The year is 2117. The mekkano routinely serves breakfast. The favorite vehicle for space exploration is a stratoliner, and the best means of travel on earth is through the Door.
But on April 12, as young Richard Hanshaw was about to leave for school, the Door broke. As much as Dickie and his mother tried, they could not get the Door to operate. “It just won’t work,” Mrs. Hanshaw explained to the repairman. “Nothing at all happens when you adjust the co-ords.…There was no warning at all. I had to send my son out to the neighbors through that—that thing.”
That thing was a door. And through that door young Richard Hanshaw discovered a world unknown to the people of the twenty-second century.
Through humor and satire Isaac Asimov creates a world where the reader can experience what it would be like to touch for the first time a blade of grass, to see the blue sky, or to catch a butterfly. IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY is a Creative Short Story that readers of all ages will enjoy.
This happens to be one of my favorite stories by Asimov. There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them, I think, has to do with one of the main differences between Asimov and me: he was claustrophilic, and I am agoraphilic. He worked best shut up in a window-less room, where he could limit his horizons to himself and his typewriter. I, on the other hand, count among life’s greatest pleasures going outside by myself and go for a walk.
The result is that I can really relate to young Richard Hanshaw, and have been doing so from the time when I was his age myself. Attractive though I find the idea of teleportation, I would agree with him that a long, peaceful walk cross-country walk in the open air beats it hands down.
Meanwhile, this is an attractive little volume—if a little pricey—and would make entirely appropriate reading for a younger child. There is one swear word in the story, which some people may prefer to avoid having their children deal with, and it comes in the middle of a psychiatrist’s apostrophe to himself which may confuse children, but I think that, on the whole, they would still enjoy and have fun with this story.
|“It’s Such a Beautiful Day”|