The Last Question -- Reading & Reflection

Submit your work HERE or type it and give both parts seperately please


Please begin by reading THIS short story. I first read it back when I was 15 and it still remains my all-time favorite short story.



Imagine that you live in an "OPEN" Universe (that has profound implications as to the fate of the Universe and the SHAPE of the Universe).

Furthermore, imagine that it is the very, very distant future. By that I mean that there is no fusion occurring anywhere in the Universe and ALL of the last "degenerate" matter such as neutron stars, black holes or black dwarfs has itself disintegrated)

However, you yourself, DO exist (in some way, shape or form)


Please review my comments on thoughtful writing before you begin.


Please write a short story where you actually exist in the far, far FAR distant Universe.

Your story should somehow recap how the physical Universe got to this state and while you're doing that, give *some* idea of the age of the current Universe you inhabit then.

You story should also explain (or at least give some idea) how it is that you survived for all that eternity and in what form you (and any sort of society you'd like to include--- or none at all) exist.

You have WIDE latitude in this, but please, keep it sciency. In other words please don't say your fairy godmother suddenly appeared, waved her magic wand, told you to click your heals together 3 times and *poof*, you were in the distance future.... no, no, no.


That short story was written by Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific writers of the 20th Century. Some sources say he wrote over 500 books in his lifetime from history, to science, to Shakespeare to the Bible.

Dr Asimov was a PhD (doctor) biochemist (from Columbia University in 1948) and was on the staff of Boston University although he never taught there, oddly enough. However he is most often remembered as one of the preeminent science fiction writers of the 20th century.

Beginning in 1939 when he was still in college, he published the first of hundreds of shorts stories in the popular "pulp fiction" magazines of the day.

Dr Asimov's wrote "The Last Question" in 1956 and it was his favorite short story that he ever wrote (and mine too).

I hope you enjoy reading it.


TO Wit:

IQIA Writing works VERY well here... hint hint hint

CLICK HERE for help on writing thoughtfully (with examples)

  1. Why do you suppose "The Last Question" is a favorite short story of both the author and Mr W?

  2. Why did Dr Asimov choose to follow computers, humans and the Universe until the end of time?

  3. How would that short story be different if it were written today?

  4. How does that short story relate to our study of the Universe?

  5. What about the "The Last Question" did you enjoy most?

  6. What about the "The Last Question" did you enjoy least?

  7. If human civilization did exist in the incredibly distant future as the last stars were going out, what impact do you think it would have on that civilization to exist and totally (or mostly) empty Universe?


CLICK HERE for help on writing thoughtfully (with examples)

Submit your work HERE

Alternate assignment is HERE