Posted by: angrybeesound | September 7, 2007

Asimov

Yup, I read Asimov, why don’t you? I think he was one of the more gifted minds of the last generation, or was it generations two ago? The breadth of his interests and the quality of his writings shows someone wasting none of his spare cycles. Indeed he didn’t seem to waste a lot of time, he wrote or edited 500 books, and estimated 90,000 letters and has works published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal system.  He also held an ability which I find to be a telling sign of  truly gifted intellect, Asimov was able to explain complex ideas in real, scalable terms. He described it a “friendly, breezy way” if you need an example of this go read “The Collapsing Universe” (1977), he starts with space, hydrogen and helium and from those blocks builds the entire universe in order.Asimov was also a prophet for technology we use today. I do not know if he was alone, but he predicted the computerization of our society and the 2nd Industrial Revolution, which partly is helping people deal with the results of the first Industrial Revolution. The writing I have sampled has all been relevant and readable today. Try reading other Sci-Fi from the 1940’s, it is all very arcane and misses the mark on so matters of  technology. It was only after I devoured Foundation, that I found out it was published in 1941-space travel, widespread atomic power, handheld computers.I found Asimov initially by being recommended the Foundation Series – Foundation (1951), Foundation and Empire (1952),  Second Foundation (1953), and Foundations Edge (1982). Recommended is a nice way to put it, the person in question, who is larger than I, put me in a chair, gave me the book and said ‘read this rfn’ which is a dork way of saying ‘right fucking now.’ So I did, and you know what, it’s really good. I think you should read it RFN. There is a story about the Foundation Series -(stolen form the wikipedia)

 In 1965, the Foundation Trilogy beat several other science fiction and fantasy series to receive a special Hugo Award for “Best All-Time Series.” It is still the only series so honored. Asimov himself wrote that he assumed the one-time award had been created in order to honor The Lord of the Rings, and he was amazed when his work won.      

 

The way I heard the story, and the way I tell the story, which happens right before I set people into chairs and sit there while they read the books, involves the loose quote ‘No fucking way, that is Tolkien’s award.’   Many of Asimov’s short stories exist on the tubes. One that popped into my reader recently, which I haven’t read in some time is “The Last Question”  I also found this page recently, a nice little bio on Asimov, Isaac Asimov: A Prophet For Our Time  

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