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10 Best Isaac Asimov Books (2021)

Best Isaac Asimov Books ReviewBio

Asimov was born on the 2nd of January, in the year of 1920, in Petrovichi, Russia. Isaac Asimov was a famous Russian-American author, who also worked as a biochemistry professor at Boston University. His works were in the genre of sci-fi and popular science. During his illustrious career, he wrote or had a hand in writing by means of editing north of five-hundred books.

As noted above, he was born in Petrovichi, Russia, though the date is uncertain. It’s known that he was born between the 4th of October and the 2nd of January, so he chose the latter date for his birthday.


Best Isaac Asimov Books

Photo Title Rating Length Buy
Foundation Foundation Series 9.36/10 7 Books Check Price On Amazon
The Caves of...image Robot Series 9.38/10 4 Books Check Price On Amazon
The Gods Themselves:...image The Gods Themselves 9.22/10 305 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The End of...image The End of Eternity 9.48/10 256 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The Stars, Like...image Galactic Empire Series 9.04/10 3 Books Check Price On Amazon

Family

The parents were Anna Rachel, born as Berman, and Judah Asimov, both of whom belonged to a Russian-Jewish heritage. At one point, in Petrovichi, the author along with sixteen other children were afflicted by double pneumonia, leaving only the to-be writer alive.

Foray into Sci-Fi

The family relocated to the United States in 1923, just as the writer had turned three. Seeing as both his parents spoke English and, primarily, Yiddish, Asimov never actually learned Russian. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Soon enough, he began reading sci-fi just as the paradigm shifted towards more science-orientated writing. With that said, let’s see what the best Isaac Asimov books are.


Foundation Book Series

 

Remarkable Set

Asimov’s Foundation series is by and large considered to be the best Isaac Asimov series ever. It is home to some of the most popular Isaac Asimov books and best-selling Isaac Asimov books, as well. The Foundation series by Asimov is composed of seven novels, so Asimov’s Foundation series order goes as follows:

  1. Prelude to Foundation
  2. Forward the Foundation
  3. Foundation
  4. Foundation and Empire
  5. Second Foundation
  6. Foundation’s Edge
  7. Foundation and Earth

Faraway Future

Now, with Asimov’s Foundation series reading order taken care of, we can take a look at the individual Asimov’s Foundation books. The story begins in the year of 12,020 G. E., with the Emperor known as Cleon the First sitting ill at ease upon the throne in his world of Trantor. Trantor is also home-world to some forty-billion inhabitants that have achieved a civilization of great complexity, both in the cultural and technological meaning. You can also find the series on our list of the best science fiction book series of all time.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

However, disregarding all of this, Cleon the First is aware that these very same inhabitants are the ones that would relish in his downfall. They are the same ones that he would enjoy annihilating all at once, but only if he could see into the future.

On the other hand, Hari Seldon has just arrived at the mega-capital known as Trantor in order to forward his papers on psychohistory, which is a tremendous prediction theory. It’s no surprise why the Foundation series by Asimov is so brilliant.

What Is to Come

In layman’s terms, the important thing about psychohistory is that it makes predictions based on the attitudes, cultural proclivities, and tendencies of a certain mass. However, with these predictions, Seldon could scarcely have known, came something truly dire.

Soon enough, Hari Seldon is the most important person in the whole Empire, as he is regarded as being the one who holds the power to tell the future.

Explanations

Going forward, the second entry among Asimov’s Foundation novels is Forward the Foundation. Worth noting is that the first two books we’re taking a look at were written years and decades after the very, main books.

However, they provide great insight into the ins and outs of the universe, so we’re taking a look at Isaac Asimov’s books in chronological order. And, by dint of Isaac Asimov’s novel’s chronology, we come to Forward the Foundation.

Nearing the Catastrophe

In Forward the Foundation, the psychohistorian known as Hari Seldon, is still not resting. He has a battle ahead in front of him, a battle that he must win if he wants to spread the word about his grand creation.

Still, he also needs to make some changes to the more specific and more direct theoretical parts, but all in due time. As he is doing this, the Empire is getting awfully close to a point of no return, after which only catastrophe can ensue. One of Isaac Asimov’s best books ever.

Clashing Heads

In the midst between catastrophe and the Empire, however, are Seldon and his companions. The Empire and pretty much everyone else know that he who can rein in Hari Seldon can also take control of psychohistory, thus the whole cosmos.

