The Hurog Family

Other Authors => Favorite Odds and Ends => General Fiction => Topic started by: wizardbear on April 06, 2011, 04:37:43 pm

Title: Isaac Asimov
Post by: wizardbear on April 06, 2011, 04:37:43 pm
Isaac Asimov ( /ˈaɪzək ˈæzɪməv/ EYE-zək AZ-i-məv; born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov, Russian: Исаак Юдович Озимов; c. January 2, 1920 (his exact date of birth is not known, this is the best guess) – April 6, 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 9,000 letters and postcards. His 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.)

Another writer I put in odds and ends because, again, he wrote some of everything. (for a given value of everything)

Asimov was very respected  by other writers, in 1964 "Nightfall", a short story of his was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time.

The prolific Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much non-fiction. Most of his popular science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage.

Asimov used these alternate names: George E. Dale , Paul French , Dr. 'A' , H. B. Ogden , John Starmore , Isaac Azimov

The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, the magazine Asimov's Science Fiction, a Brooklyn, New York elementary school, and one Isaac Asimov literary award are named in his honor. Just for fun, here is a partial list of his honors and awards:

1957 – Thomas Alva Edison Foundation Award, for Building Blocks of the Universe
1960 – Howard W. Blakeslee Award from the American Heart Association for The Living River
1962 – Boston University's Publication Merit Award
1963 – special Hugo Award for "adding science to science fiction" for essays published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
1965 – James T. Grady Award of the American Chemical Society (now called the James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry)
1966 – Best All-time Novel Series Hugo Award for the Foundation series
1967 – Westinghouse Science Writing Award
1972 – Nebula Award for Best Novel for The Gods Themselves
1973 – Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Gods Themselves
1973 – Locus award for Best Science Fiction Novel for The Gods Themselves
1977 – Hugo Award for Best Novelette for The Bicentennial Man
1977 – Nebula Award for Best Novelette for The Bicentennial Man
1981 – An asteroid, 5020 Asimov, was named in his honor
1983 – Hugo Award for Best Novel for Foundation's Edge
1983 – Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel for Foundation's Edge
1987 – Nebula Grand Master award, a lifetime achievement award
1992 – Hugo Award for Best Novelette for Gold
1995 – Hugo Award for Best Nonfiction for I. Asimov: A Memoir
1996 – A 1946 Retro-Hugo for Best Novel of 1945 was given at the 1996 WorldCon to The Mule, the 7th Foundation story published in Astounding Science Fiction
1997 – Posthumous induction into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame
2009 – A crater on the planet Mars, Asimov, was named in his honor
14 honorary doctorate degrees from various universities

Isaac Asimov was recognized by the 111th Congress on March 9, 2010 in House Resolution 1055, "supporting the designation of National Robotics Week as an annual event". The following passage appears in the text of the bill:
"Whereas the second week in April each year is designated as 'National Robotics Week', recognizing the accomplishments of Isaac Asimov, who immigrated to America, taught science, wrote science books for children and adults, first used the term robotics, developed the Three Laws of Robotics, and died in April, 1992: Now, therefore, be it resolved..."
The tribute to Asimov is due to the efforts of Paula Brooks, a robotics researcher and long-time fan of his who assisted the committee that wrote the resolution.

My own respect and veneration for this man is boundless.

Isaac Asimov's bibliography is entirely too huge for me to put any of it here. I will provide links to the best examples I can find.

Here is one, listing 515 books written over 72 years:

Here is another listing many of the anthologies he worked on as well as his own work and his collaborations with others:

Here is another, listing his major SF series for easier browsing:


Janet Jeppson Asimov, Isaac Asimov's second wife, is a SF writer both in her own right and in collaboration with her husband. Janet Asimov started writing children's science fiction under the name J O Jeppson in the 1970s. She was married to Isaac Asimov from 1973 until his death in 1992, and they collaborated on a number of science fiction books aimed at young readers, including the Norby series.

More  information available here:

Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: Patti L. on April 06, 2011, 04:47:42 pm
I'm much more fond of his mysteries and non-fiction than of his SF.  His essays in the Magazine of F & SF were informative at a level I could access without a science background, and his introductions to the stories in anthologies he edited were friendly and engaging so that I would at the least borrow the anthologies to read those even if I didn't like the stories of the winning authors. 
His published "official" birthday of March 22 1920 sticks in my head because that is the day & year that my mother was born, and she died only a month or so before he did, so she was 71 & he was 72 when he died.
Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: Gerd D. on April 07, 2011, 06:32:20 am
I've read a collection of his short story work about early (in SF terms) space exploration and some common problems that would arise from living out there, loved that, reminded me a lot of Clarke's work.

And a Fantasy story by him about the devil corrupting humans into wishing for a perfect world.
Wonderful sense of irony. LOL

I love this piece by Edelman about Asimov:
Quote from: Scott Edelman
I asked him how he felt about The Early Asimov and seeing his novice work in print, work that he had done at an age not far from my own.* Did it embarrass him?
"It is sort of embarrassing," he told me, "but on the other hand, it's not as embarrassing as it would be if I presented them pretending them to be good stories. They're my early attempts. They are what they are. I present them in order. I feel that the book might conceivably be helpful to fledgling writers.... If they read The Early Asimov, they can perhaps for themselves see how I've improved and what I've done. Maybe it will be useful to them. Then, too, for the die-hard science flction fans who like my stuff, they might be amused to see whatever embryonic ability might show up in the early stories, or they might be amused to see me write inept stories."
*Edelman was seventeen back then.

Quote taken from Science Fiction Age magazin.
Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: Patti L. on April 07, 2011, 06:36:34 am
That's one of the things I love about Dr. Asimov too; he had an ego, AND a sense of humor, and wasn't afraid to play off the ego for humor.
His story about presenting Hugo awards, & going into a rant about how he'd never gotten one, and then opening the envelope to see the next went to him... priceless.
Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: wizardbear on April 07, 2011, 06:40:39 am
Only Asimov could give Asimov a Hugo. No one else had the chutzpah.  >D
Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: Patti L. on April 07, 2011, 06:43:28 am
That was pretty much what the committee said to him!  LOL  And so he reported.

I've still got memorized the little ditty he made up and sang (on the spot, under anesthesia) to the surgeon who operated on his malfunctioning thyroid gland.

I think I even have still got stuffed away somewhere one of those postcards he typed, as one of my treasures.
Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: wizardbear on April 07, 2011, 06:45:32 am
Doctor, Doctor, Cut my throat ...  >D
Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: Patti L. on April 07, 2011, 06:46:13 am
Doctor, doctor, in green coat...  LOL
Title: Re: Asimov, Isaac
Post by: Mouse on April 07, 2011, 07:08:59 am
Asimov was one of the first sci-fi books i read, age 7 or 8. was working my way through my parents book collection, they had it alphabetised...
not sure how much i understood, but i did enjoy them
i liked his short stories more.
especially 'the gentle vultures'
Title: Re: Isaac Asimov
Post by: charmed on April 09, 2011, 03:32:54 pm
wizardbear, since he wrote in multiple genres, he could have a thread in each of those genres. We have others like that on here.

The general fiction, as you see when you look at the listing, is in fact for those authors marketed or sold as general fiction. I'll lock this while you set up his various appropriate threads. If he has any books sold as general fiction, then this will be the appropriate thread for discussing them. :)