The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov; 17 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Time travel, Fiction, Fiction in English, Science fiction. The End Of Eternity. Read more ABOUT THE AUTHOR Isaac Asimov is regarded as one of the greatest science-fiction writers of our time, as well as a valu. Editorial Reviews. Review. Praise for The End of Eternity: “His most effective piece of work. Asimov's exemplary clarity in plotting is precisely suited to the.
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The End of Eternity: A Novel by Isaac Asimov. Read online, or download in DRM- free EPUB format. Asimov published The End of Eternity in , and so it's short—my Panther edition is pages, and cost 35p or $ Canadian, and. One of Isaac Asimov's SF masterpieces, this stand-alone novel is a before the paradox they have created results in the destruction of Eternity.
The th Century was matter-oriented, as most Centuries were, so he had a right to expect a basic compatibility from the very beginning. It would have none of the utter confusion for anyone born matter-oriented of the energy vortices of the 's, or the field dynamics of the 's.
In the th, to the average Eternal's comfort, matter was used for everything from walls to tacks. To be sure, there was matter and matter.
A member of an energy-oriented Century might not realize that. To him all matter might seem minor variations on the theme that was gross, heavy, and barbaric.
To matter-oriented Harlan, however, there was wood, metal subdivisions, heavy and light , plastic, silicates, concrete, leather, and so on. But matter consisting entirely of mirrors! That was his first impression of the th.
Every surface reflected and glinted light. Everywhere was the illusion of complete smoothness; the effect of a molecular film.
And in the ever-repeated reflection of himself, of Sociologist Voy, of everything he could see, in scraps and wholes, in all angles, there was confusion. Garish confusion and nausea! You get used to it after a time. He reached to move a hair-contact indicator down a spiral scale to point of origin.
The reflections died; extraneous light faded. Harlan felt his world settle. Harlan followed through empty corridors that, Harlan knew, must moments ago have been a riot of made light and reflection, up a ramp, through an anteroom, into an office. In all the short journey no human being had been visible. Harlan was so used to that, took it so for granted, that he would have been surprised, almost shocked, if a glimpse of a human figure hurrying away had caught his eyes. No doubt the news had spread that a Technician was coming through.
Even Voy kept his distance and when, accidentally, Harlan's hand had brushed Voy's sleeve, Voy shrank away with a visible start. Harlan was faintly surprised at the touch of bitterness he felt at this. He had thought the shell he had grown about his soul was thicker, more efficiently insensitive than that. Twissell confirms this, adding that unknown to Cooper, Mallansohn's secret memoirs show that Cooper will take over Mallansohn's role and in effect, become Mallansohn.
This must be kept from Cooper, so that Eternity will be founded as it historically was. Twissell is aghast, but as Eternity still exists, he theorizes he can undo Harlan's damage, and send Cooper back correctly for his mission. They think Cooper might try to communicate using an advertisement in one of Harlan's Primitive magazines that would only stand out to an Eternal.
Harlan finds a magazine from has changed, and now shows an advert in the form of a mushroom cloud , something no human could have known of in Together, they travel far upwhen to discover what has happened. Twissell speculates that the Hidden Centuries might represent a time when humans evolved and changed into something else.
They learned that humans would have been the first species to spread into the universe, but in each future where Eternity existed, safety was given a priority and by the time humans reached the stars, other species predominated and prevented this. In each future, humanity died out afterwards, in a species-wide depression. There were multiple ways of achieving this, and she chose an approach in which she and Harlan were together.
Harlan, remembering the unhealthy interpersonal relationships between the Eternals, and the sociological damage he has seen done to people whose original "homewhen" had ceased to exist, begins to agree with her. Suddenly, a reality change occurs; the kettle disappears, indicating that Eternity now never happened.
The book ends by stating that this was "the end of Eternity — and the beginning of Infinity". A closer look showed him that the drawing was actually a geyser , the Old Faithful. However, he began pondering the question of what the implications would be if there had been a drawing of a mushroom cloud in a magazine from , and he eventually came up with the plot of a time travel story.
Asimov submitted the story to Galaxy Science Fiction , and within days, he received a call from Galaxy editor Horace L. Gold that rejected the story. Bradbury, the science fiction editor at Doubleday , to get his opinion. The novel reflects the state of scientific knowledge of its time, some of which has been superseded. For instance, the power source for the time travelers is referred to as "Nova Sol", and a link to the far future being taps the energy of the exploding Sun.
Scientists now know that the Sun is far too small to explode. As may be seen below, the novel may also be counted as the prequel to the Empire series of novels, which form part of the Foundation Series. Asimov had already included a kind of time travel in his novel Pebble in the Sky , but it was a one-way trip. The book was highly acclaimed by critics. New York Times reviewer Villiers Gerson praised the novel, saying it "has suspense on every page" and "exhibits in every chapter the plot twists for which the author is famous.
The details of what the time travelers do and where in time they operate are much different from those in Asimov's book. However, in both books, the society's operations come to a halt through the influence of people from the future, because the society's actions endanger the existence of that future. Young also notes a similarity with Poul Anderson 's The Corridors of Time which also depicts a complex society of time travelers, who find sections of the future inaccessible — and also in Anderson's book, the intervention of the people of that further future plays a pivotal and cataclysmic role in the plot.
Charles Stross has stated that his novella Palimpsest is effectively a rewrite of The End of Eternity. As written, The End of Eternity suggests that the new reality is the one that leads onto the Galactic Empire and Foundation but does not confirm it.
The mechanism of time travel is most likely not the one stumbled across in Pebble in the Sky because of Harlan's words about the energy requirement for the Temporal Field. If there is a flaw in Eternity, Andrew muses later, it involved women.
Seven pages after we see this collection of symbols we learn it is the name of a woman. We were expecting her. Asimov assumes his readers know or will discover, and since this book note is on the World-Wide Web your software may not even show you, that the two dots over the vowel "y" are a diaeresis mark, signaling a separate sound. In the interests of avoiding emotional entanglements, an Eternal must not marry.
In the interests of avoiding emotional entanglements, an Eternal must not have children. Liaisons exist, as a compromise with human appetites. Such liaisons are almost always of Eternal men and Timer women. Women almost never qualify for Eternity. For some reason, taking them from Time into Eternity is ten to a hundred times more likely to distort Reality than is taking men. When Eternity was published, men — and women — readers might have smugly taken this in stride.
Today's women — and men — readers might smugly take offense. Wrong, wrong, all wrong. See instead what the author has made. She is youthful, physically attractive. Andrew is promptly consumed with desire and, when we meet him, is already deep in an affair of the heart. His conscience is clouded. His world turns sweet and sour. He is a Technician whose task is to manipulate Reality; he now marches through mist after mist of manipulation. Eternals, trained to be selfless, he sees again and again as self-interested; where they should be pure, he sees they are petty.
We meet the one era in Reality that develops electro-gravitic space-travel. Sociologist Kantor Voy says, "It's an aesthetically pleasing device. It's a pity we must Change away from it. And Eternity keeps Changing away from space travel.
There is intrigue in this book, unstated plans, detection. There is indeed a scheme, but it is neither the first nor the second which may present itself — I allude to Conan Doyle's story "The Final Problem", Asimov was a Sherlock Holmes fan. There is the fruit of considerable thought about time travel, which makes this book interesting to students of s-f as a genre.
Similarities come to mind.