Emperor Cleon the First has still not given up on his ambitions, but Hari Seldon has a trick up his sleeve, which will both undermine the Emperor’s efforts and anyone else’s who plans to sow destruction. The Foundation series Asimov has in store for us has only just begun, but, as you can tell, it is a whopper. We covered one of the books of the series in our selections of the top science fiction books ever and the best space opera books as well. Make sure to check it out.

The Original

Title number three among the Foundation novels by Asimov is none other than the very first published novel, Foundation. Foundation sees the twelve-thousand-year-old Galactic Empire, which though it still holds ultimate power, is nearing its natural end.

Hari Seldon, the famous psychohistorian is the one that can peer into what the Empire’s end will bring, which is a thirty-thousand-year-old dark age filled with buffoonery, savagery, and mindless wars.

Exile Towards the Fringe

Hari Seldon is put to trial for the things that he has written about the Empire’s end, for the things that he has prophesized, but he is not found guilty. Instead, he, along with all of his many, many companions are given a chance to move their operations to a different world.

The world is located at the Galaxy’s fringe and with the help of Empire they would be out of the public eye and limelight. Their mission is to cut the alleged thirty-thousand-year period into a single thousand.

Anticipation

Hari Seldon has foreseen this event utilizing his psychohistorian knowledge and has been preparing for some time for the eventual relocation to a different world so that everything is pretty much set up for them.

The novel continues on, showing us how Foundation, the base set up on this other world, progresses through the first fifty, and then thirty years. When the first half-decade does end, a message from Hari Seldon, left when he was still living and breathing, is opened and it reveals the truth about the Foundation. Quite possibly, the best Isaac Asimov series.

Deteriorating Kingdom

The fourth novel in the Foundation series by Asimov is, of course, Foundation and Empire. In Foundation and Empire, we learn of a marvelous, extraordinary new tale of a brand-new human breed that makes up a brand-new force for the Galaxy’s government.

With this, we see as the Foundation enters a confrontation along with the tatterdemalion, slowly decaying First Empire. Nothing is for certain just yet, but their will to stand against so great a force is nothing short of fearless.

New Discovery

As the battle for power rages on between the stars, between the stars’ own chaos, it is the man that arrives at the doorway towards a new kind of life, dominated by enlightenment and illumination, which will allay all the barbaric forces that are the status quo. However, could everything be just as simple as this or is there a catch with everything?


Robot Book Series

 

Famous Work

Asimov’s Robot series is yet another brilliant series, a source to a few of Asimov’s best-selling books. The Robot series is also regarded as being one of the best Isaac Asimov book series. The Robot series by Asimov is comprised of four main books, and very many side or tie-in novels. Asimov’s Robot series reading order goes as follows:

  1. The Caves of Steel
  2. The Naked Sun
  3. The Robots of Dawn
  4. Robots and Empire

Technological Boon

One of the absolute Isaac Asimov best novels is the first Robot book, namely The Caves of Steel, which was published in the year of 1954. The book opens up a whole thousand years into the future with two great advancements and developments which have succeeded in changing history as we know it. These two developments are the galaxy’s colonization and the engendering of a positronic brain.

Divided We Stand

Living on Earth, which at this time is rather inundated with overpopulation, is a New York City detective named Elijah Baley. Baley, himself, never gave too much thought other than a bit of resentment for the people that went off into space to other worlds and the robots that were made.

However, when a human living on a different world – they are referred to as Spacers – is found slain in an ominous fashion, it is Elijah that is called upon to aid them in locating the murderous fiend that transgressed in such an unearthly and inhumane manner.

Detective in Space

Elijah has little choice but to accept this summoning of his abilities and sleuth-based deduction skills, but there is a little recoil when he finds out that he has a new partner that he is going to have to work alongside.

What’s even worse is that the partner is named R. Daneel Olivaw, with the R standing for the robot. To top it all off, Daneel was made to look like the spitting image of the slain. Entertaining, enjoyable, and extremely satisfying, these are some of the best-rated Isaac Asimov books.

Living in Harmony

The second entry among Isaac Asimov’s Robot novels is The Naked Sun. The Naked Sun still follows Elijah Baley, who has just arrived on the planet known as Solaria, to investigate a murder. Solaria, as it stands, is home to only a few thousand humans, but a lot more robots. Seeing as there are a few human inhabitants, they also lack any kind of policing because crime is practically non-existent.

