Monday, November 8, 2010

Lost Asimov, A Summary

I bought The Early Asimov (several years ago) from a used book store via mail.

I expected to find every single one of Asimov's early stories (that had been published) presented in chronological order.

Not so. All I received were those stories of Asimov that had never been published in other anthologies.

That annoyed me no end. But, I know it was a financial decision - a dedicated Asimov fan would thus have to set out and buy all these other anthologies in which the missing stories appeared, thus increasing the profits of the publishers and of Asimov (and later, of his estate.)

Then, many years after The Early Asimov had been published, Asimov Gold was published. And this one claimed to publish every Asimov story ever written. I looked at it with much excitement, therefore...but no. The claim was a base canard. It should have presented every Asimov story chronologically, it did not. Those stories that appeared in The Early Asimov were not included. (Or if they were, they sure weren't done chronologically.

Now that used bookstores are all online, it's possible to assemble quite a large collection of Asimova for only a little outlay (for most of the books). Sadly, what you normally buy are de-accessioned library books. They cost 1 penny, and the postage is $3.99. (At least, that's how I formed by collection of Asimov's Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction essay anthologies.)

In The Early Asimov, Asimov shares the titles of the 11 "missing" Asimov stories - stories he wrote that were not published and are now irretrievably lost.

1.Cosmic Corkscrew (9,000 words)
2. This Irrational Planet (3,000 words)
3. The Weapon (4,000 words)
4. Paths of Destiny (6,000 words)
5. Knossod in its Glory (6,000 words)
6. The Decline and Fall (6,000 words)
7. Life Before Birth (6,000 words)
8. The Brothers (6,000 words)
9. The Oak (6,000 words)
10. Masks (1,500 words)
11. Big Game (1,000 words)

I'll share the history behind these stories in my next entry.

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