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Extended Audio Sample Pebble in the Sky Audiobook, by Isaac Asimov Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,482 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Isaac Asimov Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Galactic Empire Series Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781482978384
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One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he’s a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire.

Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other two hundred million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it’s the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil—so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of sixty.

Joseph Schwartz is sixty-two.

This is young Isaac Asimov’s first novel, full of wonders and ideas, the book that launched the novels of the Galactic Empire, culminating in the Foundation series.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An entertaining and interesting science fiction story, it will keep you reading. A great first novel.”

    Wired

  • “Fass successfully juggles a range of colorful characters by establishing distinct speaking patterns for the different groups of human[s]. His matter-of-fact narration helps acclimate listeners to an Earth that is both familiar and alien.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 2/20/2014

    " Solid conclusion to the Empire Series. Really well paced book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drew Cauthorn | 2/17/2014

    " A fine read. As a result of an error in the laboratory, a man taking a walk is flung into a distant time where millions of stars in the universe are inhabited by humans. Earth is a radioactive planet thinly inhabited and earthlings are definitely second class citizens. Social commentary is handled deftly and the science fiction is well done. Assimov is a master story teller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arithmomaniac | 2/12/2014

    " Asimov's first novel is possibly his strongest - big ideas, a gripping plot with a surprise ending, a fascinating, fleshed-out future Earth - all without his normally over-dry writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 1/29/2014

    " This is one of my all-time favorite books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert Palmer | 1/27/2014

    " One of Asimov's galactic empire series,taking place before the Foundation series. To read the whole series you should start with the Robot series first.that would be 14 books,I think I will give it a try. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hadrian | 1/26/2014

    " One of Asimov's early sci-fi stories. Interesting little tale about oppression and the vastness of scale of the universe. Interesting fit with the last science book I read. Not amazing, but still pretty good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zack | 1/21/2014

    " Isaac Asimov's first published novel is a lot of fun, and seems a good introduction to his oeuvre (this is the first novel of his I've read, so I can only assume). There's something very appealing about a universe in which rationality is inextricably linked to morality, ethics and sound decision-making. He isn't the best prose writer out there (the way he jumps between POV characters from paragraph to paragraph is evidence enough), but he sets out to write an entertaining story that explores some interesting philosophical ideas, and he does so very well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marsha C. | 1/15/2014

    " I don't read much science fiction, but this was so compelling. Earth has done a job on itself and the future isn't bright. A real cautionary tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 12/2/2013

    " The premise of this story is so absurd that I won't bother repeating it. But this is some of the best story telling and plot-making I've encountered, of the thriller-adventure variety, so it's definitely worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Austin | 11/26/2013

    " The felt very plot oriented and the original main character never really got his problems resolved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merwyn Haskett | 11/25/2013

    " If we only had the last three or four chapters, with the rest of this book scrunched into a very brief summary, this would have been a five-star book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KayJae | 11/21/2013

    " Continually entertaining and challenging. I almost couldn't stand my emotional echo of the characters' frustration. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 11/21/2013

    " classic Science Fiction from the 50's "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 7/31/2013

    " This is the book that launched me into the Foundation series. Still one of my favorite books on my must-read-again list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 penny | 6/2/2013

    " Oops didn't realize this was book 3. Will need to go back and read 1 & 2. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micaela Gonzalez | 3/5/2013

    " Loved this book! Very well written, fascinating story! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolien | 10/6/2012

    " Read but did not finish. Boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt Heavner | 8/13/2012

    " good classic sci-fi from the master. Time travel, radioactivity, Earth vs the galaxy, telepathy, what else do you need!??! :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deedee | 6/21/2012

    " Not bad for a first novel; his later fiction was much better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Du | 2/15/2012

    " What a slog. The first twenty pages we're great, from there it was hard to enjoy. I liked the time travel aspect, and wanted to read for completeness, but need a break from these books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 12/27/2011

    " I'm glad I gave Asimov a second chance. Absolutely LOVED this book! The writing style still wasn't my favorite, but the plot was excellent and drew me right in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 10/4/2011

    " reread this. A captivating look at the future. With any luck we will still be surviving in the galaxy in a thousand years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 8/30/2011

    " I didn't know this was Asimov's first novel! It's pretty impressive. The story was engaging and original, but I think the very beginning was the strongest part. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamison King | 4/21/2011

    " decent little sci fi novel. asminov always plays like a 50s scifi movie focusing on the science and premise more than character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Troy | 4/16/2011

    " Asimov was ahead of his time writing SF in the 1950's. The idea in this book is interesting although the science is a little outdated by modern standards. You can never go wrong reading an Asimov. Appropriate for all ages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaworu | 4/12/2011

    " One of Asimov's early sci-fi stories. Interesting little tale about oppression and the vastness of scale of the universe. Interesting fit with the last science book I read. Not amazing, but still pretty good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve | 3/23/2011

    " Again, Asimov gets clumsy when he writes about love and should stick to robots. Earth as radioactive galactic pariah whose claims to be the original planet of humanity no-one takes seriously is a nice touch, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 2/3/2011

    " 2011.0203-2011.0207
    An odd mash-up of disconnected ideas intersect in an highly enjoyable classic Asimov Novel. Time travel, brain augmentation, political subterfuge all come out to good old fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/16/2011

    " Grade B+. Also read 1977, grade B+. Book Ge3, Fh8. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 1/3/2011

    " Bow down and worship at the feet of the great god of SF's first epic masterpiece. I can't believe it has taken me this long to finally read it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eva | 12/27/2010

    " Excellent - quick - listen. "

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About the Author
Author Isaac AsimovIsaac Asimov began his Foundation Series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned pver 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decasdes. He died, at age of seventy-two, in April 1992.
About the Narrator

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and seven-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, winning in 2011 and again in 2013. He is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters, and dialects and has earned multiple Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. Fass has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.