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The Stars, Like Dust [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Issac Asimov , Stephen R. Thorne
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 21.20
Price: 21.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Mar 2012
A story of galactic intrigue and adventure, this is the second novel of the Galactic Empire, the period between our own time and the universe of Asimov's "Foundation" series. Mankind has conquered space and moved toward the starry heart of the galaxy.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Audiogo; Unabridged edition (13 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609988957
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609988951
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,209,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Isaac Asimov was the Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the founder of robot ethics, the world’s most prolific author of fiction and non-fiction. The Good Doctor’s fiction has been enjoyed by millions for more than half a century.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Indeed, there's disagreement as to whether this is the first or second Empire novel chronologically, but it's not important since there are no common characters and Earth is peripheral to the events in either novel.
It is good adventure, and there is a fair mystery as to who's responsible for the primary character's death. Of course there's romance complete with complicating misunderstandings, and more importantly, there's the continual power struggle emphasized in the Empire and Foundation novels. And there's some good old fashioned space opera action as the main characters search for the planet harboring a group of rebels. This is classic science-fiction, but don't let that scare you away. There's nothing stodgy about the good Dr. Asimov's story telling.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read 8 Nov 2012
By digit
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For me, this is one of Asimov's best long stories. I first read it over 40 years ago and have returned to it a few times since along with The End of Eternity which I read around the same time. Asimov was adept in his stories at creating entire societies and introducing interesting sci-fi technologies into them. The adventure-detective story nature of this novel is engaging. My original paperback with its long-detached cover still resides in a cupboard at our house, but it has been nice through Amazon to get it back into my library proper, this time in hardback.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A less well-known book, but merits re-reading 16 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd only read this book once before; having found it impossible to find in bookshops I borrowed it through my library and they had to borrow it from another library in another part of the country on my behalf.

I had been re-reading my almost complete set of Asimov and when I saw 'The Stars, Like Dust' was available through Amazon I decided I had to have it. The binding is different [larger] format than most of my other Asimov paperback books (I have a few in hardcover too), but it contains the story so that is all that matters. I'm pleased I now have almost all of his SF writings, either in book form or on my Kindle.
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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars more probelms 18 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
ordered a hard copy but a paperback arrived

Amazon were very helpfull in sorting this out
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic SF 27 Jan 2002
By Paul E. Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Stars, Like Dust" is either the first or second novel, chronologically, in Asimov's Empire Series, depending on whether you believe the consensus (first) or Asimov's Author's Note in Prelude to Foundation (second). Nonetheless, it probably doesn't matter a great deal, the other contender "The Currents of Space" has Trantor as just another would-be empire, and this novel doesn't see any need to bring Trantor into the story. In all other respects too, there's little to connect either book, no common characters, political forces, no anything, beyond a shared past where Earth is radioactive. So read either book in any order you wish. In case it hasn't been hammered in yet, the Empire books form the middle of Asimov's Robots-Empire-Foundation universe timeline.
Beyond that, this is a nice piece of SF that George Lucas wouldn't have trouble making a film around. It's the old story - Boy loses father in confusing circumstances, boy goes to take what is rightfully his and possibly avenge his father's murder at the same time, boy is being chased by mysterious murderous groups, boy meets girl, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fall in love... well, ok, it's not the old story, it's half a dozen old stories in one, but it's a good thriller and mystery with enough twists and turns to please anyone.
It's also mercifully short, the characters are fleshed out in a most unasimovian way, and the science is there but not stupifyingly overbearing. My edition includes an apology at the end from the master about his assumption that a lifeless planet would have an oxygen-rich CO2-free atmosphere, and while I know roughly which part of the book is being refered to, it wasn't a big deal.
In all, I think I prefered The Currents of Space, but there's no reason to read one in favour of the other rather than read both. If you can find a copy, and you're after some intelligent light entertainment, you could do worse than read this.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Asimov's Worst 29 Dec 2006
By Dave_42 - Published on Amazon.com
With "Pebble in The Sky" (first published in 1950) awaiting publication, Asimov was asked by Walter Bradbury of Doubleday to come up with another idea for a novel. After a couple of non-starters, the premise for "The Stars, Like Dust" was agreed to. As Asimov was working on the novel, Frederik Pohl (acting as Asimov's agent at that time) informed him that Horace Gold was interested in publishing the novel as a serial in his new magazine "Galaxy". The one condition was that Horace Gold wanted to add a subplot about a mysterious document which had disappeared from Earth. Walter Bradbury also wanted to include the subplot in the book version of the story, and Asimov went along with it, although he clearly wasn't happy with the idea.

