Science fiction fans should be delighted now that Sputnik has been launched and the Space Age has begun. Right?
This is a short poem that appeared in the October 1958 issue of Future Science Fiction. As with some of Asimov’s other comic poems written in the 1950’s, it’s a parody of an item by Gilbert and Sullivan, in this case “The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring” from The Mikdado.
Structurally, it resembles “The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring,” as well, because it provides two perspectives (one positive and one negative) on the same thing, in this case the launch of “the Sputniks” and the opening of the Space Age.
It’s a pity that Asimov opted not to include this in any of his anthologies, because it’s actually quite good and easily on a par with, say, “The Foundation of SF Success.” It’s dated a bit, of course, but not as badly as “Rejection Slips.” I’m willing to bet that most sf fans today know what Sputnik was but have absolutely no idea what Horace L. Gold’s rejection slips were like.