Nov 12, 2010

Asimov: I'm in Marsport without Hilda

and 13 other detective short stories published in 1968 as a collection under the title "Asimov Mysteries". 

Four stories in the collection feature the character of Wendell Urth, who is a leading extra-terrologist (an expert on alien worlds and life originating on them). Urth is eccentric in that he has a phobia of all mechanical forms of transport (an exaggeration of Asimov's own aversion to flying) but they all have one common feature: detective mysteries showing Asimov theory that science fiction is a literary genre but it can develop into all the popular genres: romantic, western, adventure, terror,... anyone and all of them.

As for this collection, is well known Asimov's passion for detective stories, he never tired of proclaiming his admiration for Agatha Christie, and these stories are selected because they are markedly police & criminal stories, detective stories full of mystery. Most are not convoluted stories, they are not full of red herrings or lacking information, and follow the same general pattern: Asimov raises the mystery or problem -that is clearly stated in the first half- and in the second half the solution is given without further artifice.

 Inside the book you can find:

Asimov has always been accused of being a misogynist (women characters are the exception in his work) and prudish. About "I'm in Marsport without Hisda, he says that attempted to pull off that sanbenito, or at least show that he was able to write something "spicy" (and, in my opinion, he failed miserably cause spicy, spicy... he's really prudish, Asimov :)))

But these are very funny stories followed by notes where the author explaines how sometimes science has rendered obsolete or disproved parts of them but he still did not want to change the story because of something as unimportant as reality.


  1. Asimov not only didn't like to put sex in his work but avoided the issue like the plage. Prudish? More like a puritan and timorous grandma as far as the f-word theme is concerned. That is the reason why, although I admire his imagination and good offices, I always find his books a bit artificial and end with the feeling that something is missing.

    Hey, Ron, how elegant I've been, don't you agree? I almost don't seem myself :-)))

  2. You are delightfully unknown, I have to admit. I'm beginning to think you've subcontracted the comments. By the way... f-word.. my! You've been even refined for what you used to be.


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