Fiction Reviews

The Gods Themselves

(1972/2000) Isaac Asimov, Millennium, £6.99, pbk, 288pp, ISBN 1-85798-934-1

Easily Asimov’s best single novel, this classic won both Hugo and Nebula, and topped the Locus annual reader’s poll, for Best Novel in 1973. Aliens from a parallel universe initiate an exchange of materials which, due to differing physical laws between the two universes, yield ‘free’ energy for both themselves and Humankind. Few suspect that along with the material exchanged, the universes are also exchanging their laws with possibly catastrophic consequences for the human race, and all attempts to bring this to light are met by the stupidity of those who would ignore the risk for the sake of the free energy. The middle section of the book is set entirely in the para-universe, with the aliens who initiated the exchange, and examines their complex life cycle, during the course of which we discover that not all of them are happy about the situation either. However, they have stupidity of their own to contend with... Great to see a new edition of this; warmly recommended.

Tony Chester

Is this an early climate change novel? See also Jonathan's review of The Gods Themselves.

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