29 May 2008

Asimov regained

These posts (and many more which never make it from brain to keyboard) are often sparked by coincidences, synchronicities.

Three days ago I referred to a story by Isaac Asimov. I couldn't remember the title, nor sufficient details for a quick search to reveal it. I therefore left it unidentified.

Yesterday, hunting through Joanne Harris's Lollipop shoes for a particular passage, I registered a different one. The amoral witch Zozie says to the reader: "It's a long time since I did any scrying ... nine times out of ten you get quicker results from the internet."

I might add, from long experience, that nine times out of ten you might get faster results still by asking Ray Girvan whose memory is eclectic, organised, infallible and encyclopaedic. Less than fifteen minutes later, opening my email, I found a note from Ray: "The Asimov story was Belief (1953)".

Immediately, I knew he was right; memory returned. Even knowing the answer, it still took a few minutes to find it through Google, however... and the most extensive reference I came up with was a fifteen word sentence in an Amazon user review. From there, only seconds to retrieve from the British Library a reference to a 1983 collection (The winds of change) which contains the story.

Thanks, as always, Ray.

[Late addition: since posting this, Ray has responded with a much better link than mine - to the full text of Belief, no less! He also modestly denies the adjectives which I applied to his memory, and which I refuse to retract...]

  • Isaac Asimov, The winds of change and other stories.1983, London: Granada.0246119241
  • Joanne Harris, The lollipop shoes. 2007, London: Doubleday.
    9780385609494 (pbk.)

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