Flies: Why are flies inexplicably attracted to Kendell Casey?
  • Nobody Here But--: A computer gets to smart for its own good.
  • It's Such a Beautiful Day: Instantaneous transmission of matter makes going outdoors unnecessary and a sign of poverty and primitiveness.
  • Strikebreaker: A worker on an asteroid community goes on strike, holding in his hands the lives of the entire community.
  • Insert Knob A in Hole B: A funny short-short.
  • The Up-to-Date Sorcerer: I didn't much like this fantasy story.
  • Unto the Fourth Generation: Lefkowitz.
  • What is This Thing Called Love?: Also entitled Playboy and the Slime God. Asexual alien monsters try to study human sexuality.
  • The Machine that Won the War: The great computer Multivac helps humanity win the war against the Denebians.
  • My Son, the Physicist: All boys should listen to their mother.
  • Eyes Do More Than See: Mankind has shed material bodies for existence as pure energy.
  • Segregationist: A heart transplant.

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