Title of an Isaac Asimov fantasy story.
August 7, 2006 7:39 AM   Subscribe

I remember a comical short story by Isaac Asimov that partly involved 'wizards' who were actually misunderstood scientists. Can anybody recall what the story is called? Amazon and Google Book Search have been no help.

I remember that it involved the following response from a ‘wizard’ who gets exposed to a dragon:

“Of all things, an Apatosaurus!,” [the wizard exclaimed.] But he often spoke nonsense, and was ignored.
posted by sindark to Writing & Language (9 answers total)
 
Are you thinking of The Flying Sorcerers by Larry Niven and David Gerrold? One of the main characters is called "Purple" for most of the book, and it turns out to be a shortening of a mistranslation of his name "Asimov": "As a color, shade of purple-grey".
posted by Plutor at 8:36 AM on August 7, 2006


Response by poster: Plutor,

I am almost entirely certain that I read this story in a collection of the short works of Isaac Asimov. I even have an email in which a friend attributes the quote above to a story we both read.
posted by sindark at 10:01 AM on August 7, 2006


Remember that Asimov also edited many collections of works by other authors.... It's possible that you might have read it in one of those collections, but only remember Asimov because his name was in the biggest font on the cover :)
posted by pjern at 11:52 AM on August 7, 2006


Response by poster: Solopsist,

This is why I am not absolutely and entirely certain, though I am still quite confident. Of course, if someone can definitively identify the story as having been written by someone else, that would be equally helpful.
posted by sindark at 12:11 PM on August 7, 2006


Do you think the name might look familiar? There's a good long list of collections and short stories by Asimov, as well as anthologies that he edited (so that even if he didn't write it, if his name is associated, it should be there). Good luck!
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:12 PM on August 7, 2006


Plutor's post reminded me of "Green Fire" from Eileen Gunn's Stable Strategies anthology. This short story features Asimov and Heinlein during World War II, traveling through parallel universes and encountering plesiosaurs. No wizards, though, as far as I recall.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:50 PM on August 7, 2006


Best answer: "Prince Delightful and the Flameless Dragon." I don't know what story collection it's in though, my books are in a mess.
posted by stoneegg21 at 1:18 PM on August 7, 2006


Response by poster: stoneegg21,

Many thanks!
posted by sindark at 1:41 PM on August 7, 2006


The story is in the collections Once upon a time and Fantasy Stories.
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:47 PM on August 7, 2006


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