The Hansen Planetarium has asked Isaac Asimov to update his 1956 science fiction story "The Last Question" for adaptation in a star show.
"The plot didn't have to really be updated. It just needed mention of some scientific facts that were unknown when the story first appeared in 1956," Asimov said in a recent telephone interview from his New York home."There was no mention of quasars in it, no mention of black holes. So, I just added some of these so that it wouldn't sound too out of date. The plot remained the same. It was just the background that changed," he said.
"The Last Question" deals with man's desperate search for the solution to entropy in the universe - the increase in the amount of energy unavailable for use.
The question crosses over generations of humans and spans 10 trillion years for the final answer, following the evolution of man and the prog-ress of technology.
"The Last Question" completed its run at the Hansen Planetarium Sunday, marking the second time the planetarium has adapted the story for a star show. The first presentation was more than five years ago.
Asimov, who was given a tape of the current show, says the planetarium has done an honorable job of adapting the story dearest to his heart.
"It's my favorite story because it was a very unusual plot. No one had ever come anywhere near that plot," Asimov said. "It was very easy to write, and I got lots of letters from people who were very impressed with the story."