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 Post subject: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:57 pm 
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I am currently finishing up reading 'The Collected Stories of Arthur C Clarke', which is a collection that collects (apparently all) the short stories he wrote, the first in 1937 and the last in 1999. There are a total of 114 stories, most of them are good, but there are some duds, as well as some rather boring ones.

But this just makes me wonder if there has ever been any effort to collect all the short stories ever written by Issac Asimov. I know that he wrote far more stories than Clarke, by some estimates, he wrote more than 500, so any 'Complete Short Stories by Issac Asimov' would likely fill up an entire shelf in a decent sized library. But I am still curious if it has ever been done. (And yes, I know that books like The Foundation Trilogy and the Robot books are really just short stories that were re-purposed to try to create a coherent narrative and turn it into a novel, so any 'complete collection' of short stories would contain a lot that I already have in another form.....but I would still like to have it.

Has this ever been done? If not, why not? Has it never been done due to the fact that making such a collection would be an extremely ambitious project since no one really knows how many stories he wrote or he many journals, magazines and whatnot he may have published them in? It would probably take several years just to compile a list, wouldn't it, not to mention the difficulty of sorting out the copyright issues?

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:33 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I am currently finishing up reading 'The Collected Stories of Arthur C Clarke', which is a collection that collects (apparently all) the short stories he wrote, the first in 1937 and the last in 1999. There are a total of 114 stories, most of them are good, but there are some duds, as well as some rather boring ones.

But this just makes me wonder if there has ever been any effort to collect all the short stories ever written by Issac Asimov. I know that he wrote far more stories than Clarke, by some estimates, he wrote more than 500, so any 'Complete Short Stories by Issac Asimov' would likely fill up an entire shelf in a decent sized library. But I am still curious if it has ever been done. (And yes, I know that books like The Foundation Trilogy and the Robot books are really just short stories that were re-purposed to try to create a coherent narrative and turn it into a novel, so any 'complete collection' of short stories would contain a lot that I already have in another form.....but I would still like to have it.

Has this ever been done? If not, why not? Has it never been done due to the fact that making such a collection would be an extremely ambitious project since no one really knows how many stories he wrote or he many journals, magazines and whatnot he may have published them in? It would probably take several years just to compile a list, wouldn't it, not to mention the difficulty of sorting out the copyright issues?


I assume you wikied him:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Compl ... es_(Asimov)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Asi ... bliography

I have (somewhere) the 2 volumes of the aborted complete Asimov series, plus most of the other titles at the 2nd site.

As far as I know, that's as good as it gets.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:30 pm 
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I have seen that and other lists, but I've also seen people say that no one really knows how many stories he wrote because he never kept track and he published everywhere.

Why was the project to collect all of his short stories aborted?

After I finish this volume of short stories, I think I'm done with Arthur Clarke, I think I will have read all of his "essential" works.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:18 am 
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Doom wrote:
I have seen that and other lists, but I've also seen people say that no one really knows how many stories he wrote because he never kept track and he published everywhere.

Why was the project to collect all of his short stories aborted?

After I finish this volume of short stories, I think I'm done with Arthur Clarke, I think I will have read all of his "essential" works.



Indeed, he occasionally forgot a story. But for whatever reason, there is no uniform collected "complete" short stories, of any number.

I don't know or know if I ever knew, why the two volumes were all that were published, in that format.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:40 am 
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GKC wrote:
... I don't know or know if I ever knew, why the two volumes were all that were published, in that format.

Well, if he don't know, then nobody won't don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:48 am 
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Highlander wrote:
GKC wrote:
... I don't know or know if I ever knew, why the two volumes were all that were published, in that format.

Well, if he don't know, then nobody won't don't know.


I don't know about that.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:55 am 
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I'm not sure if I actually want to read ALL the stories he wrote anyway, not only is there a lot, but I'm sure they aren't all equally good, it is probably best to stick with 'the essentials', of which I've already read most of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:26 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I'm not sure if I actually want to read ALL the stories he wrote anyway, not only is there a lot, but I'm sure they aren't all equally good, it is probably best to stick with 'the essentials', of which I've already read most of them.


Thus we differ. I don't want to read everything about/by everybody, but it comes close.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:42 am 
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Doom wrote:
And yes, I know that books like The Foundation Trilogy and the Robot books are really just short stories that were re-purposed to try to create a coherent narrative and turn it into a novel

Yes, in the case of the Foundation Trilogy (although there was already a coherent narrative in those stories; there's no "fix-up" text in the trilogy, with the exception of the introductory story in Foundation); but no in the case of the Robot novels. I, Robot is a fix-up novel made up of some of Asimov's Robot stories, but the Elijah Bailey/R. Daneel Olivaw books, and Robots and Empire, are true novels.

