Isaac Asimov

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Asimov in 1965
Isaac Asimov on Throne.png

Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was a writer.[1] He was also a biochemist with a PhD from Columbia University.

Life[change | change source]

Isaac Asimov was born in Russia to a Jewish family. He was taken to the United States when he was three, and learnt English and Yiddish as his native languages.[2][3][4] He wrote many books. People know about Isaac Asimov because of his science fiction books and his science books for non-scientists.

Writing[change | change source]

Asimov's most famous books were the Foundation Series. He also wrote the Galactic Empire and the Robot Series. He also wrote mystery, fantasy, and non-fiction books. He wrote or edited over 500 books and about 90,000 letters. Other subjects he wrote about were history, the Bible, literature, and sexuality.

Asimov's reading list[change | change source]

Asimov made a list of 15 of his science fiction books, which he advised should be read in this order:

  1. I, Robot (1950). Alternatively, The Complete Robot (1982).
  2. Caves of Steel (1954).
  3. The Naked Sun (1957).
  4. The Robots of Dawn (1983).
  5. Robots and Empire (1985).
  6. The Currents of Space (1952).
  7. The Stars, Like Dust (1951).
  8. Pebbles in the Sky (1950).
  9. Prelude to Foundation (1988).
  10. Forward the Foundation (1993).
  11. Foundation (1951).
  12. Foundation and Empire (1952).
  13. Second Foundation (1953).
  14. Foundation's Edge (1982).
  15. Foundation and Earth (1986).

Numbers 1–5 are 'Robot' books; 6–8 are 'Galactic Empire' books; 9–15 are 'Foundation' books.[5]

Asimov's novels have influenced science fiction on television and movie. Especially his 'Three Laws of Robotics' is a lasting contribution to our thinking.

  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 any 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.

Beliefs[change | change source]

Although ethnically a Jew, Asimov was an atheist:

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow ... it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic".[6]

Death[change | change source]

When he had heart surgery in 1983, he received blood infected with HIV. He developed AIDS, and died of the effects of the medical condition in 1992. His widow did not speak of this until years later.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. Isaac Asimov at the Internet Movie Database
  2. Asimov, Isaac 2002. It's been a good life. Janet Asimov, ed. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p12 ISBN 1-57392-968-9.
  3. Asimov, Isaac 1994. I. Asimov: a memoir. Bantam Books. p2–3 ISBN 0-553-56997-X
  4. Asimov, Isaac 1979. In memory yet green. Avon Books. p32 ISBN 0-380-75432-0
  5. 15-Book reading order as suggested by Asimov From "Author's Note" of Prelude to Foundation Doubleday 1988 hardcover edition.
  6. Free Inquiry (Spring 1982). Wikiquote
  7. "Letter from Janet Asimov". Locus Online. Locus Publications. 4 April 2002. http://www.locusmag.com/2002/Issue04/Letter.html. Retrieved 2012-12-04.