The Stars, Like Dust – Isaac Asimov

Asimov’s 1950 novel begins in a universe in the far distant future, Byron of Wildemos was preparing to graduate from the University of Earth.  The night before the ceremony, he awoke to something amiss in his dormitory.  A radiation bomb had been planted and his life was in danger.  An acquaintance, Jonti, miraculously appeared at the right time and rescued him.  Jonti explained privately that Byron’s life was in danger.  Byron’s father, the Rancher of Wildemos, had been captured and tried as a traitor to the Tyranni (the rulers of over 50 planets, light-years from Earth). The Tyranni were not willing to take chances, so they planned on taking the life of the Rancher’s son to avoid his taking over the assumed revolution against them.

Byron hopped on a ship and headed toward the planet Rhodia, thousands of light-years away to ask the Director, Hinrik, for sanctuary.  Hinrik was suspicious and turned Byron over to the Tyranni, but not before his cousin, Gillbrect, and daughter, Artemesia, formed a plan to escape Rhodia with the help of Byron.  They stole a Tyranni spaceship and embarked on a course toward the planet, Linguane to search for the mysterious planet of rebellion. Upon reaching Linguane, they were greeted by the Autarch, who also happened to be Byron’s savior, Jonti.  Together they prepared to seek the rebellion planet, hidden in a distant nebula.

The following events included twists and turns in the plot as they fight to join the rebellion and escape the Tyranni in pursuit.  Though the book is 60 years old, I’d rather not give too many spoilers, other than the rest of the story involves treason, traitors, love, reason, and rebellion!

Isaac Asimov was a prolific writer, and is considered to be one of the greatest Sci-Fi authors of all-time.  On Wikipedia, he is noted as saying that ‘The Stars, Like Dust’ is one of his least favorite stories he’s written.  I was tempted to put the book down at that, but decided to keep going.  I’m glad I did, and if this book is his worst writing, I would have to say I’m enthusiastic to get to his better books because I found this a very imaginative and enjoyable read.

Rating: ********8/10


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