Nightfall Essay

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In the following excerpt, Patrouch discusses Asimov's ambivalence about the quality of "Nightfall," and analyzes critically elements Asimov had identified as suspect.

Before writing "Nightfall" Asimov had written thirty-one stories and sold seventeen (four more would sell eventually). "Marooned Off Vesta," perhaps "The Callistan Menace," and "Homo Sol," along with the robot stories "Reason" and "Liar!" were the best he had done so far. His own assessment of his career to this point is "Looking back on my first three years as a writer, then, I can judge myself to be nothing more than a steady and . . . hopeful third-rater."

Then, on March 17, 1941, he began to write "Nightfall," his thirty-second written story, his sixteenth published, and the story that established him as a frontline science fiction writer.

Science fiction readers and writers are unanimous in their respect and admiration for this story. In 1968-69, for example, the Science...

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This section contains 4,121 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Nightfall Study Guide
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Nightfall from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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