Roy A(rthur) Gallant Isaac Asimov - Essay

Isaac Asimov

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Exploring the Planets and Exploring Chemistry, the] latest of the author's Exploring series are, if anything, more informative [and] better organized … than the previous ones. In Exploring the Planets, each planet (including our Earth) is taken up singly and the latest information available on each is presented in a clear and forthright manner. The whole is preceded by an able description of the various theories of the formation of the Solar System. (p. 483)

In Exploring Chemistry, Gallant abandons astronomy for the first time in the series but maintains his high quality of presentation with enviable ease. Actually, this is Chemistry Past and Future, rather than Chemistry Present. The first two-thirds of the book tells the dramatic story of how our present knowledge of chemistry slowly developed through Greek speculation, alchemical groping, and the experimentation of the early chemists. The last third tells the even more dramatic story of how chemistry may serve to give the world's growing population new food, new water, and new minerals. (p. 484)

Isaac Asimov, "Science: 'Exploring Chemistry'," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright, 1958, by the Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. XXXIV, No. 6, December, 1958, pp. 483-84.

[Man's Reach into Space] discusses in … detail the various tests to which men have been subjected in order to guarantee their maximum safety under the trying atmosphere of outer space. The laboratories … resemble chambers of horror, yet out of the scientific ordeals experienced there comes the hope that in the near future man shall travel safely through as yet uncharted regions.

"Non-Fiction: 'Man's Reach into Space'," in Virginia Kirkus' Service, Vol. XXVII, No. 23, December 1, 1959, p. 880.