Victim’s Spitting Image

Nonetheless, Elijah Baley has said yes to the summoning and is here to see who exactly killed Rikaine Delmarre. On a more political note, Solaria is an Outer World, which the humans on Earth fear might be out to get them with time.

Now, with partner Daneel Olivaw, a robot that looks impeccably like Rikaine, the murder victim, has a job to do and he mustn’t let any of his own leanings affect what he does best – finding out who committed a crime and apprehending them in due and proper time.

Far Too Close

However, Solaria is full of oddities for Elijah, with one being that it’s taboo to be seen close to others because of their dependency on robots. As the story goes on, the Earthly detective and his robot companion unearth pieces about Rikaine Delmarre, soon finding out that she had discovered something that would put human life in peril, but even she couldn’t articulate it properly.

Soon enough, an attempt is made on Elijah and his life, leaving the detective with only one possible theory – it is a robot’s doing. The suspicions he has about Daneel, his robot partner, however, are put to rest once it saves him from a fainting spell into a pond. Among the greatest science fiction novels by Asimov ever.

Peering Into the Minds

The third book among the entries belonging to Asimov’s I Robot series is called The Robots of Dawn. The Robots of Dawn sees Elijah Baley once more working alongside R. Daneel Olivaw, this time working on a world known as Aurora.

Another new addition is the fact that they have to work with the telepathic robot known as R. Giskard Reventlov. Elijah is a bit on the fence about this part of the job, but he goes with the flow.

R. Jander Panell

One robot known simply as R. Jander Panell has allegedly had his positronic brain fail forever for some unforeseen reason. The only that could have done this is the robot’s creator, but he denies any connection with the ordeal.

As Baley continues with his investigation and questioning of suspects, he comes to Gladia, whom we met in an earlier novel, where Baley took her side when she was accused of murder. Here, we learn that she, as Jander Panell’s owner, is married to the robot despite the strict taboo.

Break in the Case

Having no other choice, Baley takes a look at the job in a broader manner. Before long, he is left stranded in the far-off woods, with a vehicle that was touched by a saboteur’s hand. A break in the case is made once Baley and Gladia get together, as Baley had spoken something unconsciously, but Gladia aided him in remembering.

This break in the case saves not just one life, but many, many others. Among the best Isaac Asimov books that we have ever had the joy and pleasure of reading. We really can’t recommend this series enough to all readers.

Long Time Later

The final entry among the Robot series penned by Asimov is titled Robots and Empire. In Robots and Empire, we learn that the events are taking place in the future, with detective Elijah Baley having passed away some one-hundred-odd-years ago.

In the span of these two hundred years, the Earthlings have managed to allay their agoraphobic tendencies, so that colonization is once more the norm, with faster-than-light traveling being utilized. Spacers are now known as Settlers and Earth is known as everyone’s mother-world. However, not all is as fine and dandy as it may seem; something lurks in the shadows.

Still Enduring

Gladia Delmarre, whom we saw in the previous novel, still holds the memories of Elijah Baley, her ex-lover. She, in a manner wholly at odds with her personality, has moved from Solaria to Aurora, but this wasn’t all by her own volition.

Solaria was made barren of human residents when one by one they all left, leaving the world populated by robots only. One Daneel Giskard,  Elijah Baley’s descendant, has come to ask Gladia for help.

Old Foe

The help that Daneel required meant that they would have to travel to Solaria to find out why several spaceships, all piloted by Settlers, have been destroyed. Daneel Olivaw and Giskard Reventlov accompany Gladia as she makes her way to Solaria.

What she finds out is that an old foe is still very much working against them, but due to certain limitations, they can’t do anything to him – at least not yet.


 

The Gods Themselves

 

Wonderfully Inventive

The Gods Themselves is quite possibly Isaac Asimov’s best book. The Gods Themselves is an absolute marvel to read which was published in the year of 1972, sporting a page count of approximately two hundred and eighty or so pages, all in all.

Two Sides of a Coin

The Gods Themselves is a tale following two parallel worlds. In the first, Doctor Peter Lamont is question Doctor Hallam, the Electron Pump’s maker, about how the Parallel world’s men knew that they needed to begin the whole process.

Hallam, himself, notes that a great deal of the work was human doing, and begins harboring an anger towards Lamont. Lamont, himself, discovers that the Parallel universe sent a message and, once he decodes it, learns that the Electron Pump is granting them all the energy they like, but it is overloading the sun which will explode in a little while.

