“Breeds There a Man…?” by Isaac AsimovFebruary 4, 2012
The Book: “Breeds There a Man…?” by Isaac Asimov. Originally published in Astounding, June 1951. The version read was in Beachheads in Space, edited by August Derleth, published by Berkeley Books in 1952.
The Setting: Contemporary Earth.
The Story: A scientist on the edge of a breakthrough becomes relentlessly suicidal. Because of aliens?
The Science: Well. Huh. So the scientist in question invents a force-field. And it works. The story doesn’t much go into why, and frankly I’m getting a bit bored trying to be scientific in this science section. I’m a pretty well informed lay person, so I can hoot and holler when stuff is just ridiculous, but some folks, like Asimov, make the explicit stuff seem pretty plausible.
The Reaction: A good story. The idea that humans are the experiment of some other force is a pretty old one. Actually, isn’t that the idea behind a lot of major religions…?
The Cover: Still a truly lovely cover.
Next Up: “And the Walls Came Tumbling Down…” by John Wyndham