Issac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was a versatile and interesting man. A biochemist and author of science fiction material, he wrote or edited some five hundred volumes, the most famous of which are the Foundation and Robot series. We invite you to learn about his life and work.

A little about Asimov

Isaac Asimov, born January 2, 1920, in Petrovich, Russia, was an American naturalized biochemist, as well as a prolific and highly successful writer of science fiction and science books for laymen.

He was brought to the United States at age 3 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1939. Around the time of World War II, he worked at the Naval Aviation Experiment Station, in Philadelphia, along with science fiction authors Robert Heinlein and L. Sprague de Camp.

After the war, he did a Ph.D. in Chemistry, also at Columbia University, in 1948 and joined the faculty of Boston University, with which he remained associated thereafter. This incredible professional began contributing stories to science fiction magazines in 1939.

Marooned off Vesta, was the first story Asimov sold to Amazing Stories, however, he became more closely associated with Astounding Science-Fiction and its publisher, John W. Campbell, Jr. Later Campbell became Asimov's mentor.

Nightfall, written in 1941, is one of his most recognizable stories. It's about a planet in a multiple star system that only experiences darkness one night every 2049 years.

It is the work that catapulted him as one of the most outstanding science fiction writers, as it is considered one of the best stories of the genre.

In 1940, Asimov began writing his robot stories, later collected in I, Robot ; in 1950. He further developed with his mentor a set of ethical rules for robots and reject past ideas related to them, which make them look like metal monsters, malefactors and marauders.

His vision of him greatly influenced the way other writers treated the subject. These three Laws of Robotics were:

1-A robot cannot harm a human being or allow him to suffer, for not acting when appropriate.

2-A robot must respect rules and orders from human beings, except when they try to harm other men, that is, they would be in conflict with the first law.

3- It must be guarded and protected, as long as it does not affect the previous regulations.

Asimov's stories, written between 1942 and 1949, were collected and organized as the well-known Foundation trilogy:

  • Foundation (1951)
  • Foundation and Empire (1952)
  • Second Foundation (1953).

This trilogy won a special Hugo Award in 1966 for the best science fiction series of all time. Asimov's early novels known as Pebble in the sky, The Stars, Like Dust, and The Currents of Space were set during and before the Galactic Empire, but were unrelated to the Foundation series.

During a period between 1952 and 1958 he wrote as Paul French and dedicated himself to the children's series Lucky Starr. In this funny saga, each text took place in a different world of the solar system.

Later, he returned to the robots with two novels that combined mystery with science fiction, which he titled: The Caves of Steel, in 1954, and The Naked Sun (1957). During the 1950s, Asimov also wrote some of his best stories: The Martian Way, The Dead Past and The Ugly Little Boy.

At the end of this decade, he concentrated on writing on other types of subjects, from 1958 to 1991, writing a monthly science column for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which received a special Hugo Award in 1963

Much of his writing that was not related to science fiction was on various science topics, written with lucidity and humor, covering the areas of chemistry, physics, and even biology. He even wrote about literature and religion.

Asimov returned to science fiction with The Gods Themselves (1972) which refers to contact with advanced aliens from a parallel universe. As well as The Bicentennial Man (1976), which became one of his most respected and beloved works. The story focuses on the idea of ​​a robot to become human.

In the 1980s, Asimov merged the robot series, Empire and Foundation into the same fictional universe. Among the latest novels of the famous writer were expansions of past stories, written with Robert Silverberg, such as Nightfall and Child of Time. This genius of letters passed away on April 6, 1992 in New York, USA.

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