The general plot of the story (without the subplot) has potential, however, Asimov's loss of interest in the story becomes clear, and ultimately the story itself suffers greatly. Asimov considered this his worst novel, and it would be difficult to argue otherwise. The story was published under the name "Tyrann" from January through March of 1951 in "Galaxy" magazine, and was published in book form in March.

The story is set a few hundred years after Earth becomes radioactive. The hero is Biron Farrill who is the heir to the ruler of one of the planets which have been taken over by the Tyranni. Biron is also a student on Earth when he learns that his father has been executed for treason. He is convinced by a friend to seek refuge with the Hinriads on Rhodia (another of the planets). There he meets Artemisia, the Director's daughter, and Gillbret, a cousin of the Director. Each of them has a reason for trying to get off of Rhodia, and so they find themselves together out of need.

The plot is full of twists and turns and it could have been much more entertaining. Once again Asimov provides an afterword where he apologizes for some of the science. This book is usually linked with "Pebble in The Sky", and "The Currents of Space" as the three precursor novels to the "Foundation" series. Despite this, they are very different stories and each of them stands on their own. Of the three, "The Stars, Like Dust" takes place the earliest in Asimov's pre-foundation history.

The scientific problems in this story are not as central to the plot as they were in "Pebble in The Sky", but the plot devices are weak. As a result this is probably a good one to avoid unless you are a completist. Younger readers also might be a good audience for this book, however others are likely to be disappointed.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The least of the Empire novels 31 May 2000
By Peter Dykhuis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is really an enormous tragedy that so many of Isaac Asimov's greatest Science Fiction works remain out of print. The three `Empire' novels by Asimov are a great example. All three books are wonderfully written and fill the gap between The Robot novels and the Foundation series beautifully. These novels are also a glimpse at the state of science in the fifties. If you are an Asimov fan and see any of the Empire novels available for loan or purchase please do so. You will not be sorry. To clear up some confusion on the part of another reviewer the reason these novels are called `Empire' novels is because they take place just before the Empire began, during its infancy and at its peak. Very much fun indeed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting early Asimov "Empire" novel 9 Sep 2007
By Roger J. Buffington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a very early work by the great Isaac Asimov that is set in the same Universe as his Foundation series. In this work, Mankind has colonized far and wide in the Galaxy, but there is no Galactic Empire or other unifying political entity. Planets are organized in small "kingdoms" of one or more planets, warfare is common, and humans still remember that Earth is the original planet of humanity. Thus, this novel is set in a time long after the 50 Spacer Worlds era, but long before the Foundation series, and even before "The Currents of Space" (where man had mostly forgotten that Earth is humanity's home world, and the Trantorian Republic is evolving into the Empire).

This is a rather basic story of a young nobleman who is opposing a tyrannical star system and searching for a secret document which his late father (murdered by the tyrants) believed would put an end to the totalitarian governments in the Galaxy. More would be telling.

The writing in this one is not bad, if one's expectations are not too high, and there are some interesting twists and speculative concepts woven into the story. There are some quaint anachronisms, like the complete absence of computers for tasks that even in our day would be computerized, but overall this novel has aged well and holds the modern reader's interest.

A good read and an early work by one of Science Fiction's giants.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series and, yes, sadly out of print... 11 Aug 2006
By R. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
To correct a few people here, there are (were) actually three books in the 'Galactic Empire Series'.

The Stars, Like Dust: A novel of the days when warring star kingdoms wrought havoc, before Trantor gained ascendancy in the galaxy.

The Currents Of Space: A novel of the period when Trantor ruled only half the galaxy, and every independent kingdom guarded it's right to corruption.

Pebble In The Sky: A novel of the time when Trantor ruled the galaxy, while Earth dreamed of it's ancient glory - and plotted revenge.

From the '87 and '89 Ballantine/Del Rey printings of the series...

IF you can find them, and read them, you would enjoy them... I think the series is a great 'pre-Asimov' set for readers new to his writing. IMO...
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