Cosmology is the ultimate detective story. How did the universe, the solar system, our planet, life, humanity, and civilization come to be, and what will happen to them? And what does it all mean to us, the living, thinking creatures who are part of it and who only recently have become aware that such questions can be answered. [sic]
Creations is an intriguing anthology of science fiction and science fact dealing with the four big questions: the origin of the universe, the origin of the solar system, the origin of the earth and the life upon it, and the origin of mankind. Three well-known writers and editors of science fiction—Isaac Asimov, George Zebrowski, and Martin Greenberg—have assembled here a variety of answers to these questions, from the theological and scientific to the purely fanciful. But whether it’s the ancient philosophers of Genesis explaining the Creation, or Steven Weinberg describing particle interactions in the first one-hundredth second after the Big Bang, or Arthur C. Clarke searching for human origins in 2001, the real subject of this book, in all cases, is the human imagination and its far-reaching atempt to provide explanations for all things.
And the human imagination knows no bounds. Here is a mind-boggling discussion of our relationship to the Cosmos by Carl Sagan; the eternal questioning of the “Song of Creation” from the Hindu Rig-Veda; poetry by James Gunn; Stanislaw Lem’s comic vision of the universe as a stupid mistake; stories about primitive man; and about the theory of panspermia, the idea that life on Earth may have resulted from the sedding of the planet from outer space. The collection also includes works by Brian Aldiss, A. E. Van Vogt, Eric Frank Russell, H. G. Wells, Jack Williamson, Isaac Asimov, George Zebrowski, and others.
Creations is a first-rate anthology of science, story, and myth that tackles some of the oldest questions man has ever asked.
This unique anthology is a combination of fiction and non-fiction, all dealing with origins: of the Universe, of the solar system, of life, and of mankind. It is dominated by science fiction, and some of the science included is rather badly dated. Still, it’s a reasonably pleasant read and the sf portions are generally quite good. Asimov himself is represented by “The Ugly Little Boy,” which would make me more favorably inclined towards this anthology were it not that this is already Asimov’s most heavily anthologized story within his own books.
|“The Ugly Little Boy”|