1950 scifi from novel Isaac Asimov, one of three of the Galactic Empire series, the first published but chronogically the last. His first novel altogether, in fact, although he'd published material from much of his later novels already in various magazines.
About 211 standard pages.
First read (26th-30th January 2014)Edit
Orb paperback, 256 pages long.
Finished fairly quickly, on the 30th. I was miffed pretty early on by the absurd number of coincidences leading to the situation most of the book is about, then when it was mentioned explicitly by one of the characters I hoped it would be revealed to have been somehow engineered deliberately. But then... it just wasn't mentioned again. So that's a major gripe.
I'll be interested to see how the 'Galactic Empire trilogy' it makes with The Stars, Like Dust and The Currents of Space works. This novel was the first published but it's always listed third, I think because it's chronologically last?
Previous book: Stephen King, The Green Mile
Next book: Isaac Asimov, The Stars, Like Dust