A Jewish man finds himself following a bewildering trail of surnames, variants on Levkovich, to a meeting with his great-great-grandfather and destiny.
Yes, it’s significant that the hero, Sam Marten, is a Jew here—not very significant, but significant.
This is that rarest of rare birds, a religious story from Isaac Asimov, one with genuine religious feeling and not simply using a religious background to tell a story (as in "The Last Trump”). Of course, the religious sentiment here is what one might expect to find in a man of Asimov’s background predilections—there’s no devotion to God, but an overwhelming sense of continuity with the past and with one’s heritage.
I'm tempted to rate the story highly because it is a rare glimpse into a neglected corner of Asimov’s life, but the fact is that as a story it doesn’t work very well. I'm not entirely sure why, but the situation seems truly bizarre and its ultimate resolution forced and unsatisfactory. The result is something which is vaguely interesting because of its topic, but which is not well-handled and not really enjoyable or interesting to read.
|Nightfall and Other Stories|
|The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov|
|The Asimov Chronicles|
|Complete Stories, The, Vol. 1|