Similar World

No one, however, pays him the proper respect. Then, in a manner wholly in line with the sci-fi prowess that the author had, we flip into the parallel Universe where the beings are completely different and distinct to the ones that we know and oftentimes imagine.

They are based on gas and are divided into three kinds, namely Rational, Emotional, and Parental. One of each forms a group and they all live together until the time comes to move on.

Using Them

Not too long ago, rumblings about a scientist known as Estwald were heard, who, due to this world’s dying sun, has managed to make a parallel Universe willingly overload its sun while they take some of the energy to sustain themselves. Before it ends, we learn a terrible truth. One of the top Asimov books on the Asimov novels list.


The End of Eternity

 

Infinite’s Finale

Another brilliant novel on the list of Isaac Asimov books is, of course, titled The End of Eternity. The End of Eternity boasts a great story and the book was published in the year of 1955, spanning some two hundred pages or so.

Outside Time

The End of Eternity tells the tale of how humanity utilized traveling through time to create Eternity. Eternity is an organization completely outside the bounds that time imposes that has had the mission of proliferating human joy.

It does this by looking at paradigms and patterns in human history and the status quo and by making certain changes that end up making more good than bad. The members are referred to as the Eternals.

What They Can’t Penetrate

Even if technology, art, culture, and other some such facets of human history, take a hit, the Eternals are there to make a change in other to reduce human sorrow and suffering. A strange thing is that the Eternals cannot do anything between the seventy-thousandth and the one-hundred and fifty thousandth century, they cannot even enter that point in the timeline.

Empty Earth

After the one-hundred-and-fifty-thousandth century, however, they can, but Earth is empty. What mystery do the Universe and the time that binds and limits it hold? Can anyone reconcile the loss of human creation with the changing of whole lives and eras? What happens in the future? Find out in one of the best Isaac Asimov books that we have ever gotten the pleasure to enjoy.


Galactic Empire Book Series

 

Kingdom in the Stars

Asimov’s Galactic Empire series, also known and referred to as Asimov’s Empire series, is home to some of the best Isaac Asimov novels ever. The Galactic Empire series is comprised of three novels, so that the best order to read Isaac Asimov books belonging to this series is:

  1. Like Stars, Like Dust
  2. The Currents of Space
  3. Pebble in the Sky

Stressful Moments

Worth noting is that the Galactic Empire series is also part of the larger, broader Foundation series, as well. Now that we’ve put these Isaac Asimov novels in order, we can see what the story is really about.

Biron Farrell is a rather young and lighthearted individual, though he is maturing at a rapid rate. For one, finding a radiation bomb in his dorm room at the University of Earth can have such an effect, especially when the person that placed it is completely unknown.

No Choice Left

Before long, Biron finds out that his dad, located light-years away, and who is a revered Rancher of Widemos, has been killed. Biron sets out on a journey to find out why and who killed his father and whether they have a connection to the radiation bomb left in his room.

Soon enough, Biron finds out that the whole thing is much larger than he anticipated. Very possibly, the best Isaac Asimov book.


Nightfall

 

Perpetual Light

Not just any other title among Isaac Asimov’s books, or just another entry on the Isaac Asimov books list, Nightfall is one of the absolute best Isaac Asimov books we’ve picked up. Nightfall was published in the year of 1990, spanning a total of almost three hundred and fifty pages.

Without the Shadows

In Nightfall, we see a world that is blessed with a total of six suns surrounding it. Now, having six suns surrounding a world means that that particular world isn’t going to be troubled with the pest of darkness.

But, without having any darkness, you can’t see the stars in the night sky. Now, what kind of horror would it be when all of a sudden, after never having seen even a semblance of night, for the suns to suddenly set?

Encompassed by the Dark

The scientists that live and work on the planet Kalgash have found out that an event known as an eclipse is set to happen rather soon. It is an extremely rare event there, happening merely once in more than two millennia, but they can’t do anything to stop it.

For a society that knows nothing about darkness, they fear that it will be too much, so that they have to find somehow to relieve the situation, but is that even possible? We would even go so far as to recommend this as one of the best Isaac Asimov books for kids.


