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`ASIMOV’S GALAXY’ EXCEEDS LIMITS OF EVEN FAITHFUL READERS

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ASIMOV'S GALAXY; By Isaac Asimov; Doubleday; $17.95.

I admire the science fiction of Isaac Asimov, and I am usually impressed with his prolific output of novels, essays, commentary and bawdy limericks.However, even the most faithful reader has limits. "Asimov's Galaxy" is a collection of essays that originally appeared over the past two years in "Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine."

I found this collection of essays self-indulgent and less than satisfying.

The essays address a broad variety of subjects - perhaps too broad. The reader is treated to Asimov on other science fiction magazines, Asimov on sci-fi and fantasy, Asimov on sci-fi writers, Asimov on sci-fi's importance in the modern world, and other essays with limited appeal.

There are a few, but only a few, of the essays that I found up to Asimov's usual level of quality - 10 pieces wherein he does what he does best, explain difficult scientific concepts to lay readers.

A piece called "Faster Than Light" explains in layman's terms why speed-of-light travel is impossible. - Bill Stanley (Scripps Howard News Service)