Isaac Asimov's 10 best books

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

Isaac Asimov is recognized as a classic of 20th century science fiction. Jewish by nationality, Russian by origin, American by citizenship, the writer has received 20 international awards for the best works in various nominations. Asimov wrote about robots, flights in time and between planets, talked about the boundaries of Being and reason. Almost all of the author's novels were filmed by modern directors, which indicates the relevance of his stories in the 21st century.

Rating of the best books by Isaac Asimov

Nomination a place title of the work rating
Rating of the best books by Isaac Asimov 1 I, Robot (1950) 4.9
2 End of Eternity (1955) 4.8
3 Founding (1951) 4.8
4 The Gods Themselves (1972) 4.7
5 Profession (1957) 4.6
6 Naked Sun (1956) 4.5
7 Second Academy (1953) 4.5
8 Robots and Empire (1985) 4.5
9 Bicentennial Man (1976) 4.5
10 The last question (1956) 4.4

I, Robot (1950)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.9

I, Robot (1950)

The first in the ranking book 'I, Robot' is a collection of 9 science fiction stories written from 1940 to 1950. It is interesting that the title was borrowed from another author – Endo Binder, and the idea of ​​such a 'plagiarism' did not belong to Azimov, but to the book's publisher.

The stories are presented as separate stories linked by the memories of one person, Dr. Susan Kelvin, who was interviewed in 2057. He is a resident robotic psychologist for the worldwide corporation for positronic robots. In the stories, one idea runs like a red thread, which is relevant today – this is the search for a resonance between the laws of software, computer algorithms and human factors, attitudes and ways of thinking. Scientists, engineers, politicians and possible robots in human form, hiding from exposure, take part in the stories, and the action takes place at the beginning of the XXI century on all planets of the solar system.

When World War II ended in the robot universe in 1982, humans invented the positronic brain and hyperdrive, which marked the beginning of the colonization of the solar system. The law did not allow the use of robots on Earth, but they fully justified themselves on satellites, asteroids and stars.

For the first time in the world, 3 rules of robotics are formed in the work.

End of Eternity (1955)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.8

End of Eternity (1955)

The second novel in the ranking is 'The End of Eternity', which deals with Eternity and travels in it. This is the first science fiction work of its kind, which has become a classic of the genre.

The action takes place in the 'Eternity' structure, which controls reality and time. It includes people, the so-called 'eternal', capable of traveling between centuries. Their task is to control and correct the history of mankind. In the center of attention is the star 'Nemesis', whose companion star Erythro is the only way out for humanity on the eve of threatening death. However, during the development of the star, a problem arose – people are struck by the “erythronic plague”.

In the novel, the time and positions of everyday life, and even scientific life, lose their familiar essence, Isaac Akimov uses many professional terms, the meaning of some has not been translated into Russian and has been lost today. The story is preceded by the 'End of Eternity' and the later written novel 'The Gods Themselves', which we will consider further.

Founding (1951)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.8

Founding (1951)

Bronze goes to the novel 'Foundation', which became the first in the trilogy of the same name. The action takes place in the Trantorian Empire, the largest in the galaxy. Scientist Gary Seldon, using mathematical and psychohistorical methods, predicts the fall of the Empire within several centuries with a probability of 92.5%, but the Public Safety Commission prohibits such information from being made public, for fear of unrest and unrest that has already begun to manifest itself. The capital Trantor is mired in bureaucracy and corruption, finding itself in a difficult situation to maneuver. The coming collapse is the collapse of the Empire and the return of humanity to barbaric times, when all achievements will be plundered and lost, in particular innovative technologies and nuclear energy. The task of the people is to collect all the valuables in the Academy before the fall of Trantor.

Gary Saldon sets himself the task of minimizing the effect of the disaster by reducing the time of predicted barbarian unrest from 30,000 years to 1,000 years and preserving all the great knowledge in the Encyclopedia. Found a new planet for life – Terminus, it is here that the scientist is trying to preserve all the achievements of mankind.

The Gods Themselves (1972)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.7

The gods themselves

The science fiction novel 'The Gods Themselves' describes the contact of man with creatures from a parallel universe, whose sex is emotional, pestun and rational, and the laws of physics of their home planet differ from those on Earth.

Earthlings are no longer threatened by the crisis of lack of resources – Frederick Hallem has developed an electronic Pump, which provides inexhaustible clean energy to all the objects of the planet in need. It would seem that this discovery is a matter of chance, but behind it are the very beings from another universe, where the nuclear interaction is much stronger, where isotopes can exist – a source of energy that is unstable on Earth.

The novel consists of two parts: “Against stupidity”, where the author described the exchange of Wolfram-186 for Plutonium-186 by the radiochemist Hall, who accidentally discovered the interuniverse process of the exchange of matter (the very pumped energy). Having created the Pump and received a portion of fame, he did not continue to work with the 'brainchild' – other people did the scientific justification and implementation for it. But the opponents of the scientist consider the process of pumping energy dangerous for the universe and contact the 'great people'. In the second part '… The Gods Themselves …' the author talks about the society of 'primitives'. This is a deep, interesting and versatile parallel world, which is interesting for the reader-fan of science fiction to get acquainted with. The third part '… Powerless to fight?' tells about the colonies on the Moon, their interactions with the structures of the Earth. Scientist Denison proposes a way out – to send the pumped energy to other Universes in order to prevent the death of his abode, for this it is proposed to install devices compensating for the Pump action on the Moon.