There is a Complete Robot collection of Asimov's Robot short stories but the problem is that it was only "complete" at the time it was published, so the Robot stories written after 1982 aren't included.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:44 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
And yes, I know that books like The Foundation Trilogy and the Robot books are really just short stories that were re-purposed to try to create a coherent narrative and turn it into a novel

Yes, in the case of the Foundation Trilogy (although there was already a coherent narrative in those stories; there's no "fix-up" text in the trilogy, with the exception of the introductory story in Foundation); but no in the case of the Robot novels. I, Robot is a fix-up novel made up of some of Asimov's Robot stories, but the Elijah Bailey/R. Daneel Olivaw books, and Robots and Empire, are true novels.

Although The Caves of Steel was serialized in Galaxy, and The Naked Sun in Astounding Science Fiction, so maybe that is the reason why you might have thought the novels started life as short stories.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Yes, in the case of the Foundation Trilogy (although there was already a coherent narrative in those stories; there's no "fix-up" text in the trilogy, with the exception of the introductory story in Foundation); but no in the case of the Robot novels. I, Robot is a fix-up novel made up of some of Asimov's Robot stories, but the Elijah Bailey/R. Daneel Olivaw books, and Robots and Empire, are true novels.

There is a Complete Robot collection of Asimov's Robot short stories but the problem is that it was only "complete" at the time it was published, so the Robot stories were written after 1982 aren't included.



Actually, I disagree strongly that there is a coherent narrative in the Foundation Trilogy. The story is very difficult to follow due to the fact that every chapter jumps hundreds of years into the future and the characters keep changing. Just when you get used to one set of characters, you are told in that they are all dead and it is 500 years later. The constant jumping around gives the series at best a very loose narrative.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:10 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Yes, in the case of the Foundation Trilogy (although there was already a coherent narrative in those stories; there's no "fix-up" text in the trilogy, with the exception of the introductory story in Foundation); but no in the case of the Robot novels. I, Robot is a fix-up novel made up of some of Asimov's Robot stories, but the Elijah Bailey/R. Daneel Olivaw books, and Robots and Empire, are true novels.

There is a Complete Robot collection of Asimov's Robot short stories but the problem is that it was only "complete" at the time it was published, so the Robot stories were written after 1982 aren't included.



Actually, I disagree strongly that there is a coherent narrative in the Foundation Trilogy. The story is very difficult to follow due to the fact that every chapter jumps hundreds of years into the future and the characters keep changing. Just when you get used to one set of characters, you are told in that they are all dead and it is 500 years later. The constant jumping around gives the series at best a very loose narrative.


So A Canticle for Leibowitz isn't your cup of tea?

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:03 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:48 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Actually, I disagree strongly that there is a coherent narrative in the Foundation Trilogy.

Well, YMMV, but I find it interesting that of the things I wrote in my message that you focused on that. I think the "Foundation" stories hang together well; they are internally consistent and make sense as parts of the overarching story, while at the same time allowing that story to unfold. The "Seldon crises" are what link the stories together, at least until the Mule makes his appearance, at which time the narrative shifts to focus on the hunt for the Second Foundation.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:59 pm 
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Highlander wrote:

So A Canticle for Leibowitz isn't your cup of tea?


That's another novel that isn't really a novel, but a collection of short stories. But the (loose) plot isn't difficult to follow the way the Foundation trilogy is.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:00 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Actually, I disagree strongly that there is a coherent narrative in the Foundation Trilogy.

Well, YMMV, but I find it interesting that of the things I wrote in my message that you focused on that. I think the "Foundation" stories hang together well; they are internally consistent and make sense as parts of the overarching story, while at the same time allowing that story to unfold. The "Seldon crises" are what link the stories together, at least until the Mule makes his appearance, at which time the narrative shifts to focus on the hunt for the Second Foundation.


What I am saying is that in retrospect, it is quite easy to see that the Foundation trilogy are not 'novels' at all in the conventional sense, they are a series of loosely connected vignettes. There is not one narrative, but dozens.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:59 am 
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Doom wrote:
What I am saying is that in retrospect, it is quite easy to see that the Foundation trilogy are not 'novels' at all in the conventional sense, they are a series of loosely connected vignettes. There is not one narrative, but dozens.

There are only nine stories (the eight original stories published in Astounding plus one that was written specifically for the Gnome Press edition of Foundation because Asimov's editor felt that the series began too abruptly) that make up the books of the Trilogy so "dozens" is clearly an exaggeration.

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 Post subject: Re: Issac Asimov Short Stories
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:14 pm 
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And, while we're at it, the three components of what we know as A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ began life as a short story ("A Canticle For Leibowitz") and two novellas, "And The Light Is Risen" - what we know as Fiat Lux - and "The Last Canticle" - or what in the book is Fiat Voluntas Tua. Published Apr 55, Aug 56, Feb 57, in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, back when good stuff was published in digests

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