Tuesday, September 13, 2011

December, 1961: "The Trojan Hearse"

After an anecdote in two straight months, Aug and Sept, Asimov skips Oct and Nov and we get an anecdote in December 1961.

"The very first story I ever had published (never mind how long ago that was) concerned a spaceship that had come to grief in the asteroid zone. In it, I had a character comment on the foolhardiness of the captain in not moving out of the plane of the ecliptic (ie the plane of the earth's orbit, which is close to that in which virtually all the components of the solar system move) in order to go over or under the zone and avoid almost certain collidion.

The picture I had in mind at that time was of an asteroidal zone as thickly strewn with asteroids as a beach is with pebbles. This is the same picture that exists, I believe, in the mind of almost all science-fiction writers and readers. Individual miners, one imagines, can easily hop from one peice of rubble to the next in search of valuable minerals. Vacationers can pitch their tents on one world and wave at vacationers on neighboring worlds. And so on."

He then goes on to debunk this picture.



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