Friday, January 02, 2009

I, Birthday

Today is the birthday of the Russian-born American biochemist who is also one of the most prolific writers of all time.

Mensa card carrying member Isaac Asimov -- who died in 1992 -- would have turned 89 today.

Though he is perhaps best remembered for his Robot series -- which was truly seminal -- I will always remember the feeling of astonishment that carried me through his Foundation series. It is one thing -- perhaps a noble thing -- to be able to imagine the worlds that carry readers away. But in Foundation, Asimov’s worlds were so distant and different and complete it was as though he had reinvented everything about everything... over a period that covered some 20,000 years. I’m still astonished just thinking about it.

In 2002 Janet Jeppson Asimov, the late author’s wife, edited a final biography entitled It’s Been A Good Life (Prometheus Books). “Generously exposing both Asimov’s immense talents as a science fiction author and his ruefully amusing self-deprecating punctures of his own early inflated self-image,” wrote Publishers Weekly at the time, “this readable and idiosyncratic self-portrait should attract a whole new generation of readers to Asimov's fine creative works.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to be remembered! This was one of the best writers in the world.

Friday, January 2, 2009 at 10:31:00 AM PST  
Blogger Grant said...

An incredible visionary. I, too, have a fondness for the Foundation series, having discovered the first one as a teenager and then devouring the entire series as each new one was released. Of course, trying to explain to a non-SciFi reader how a multi-generational space epic based around complex mathematics was so darn entertaining, was a challenge in itself ;-)

Friday, January 2, 2009 at 11:22:00 AM PST  

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