A Summary and Analysis of Isaac Asimov’s ‘The Fun They Had’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘The Fun They Had’ is a short story by the Russian-born American writer Isaac Asimov (1920-92). Like Asimov’s novel The Naked Sun (which we have analysed here), this story is one that has taken on new significance in the wake of 2020 and the shift to remote learning and working, and the themes of this 1951 story are as relevant to our own time as they were over seventy years ago when Asimov wrote it.

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The Machine Restarts: Isaac Asimov’s The Naked Sun

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle enjoys Asimov’s second Robot novel which eerily prefigures our world

On the planet of Solaria, people don’t ‘see’ each other: ‘seeing’ is viewed as abnormal, even dirty, because it means coming into contact with other people’s breath, germs, and sweaty bodies. Instead, Solarians ‘view’ each other via screens, being in different buildings – or even different rooms in the same building – when they converse with each other. Inhabitants of Solaria quite literally cannot bear to be in the same room as each other, even their own spouses or children.

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Starry Lite: Isaac Asimov’s Space Ranger

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle reads the first novel in Isaac Asimov’s juvenile science fiction series

Science fiction set in our own solar system arguably began with Lucian, the classical author whose short satirical piece True History paved the way for later planetary adventures using Mars, Venus, the Moon, and various other locations as the backdrop for almighty battles, fearsome imaginary monsters, and numerous ‘there and back again’ narratives. In the Victorian era, George Griffith, the contemporary of the far more famous and enduring H. G. Wells, wrote his Stories of Other Worlds, starring a newlywed couple who choose to spend their honeymoon travelling around Earth’s neighbouring planets.

But it was in the twentieth century that planetary travel really ‘took off’ in the world of science fiction. To offer just a few of the more notable and enjoyable examples, we got Edgar Rice Burroughs’

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20 Interesting Facts about Science Fiction

Trivia about classic science-fiction

In this post, we thought we’d share some of our favourite facts about science fiction, SF, sci-fi, call it what you will – partly because the world of science fiction has given the world some truly visionary writers but also some funny stories and curious facts. So, if you’re ready to boldly go to a literary galaxy far, far away…

Contrary to popular belief, Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds didn’t cause a nationwide panic.

In 2004, a group of science fiction authors wrote a novel, Atlanta Nights, designed to be unpublishable; it was accepted for publication.

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