Buy Jupiter and Other Stories
Isaac Asimov, © 1979
Today while in the library taking notes for my two term papers, I read through Buy Jupiter and Other Stories. I did not intend to finish it, but I realized I was finished with my notes ahead of time, and rather than starting my first paper an hour before lunch, I decided to return to and finish Buy Jupiter. It is a collection of some 20+ short stories by Isaac Asimov, each with generous afterwords and forewords. It turns out that I am not the only fan who adores these little asides by Asimov — apparently he was written to by fans who thanked him for them.
Many of the stories are quite brief. There were about four that I didn’t quite “get”, but there were also some stories that really struck me and have become favorites. I’ll mention a few of the stories: all are not necessarily favorites.
- “Buy Jupiter” concerns the reaction of Earth when aliens approach requesting to buy the planet of Jupiter. The conclusion is rather comedic.
- “The Founding Father” is about the crew of five Earthmen who crash on an Earth-like planet with an atmosphere of ammonia. They labor to make it livable. Excellent conclusion — one of my favorites.
- “Button, Button” features an inventor who uses German sentence structure whenever he grows emotional. As a student of the German language, I found that particularly interesting.
Many of the stories feature a first-person narrative voice, which is unusual for Asimov’s short stories — at least the ones I’ve seen. The book is an exceptionally quick read.