Russian: Айзек Азимов, romanized: Aizek Azimov
|Born||c. January 2, 1920[a]|
Petrovichi, Klimovichskiy Uyezd, Russian SFSR
|Died|| April 6, 1992 (aged 72)|
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
|Occupation||Writer, professor of biochemistry|
|Citizenship||Russian (early years), American|
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Genre||Science fiction (hard SF, social SF), mystery|
|Subject||Popular science, science textbooks, essays, literary criticism|
|Literary movement||Golden Age of Science Fiction|
|Thesis||The kinetics of the reaction inactivation of tyrosinase during its catalysis of the aerobic oxidation of catechol (1948)|
|Doctoral advisor||Charles Reginald Dawson|
|Other academic advisors||Robert Elderfield (post-doctoral)|
Life[change | change source]
Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Smolensk Oblast, Russian SFSR to a Jewish family, on an unknown date between October 4, 1919 and January 2, 1920. Asimov celebrated his birthday on January 2.[a] He was taken to the United States when he was three, and learned English and Yiddish as his native languages. 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.
Many of Asimov's early writings were short stories published in cheap science fiction and fantasy magazines. Years later, most of them were collected and republished as collections. Well-known collections include I, Robot, The Rest of the Robots, Earth is Room Enough and The Early Asimov.
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:
- I, Robot (1950). Alternatively, The Complete Robot (1982).
- Caves of Steel (1954).
- The Naked Sun (1957).
- The Robots of Dawn (1983).
- Robots and Empire (1985).
- The Currents of Space (1952).
- The Stars, Like Dust (1951).
- Pebble in the Sky (1950).
- Prelude to Foundation (1988).
- Forward the Foundation (1993).
- Foundation (1951).
- Foundation and Empire (1952).
- Second Foundation (1953).
- Foundation's Edge (1982).
- Foundation and Earth (1986).
Asimov's novels have influenced science fiction on television and movie. Especially his 'Three Laws of Robotics' is a lasting contribution to our thinking.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- 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".
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.
Related pages[change | change source]
Notes[change | change source]
- Asimov, Isaac. In Memory Yet Green. p. 31.
The date of my birth, as I celebrate it, was January 2, 1920. It could not have been later than that. It might, however, have been earlier. Allowing for the uncertainties of the times, of the lack of records, of the Jewish and Julian calendars, it might have been as early as October 4, 1919. There is, however, no way of finding out. My parents were always uncertain and it really doesn't matter. I celebrate January 2, 1920, so let it be.
References[change | change source]
- Isaac Asimov on IMDb
- Asimov, Isaac 2002. It's been a good life. Janet Asimov, ed. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p12 ISBN 1-57392-968-9.
- Asimov, Isaac 1994. I. Asimov: a memoir. Bantam Books. p2–3 ISBN 0-553-56997-X
- Asimov, Isaac 1979. In memory yet green. Avon Books. p32 ISBN 0-380-75432-0
- 15-Book reading order as suggested by Asimov From "Author's Note" of Prelude to Foundation Doubleday 1988 hardcover edition.
- Free Inquiry (Spring 1982). Wikiquote
- "Letter from Janet Asimov". Locus Online. Locus Publications. 4 April 2002. Retrieved 2012-12-04.