The Fun They Had

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"The Fun They Had"
Author Isaac Asimov
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction
Published in Boys and Girls Page
Publication type Periodical
Media type Print (Newspaper, Magazine, Hardback & Paperback)
Publication date 1 December 1951

"The Fun They Had" is a science fiction story by American writer Isaac Asimov. It first appeared in a children's newspaper in 1951 and was reprinted in the February 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as the collections Earth Is Room Enough (1957), 50 Short Science Fiction Tales (1960), and The Best of Isaac Asimov (1973). It has been modified in a Finnish English book called KEY English 8-9.

Written as a personal favor for a friend, "The Fun They Had" became "probably the biggest surprise of my literary career", Asimov wrote in 1973. He reported that it had been reprinted more than 30 times with more being planned. "Why? I don't know why."[1] It is about computerized home schooling, and what children miss out on by not being in school together.

Plot summary[edit]

Set in the year 2157, when children learn individually at home using a mechanical teacher (robotic teacher), the story tells of eleven-year-old Margie Jones, whose neighbor Tommy finds a real book. The book tells about a time when children learned by age group in large schools that were not merely designated rooms in private houses as in the year 2157. Margie and Tommy discuss what it must have been like to study together with a real person as a teacher, and though at first Margie is skeptical about the notion, by the end of the story she daydreams about what it must have been like and 'the fun they had'.


  1. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1973). "Introduction". The Best of Isaac Asimov. Sphere Books. pp. ix–xiv. ISBN 0-385-05078-X. LCCN 74-2863.

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