Isaac Asimov has done it again

Pebble in the Sky - Isaac Asimov

I have to be completely honest about how this particular book came to my notice. I was watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and I got to an episode about a planet where the inhabitants were not allowed to live past a certain age due to resource control (the old people were a drag on the society). I looked at the trivia for this episode (Season 4, Episode 22 "Half a Life" if you're curious) and discovered that the story was inspired by Isaac Asimov's Pebble in the Sky. Naturally, I needed to read this book. Some of you might recall that I reviewed I, Robot two years ago and loved it. I'm sad it's taken me this long to get to reading another book by him honestly... Now without further ado, the review!  I LOVED IT, YA'LL. This book has it all: time travel, space-y drama, and RADIOACTIVITY. Seriously, radioactivity is a major plot device. The time period which this book was written definitely plays a role in the tenor of this book (I'm looking at you, atomic bomb). Asimov blends reality with scientific innovation to create a world where Earth is but one of thousands of planets which comprise the Galactic Empire. (Actually I fell into a trap here because it turns out that Pebble in the Sky is a part of Asimov's Galactic Empire series so...) There's Joseph Schwartz who finds himself taking a giant leap into the future. (This is only funny once you've read the book.) Bel Arvardan is your typical Galactic citizen and archaeologist who wants to uncover the mystery of humanity's beginning...on Earth of all places. Who would have thought that a backwards Earthman like Dr. Shekt could invent a device that could help to thwart a revolt and simultaneously give one man unimaginable powers? In a world where the Earth is seen as 'other' and the Earthman is treated as inferior there is intrigue, burgeoning love, and institutionalized racism. The reader follows multiple storylines that weave together to form a narrative that is compelling, thought provoking, and imaginative. If you haven't ready any of Isaac Asimov's writing and you want to read truly excellent sci-fi then you should start here. 10/10 highly recommend