Isaac Asimov, A Sci Fi Legend
Facts and Bio on the Best Science Fiction Writer Ever, Issac Asimov
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)
Born in Russia
Family immigrated to USA 1923
Raised in Brooklyn, New York City
Lived in only 3 places - NYC, Boston, Philadephia
Married twice and had 2 children
Died in USA.
That is the sum of Isaac Asimov's life in a nutshell.
But in the space of 50 years (from age 20 to age 70 roughly) the man wrote over 500 books!!!!! He also wrote thousands of essays too. He wrote on nearly every subject imaginable.
Image Source - Asimov as Lincoln
People who think they know everything, are a great annoyance to those of us who do
The making of a polymath
Do you want to know a secret?
I have never actually read any of the Foundation novels. Nor have I read any of the Robot stories either. I did see the movie I Robot - the one with Will Smith (2004). I never read Bicentennial Man but I have seen the movie of the same name starring Robin Williams and Sam Neill (1999).
I have however read The Ugly Little Boy and Nightfall. And I am currently reading Dr Asimov's memoir - I, Asimov (1994). That memoir is what has inspired me to make this lens. So that makes exactly 3 of Isaac Asimovs' books - out of over 500 he wrote - that I know I have read.
So why am I making this lens?
Because Asimov wanted to be remembered for being a prolific writer. Because I greatly admire his ability to write about all manner of different subjects. Asimov is considered to be a POLYMATH - a GENIUS. He knew a little about a lot of different things - like me.
Image Source - Asimovs legacy is Safe - 2004
Isaac Asimov and his daughter Robyn - 1989
This has been one of the most enjoyable memoirs I have read in a very long time. I had no idea just how widely read and written Isaac Asimov was. Nor was I aware that he had such a wonderful sense of humour.
This memoir is told in small bites - no chapter is more than 5 pages long and most of them are only 2, 3 or 4 pages long. Asimov is brutally honest about his marriages. his wives, his children (although his son does not make much of an appearance other than the fact that he was born).
Asimov also explains exactly how he came to write each and every book - even the magazine stories, the collections as well as each and every non fiction and non science book he ever wrote.
Asimov likes to name drop every single major science fiction writer that he ever met (mostly in connection with the science fiction magazines he started out writing for) and who he become friends with. He knew Gene Roddenberry - in fact Asimov's second wife Janet was a huge Star Trek fan, but she refused to call herself a Trekkie.
Asimov studied at Columbia University in New York City. He was born in Russia but raised in Brooklyn, New York City. He went to Boston University where he completed his PhD in biochemistry and later became a lecturer of biochemistry at the Boston University Medical school. But those people with PhD's usually need to do research and publish in order to survive. Isaac was driven to writing science fiction stories instead. Besides, he hated doing research. Eventually his income from writing stories grew bigger than his salary from the University so eventually he left the Boston University and returned to NYC where he became a full time writer.
Asimov was married to Gertrude (his first wife who was jewish just as he was) from 1942. They had 2 children (David in 1951 and Robyn in 1955) but the marriage did not last. Gertrude died in 1990 in Boston. Isaac died in 1992 in NYC.
Asimov had met Janet Jeppson at a writers convention in the early 1960s and they corresponded by letter over the next few years. Janet sent her letters to Asimov at Boston University, not to his home address. When Asimov was finally separated in 1970, he left Boston and moved back to NYC. Within months he was living with Janet and they were married in late 1973 after his divorce finally became final. They were married until Asimov's death in 1992. Janet Jeppson Asimov is still alive in 2011 - her death has not yet been reported.
All in all - this was a wonderfully and well written memoir and an absolute joy to read.
Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is
Have you ever read any of Isaac Asimov's NON-FICTION books?
The Foundation Novels
The true delight is in the finding out, rather than in the knowing
Have you ever read any of Isaac Asimov's Foundation or Robot novels?
Isaac Asimov invented the 3 laws of robotics.
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law
I rather enjoyed Will Smith's version of the story I Robot.
But let's be clear - This movie did not follow the original book as written by Isaac Asimov. The original book consisted of 9 short stories about Robots. The plot of the movie was not the plot of the original book. But thats what Hollywood does best - make up its own stories. No wonder so many people incluidng Isaac Asimov distrusted Hollywood.
Source - Asimov's Legacy is Safe - By Robyn Asimov
I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die
A story about a planet with several suns and where it never gets dark. BUT once every few thousand years, all the suns will be below the horizon and it will be dark for the first time in known history. What will happen when Night finally falls?
It seems to me that God is a convenient invention of the human mind
Have you ever read any of Isaac Asimov's other novels or short stories?
Isaac Asimov - on camera
Visions of the Future (1992) - Introduction to a TV documentary series that was never completed. (in 4 parts)
Also a speech for the Humanist organistion dated January 1989. (in 2 parts)
The 3 Laws of Robotics - as stated by Dr Asimov during the 1950s
Interview with isaac Asimov - 1986 - self education and generalisation
Dewey Decimal system
Asimov's works have been published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (the sole exception being the 100s - Philosophy and Psychology).
List borrowed from Wikipedia
000-099 – Computer science, Information & General Reference works
100-199 – Philosophy and Psychology
200-299 – Religion
300-399 – Social sciences
400-499 – Language
500-599 – Science
600-699 – Technology
700-799 – Arts
800-899 – Literature
900-999 – History, Geography, Travel & Biography