Fantastic Voyage Book Series

 

Brilliant Journey

The Fantastic Voyage series by Asimov is one of the most brilliant examples of how storytelling and sci-fi prowess never really ages. The question about how many books did Asimov write is an appropriate one, with the answer being in the five hundreds if we’re counting the ones he edited as well. These Isaac Asimov books in order are:

  1. Fantastic Voyage
  2. Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain

Author’s Invention

The first novel, Fantastic Voyage, is, in fact, a novelization of a movie that Asimov did, but he was unhappy with the result because he couldn’t change certain things, especially about the science aspect. As such, Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain ought to be seen as his true work. It is here that revered and famous scientist Pyotor Shapirov is comatose, deep inside the Russian country.

What a Mind Can Hold

Inside Pyotor is the secret about a tremendous scientific discovery. There is only one person that can hope to penetrate this secret and that man is Doctor Albert Jonas Morrison. What Albert has to do is to be shrunk into so small a size, rivaling only molecules, so that he and a small group can venture into the decaying Pyotor brain and unearth what it holds. However, things are not as simple as that and on their journey lie many, many perils.


Nemesis

 

Number One Enemy

Nemesis is a novel that immediately comes to mind when asked what are the best Asimov books. It is among the famous Isaac Asimov books that we love the most, too. Nemesis was published in the year of 1989, spanning nearly four hundred pages, all in all.

Rogue Nation

In the 2200s, to get away from the far too crowded and overpopulated life here on Earth, certain pioneers have endeavored to leave for auto-sustaining colonies that lie in the orbit.

Among these colonies is one known as Roto, which, for one reason or other, has managed to break free from the solar system and engendered its very own rebellious paradise circling a star located two light-years away from the solar system, known as Nemesis.

But at What Price?

Those that live on Rotor are referred to as Rotorians. When one Rotorian girl, only aged fifteen, finds out what Nemesis and its power mean for the Earthlings, she is immediately stopped from sending out warnings.

But, before long, she learns that Nemesis also imperils Rotor and it is all up to her to save both Rotor and Earth. But how can she when no one is willing to listen and heed her warnings that catastrophe and destruction are headed their way? Ranking of Asimov’s novels is pretty much impossible, but Nemesis surely ranks pretty high.


The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories

 

Long Life

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories is among the best short story Isaac Asimov books headed by the title and main tale. As it stands, the book is one of the best Isaac Asimov novels and we’re taking into account all Asimov novels ever. It was published in the year of 1976.

Miracle or Anomaly?

Andrew was among the very first domestic servant robots on Earth. He was designed pretty much impeccably and he was dynamic and functional. However, when Andrew began manifesting certain abilities and talents that went above and beyond the reins put upon him by his positronic structure, he gave up the domestic servant position to gain a higher, more intellectual knowledge about things.

Growing Further

With time coming and going, Andrew has succeeded in gaining more knowledge, more insight, more emotional depth, and more aspirations than any robot prior to him. As such, Andrew is thrust into a world wholly unknown, with things that have never been experienced by his kind.

If Andrew is prepared to live in league with humans, then he ought to be prepared to die with them, as well. Featuring several other short stories, the book at hand is one of the best Asimov books out of all Asimov book reviews here.


Earth Is Room Enough

 

More Than Enough Space

Taking a look at Isaac Asimov’s books ranked, we can’t do without mentioning this collection of short stories titled Earth Is Room Enough. Earth Is Room Enough was published in the year of 1957, with a page count of only two-hundred pages, all in all.

Sneak Peek

Earth is Room Enough is home to several different short stories, including the following bunch – The Dead Past, The Foundation of Science Fiction Success, Satisfaction Guaranteed, The Author’s Ordeal, Dreaming Is a Private Thing, The Last Trump, The Fun They Had, The Watery Place, The Immortal Bard, Hell-Fire, The Message, Gimmicks Three, Living Space, among others. It is Living Space that we will take a look at.

One for You, One for Everyone

Clarence Rimbro has the lofty achievement of owning Earth, but, in his time, namely millennia in the future, it’s not that big of a deal. Possible Earths exist in parallel Universes and they are pretty much infinite in number.

If the chance of life in any single one is around fifty percent, then half the time, going into a different Earth would mean that it’s a dead Earth. And with trillions of people living, there’s no place on just one Earth. However, there is something that they aren’t fully aware of just yet, but they are about to find out. A definite pick for the best books by Isaac Asimov.

Recommendations

The Last Question is, in our opinion, a book that readers will find satisfactory, as well.


Robert Hazley
Robert Hazley

Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)