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  • Pebble in the Sky

  • Galactic Empire, Book 3
  • Written by: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
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Pebble in the Sky

Written by: Isaac Asimov
Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
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Publisher's Summary

The third and final book in the Galactic Empire series, the spectacular precursor to the classic Foundation series, by one of history’s most influential writers of science fiction, Isaac Asimov 

After years of bitter struggle, Trantor had at last completed its work - its Galactic Empire ruled all 200 million planets of the Galaxy...all but one. On a backward planet called Earth were those who nurtured bitter dreams of a mythical, half-remembered past when the planet was humanity’s only home. The other worlds despised it or merely patronized it - until a man from the past miraculously stepped through a time fault that spanned a millennium, living proof of Earth’s most preposterous claims. 

Joseph Schwartz was a happily retired Chicago tailor circa 1949. Trapped in an incredible future he could barely comprehend, the unlikely time traveler would soon become a pawn in a desperate conspiracy to bring down the Empire in a twist of agony and death - a mad plan to restore Earth’s tarnished glory by ending human life on every other world.

©1950 Isaac Asimov (P)2020 Random House Audio

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  • NM
  • 2020-10-03

The Classic Empire Novel that started it all (ish)

Always happy to see another rendition of this excellent work, especially one that doesn't involve audio cassettes. Audible removed the previous renditions of the three Galactic Empire Novels from the Marketplace a few months ago and in September released the versions narrated by Jon Lindstrom. While there is a shorter "dramatized" version of this novel still available on Audible, twenty-four minutes unfortunately can't do this novel justice.

If memory serves, this was chronologically the 1st of the three novels since it was written before the other two, but as it takes place later in terms of the narrative, it has been deemed the third book in the Galactic Empire series. In this novel, the Galactic Empire is complete and rules from one end of the galaxy to the other. Although this novel is set during the time of the Empire, the action takes place on a backwater world called Earth. Humanity has moved out and colonized the galaxy while the despised inhabitants of a radioactive Earth are considered the least important people in the Empire. Now the people of Earth have found a way to even the odds and take control of the galaxy. The only person who can stop them is Joseph Schwartz, who until recently was living in 1949. (Hopefully not too many spoilers, although guessing everyone already knows the plot.)


On an alternate note, fans of his other works will notice that there are a few plot holes, as it wasn't until later that Dr. Asimov started combining the Robot, Empire, and Foundation novels together. For example, the chronology doesn't match. This novel takes place at the beginning of the Empire, and archeologists are exhuming ruins on other planets which are tens of thousands of years old. Yet by Foundation and Earth, the period of galactic colonization began only 20,000 years ago, with the Empire existing for 12,000 of these. Another example is that this novel - written in 1950 - has a radioactive Earth which is assumed to be the result of previous wars. In Robots and Empire (see Note) we learn that the radiation came about after manipulation of the radioactive materials in Earth's crust. As this was originally written as a standalone novel, it is understandable that some of the pieces don't necessarily fit. Ironically, part of Pebble in the Sky makes a return in the "2nd Foundation Trilogy" - or at least the ability to send someone "into the future"... If memory serves, it was alluded that robots were considering cloning Hari Seldon from genetic material and then sending the clone forward in time to beginning of the Second Empire (don't ask).


Note: Audible currently has renditions of all the books in the Empire Series and the Foundation Series. But in regards to the Robot Novels, Audible does NOT have any version of the the Fourth Robot Novel - Robots and Empire. Audible has books 1-3, but NOT book #4. Perhaps Audible might consider making Robots and Empire available someday?

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  • Lloyd Barnett
  • 2021-01-27

amazing foresight

great story still pertinent today, prejudice exists, the ruling class is in charge and takes extraordinary people to make change happen.

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  • p'Trick
  • 2021-08-07

I read it when I was younger and it was a story I read it when I turn 61 fantastic story

The mind really changes what you see. the same collection of words although written in the 40’s read in the late 60s and then read as I was in my 60s. The story is much more powerful and prescient in today’s world.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2024-02-11

Best of the Empire series

Liked the plot and story as a whole. Much better than the first in the empire series and the characters were more interesting than the second

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  • Kent Barnett
  • 2023-12-10

Again the master writes and I must listen.

Not the best, but satisfying for never listening to this. Grain of salt, but has many ties to the future.

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  • Jes_074
  • 2023-10-10

A good story

This was a good story to listen to while working. The story is easy to follow while working. The author did a good job with it. It ties into the Universe created by the author for the Foundation series.

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  • Massha
  • 2023-09-04

Dynamic exciting Asimov

This book I liked the most out of the trilogy. The characters are wonderful, the plot full of intrigue, the science seems legit even if, of course, a bit dated. A great Asimov story.

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  • Caleb
  • 2023-06-20

Approved

Good story that adds more to the overall Asimov storyline, and I liked it a lot

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  • Samuel Latorre
  • 2023-04-07

Great conclusion to Asimov's Empire series

Great narration, plot keeps you enthralled. Unexpected twists and turns that keeps you involved all the way to the very end.

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  • M. Naismith
  • 2022-10-23

Classic Asimov!

Great read, a bit of a mystery, gives insight into the role Earth plays in the Galactic Empire.

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