Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Stars, Like Dust

The Stars, Like Dust (1951) is early, early Asimov. It, in fact, reminds me more of a spy thriller set in the world of science fiction. Set in the far future when mankind is subject to the empire run by the Tyranni (a race who apparently hold much in common with the Mongol warlords of ancient Earth), there is rumor of a planned rebellion against the Tyranni masters. At the beginning we have the hero--Biron Farrill, son of a planetary leader known as the Rancher of Widemos--barely escape a radioactive bomb left in his university dormitory. Biron has journeyed to the radioactive Earth to complete his degree....and attempt to fulfill a mission for his father (he's looking for a top-secret document that will aid the rebels). 

Sander Jonti, who claims to know Biron's father, manages to save him just in the nick of time, and warns him that his father has been arrested for treason--mostly likely to face execution--and that this is just the first attempt that will be made on the Rancher's son. On Jonti's advice, Biron travels to Rhodia, the strongest of the conquered planets, where he hears about a planet where the forces of rebellion are gathering. He joins with Rhodia's Director's Artemisia oth Hinriad) daughter and others in an attempt to find the planet and aid the rebellion. But there are traitors everywhere and Biron will have to find a way to discover who he can really trust. 

As mentioned--this is early Asimov. The makings of the great science fiction author are there, but this is not his best work. The characters aren't as developed as those in later novels and the world-building isn't quite as complete. But the adventure is exciting and the story is good overall--provided the reader remembers it was written in the 50s. The biggest problem is the ending--there isn't really a good resolution to the story. And from what I gather about the next novel in the Galactic Empire series (The Currents of Space), we don't really get any more later. I'd really like to know what happens with Biron, Artemisa, and the rest of the if I'm wrong and there is more to their story in another of Asimov's books/short stories, please let me know. ★★ and a half stars. I'll round up on Goodreads.

1 comment:

fredamans said...

I've heard of this one, but haven't read it. With it being sci-fi, it would be hard for me to feed into. I know there is more from Asminov I should read though. Great review!