Profession (1957)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.6


Isaac Asimov, in his novel Profession, published in the middle of the 20th century, partially foresaw the future, describing the process of learning without books – now knowledge was sewn into the brain using special machines. So eight-year-old children master writing and reading in a short time, and until the age of 18 they simply do not need to study – upon reaching adulthood, they are tested to determine their abilities, and depending on this, a profession is automatically selected and recorded in the brain. A couple of years after passing the Olympics, students are assigned to jobs, the prestige of which directly depends on the number of points received in the competition. There is no freedom of choice, but everyone is happy with everything until, according to the result of the Olympiad, a person's fate is not predetermined.

An exception to the rule was George Platen, who became interested in programming during his school years. He tries to master the business himself, but in the end he fails the profile test, does not receive a referral and is sent to a clinic for the same 'non-professional' people. The patients of the center do not lose hope for a 'rewarding' future and try to learn the case on their own using books. A couple of years later, Platyten escapes from the clinic, gets to the Olympics, does not master it, but understands: the world without choice is not so fair, it deprives a person of development, and in the hospital for the 'feeble-minded' not the most stupid people are gathered. They retained the ability to think, learn, and discover while driving progress.

Naked Sun (1956)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.5

Naked sun

The next novel in the ranking is 'Naked Sun'. On the planet of the outer worlds of Solarium, a crime is taking place, which local residents cannot independently investigate. To do this, from the Earth, with which the inhabitants have strained relations, they invite an experienced detective Elijah Bailey – he, together with a familiar robot, a native of the Solarium, proceeds to unravel the threads of the incident. The only witness to the murder is a robot, whose brain was burned out from the inability to prevent what happened, and accordingly he cannot give evidence.

The way of life on the planet is isolated – families live on estates, communicate mainly with robots – contact with other people, and even relatives, becomes a test for them, is done only in case of emergency.

As it turns out later, the investigation is just a pretext for calling the detective, the real reason is the discovery of a possible conspiracy that threatens humanity. The detective, simultaneously with the investigation of the murder, finds the possible causes of the tragedy and offers a way out.

Second Academy (1953)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.5

Second Academy

The Second Academy novel is the third book in Asimov's science fiction cycle The Foundation. To understand what the work is about, we recommend reading the first two books, but the final one is recognized by the public as the most exciting and intriguing.

The Empire of the Galaxy is destroyed, only the Union of Worlds remains in power, headed by the conquering ruler from the Mule Periphery, who threatens the Foundation. He sets out to expand the zone of rule by conquering new galactic territories. The plans are not destined to come true due to the mysterious Second Academy, located on the other side of the Galaxy, at its very edge. The mule tries to find her with all his might.

For the trilogy, Isaac Asimov has received several literary awards and prizes – this is a truly noteworthy collection that will be appreciated by fans of science fiction.

Robots and Empire (1985)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.5

Robots and Empire

The novel from the late work of A. Asimov 'Robots and the Empire' is a continuation of other works about robots, the action takes place several centuries after the death of Elijah Bailey. More and more earthlings are leaving their native abode and populating other colonized planets, this inevitably leads to conflicts with the inhabitants of other Worlds. Soliryanka Gladia Delmar, whom the reader met in 'The Naked Sun', from Aurora goes to her home planet with a mission to find out how things are – human activity had come to naught by that time. Dr. Amadeiro, who wants to take revenge on the hated earthlings, tries to kill Gladia using humanoid robots with perfect brains. Robot Olivo discovers a new zero law of robotics 'do no harm to humanity'.

In the novel, there is a struggle of people, robots and influential heroes from other Worlds to stop the expansion of other planets in an attempt to expand the zone of influence of earthlings in the Galaxy.

Bicentennial Man (1976)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.5

Bicentennial man

'A Bicentennial Man' is the first novel by A. Azimov in the ranking, dedicated to robots. The Martin family acquires the NDR robot, which is called Andrew at home, as a butler. Over time, it turned out that the machine has creative abilities – the robot began to do wooden crafts. The owner removes the duties of a butler from Andrew and helps to sell the crafts, taking half of the proceeds, the other half goes to the robot. Artificial intelligence directs investments to maintain the outer shell, over time it remains the only unpredictable robot on Earth.

The robot continues to live with the descendants of the Martins, continuing its work, and then switches to 'humanizing' similar machines so that they can eat, drink and think like people. He participates in the creation of prostheses, successfully sells them and becomes a recognized inventor.

Andrew's idea is to become a full-fledged person, but lawyers are afraid to recognize him as such because of immortality. Then the robot decides on an operation that will lead to a gradual wilting, like the aging of the 'organism'. Until the very end, Andrew thinks about Little Miss, the daughter of Sir Martin.

The last question (1956)

Book author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 4.4

  • Isaac's last question

Isaac Asimov's favorite story 'The Last Question' closes the rating. This short but vivid work contains the rapid flight of thought (or fantasy?) Millions of years ahead until the moment when Humanity should cease to exist. The author runs through the history of the development of technology and science in search of an answer to the question of how to reduce entropy (irreversible dispersion of energy).

We recommend reading the story 'The Last Question' first of all to get acquainted with the author – the work breaks the boundaries of human perception to prepare for the flight across the vastness of the Galaxies of the Universe, about which Isaac Asimov writes.

Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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