Isaac Asimov

Novelist, Author

1920 – 1992


Who was Isaac Asimov?

Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been published in nine out of ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.

Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation Series; his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are explicitly set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation Series. Later, beginning with Foundation's Edge, he linked this distant future to the Robot and Spacer stories, creating a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction "Nightfall", which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.

Famous Quotes:

  • Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know -- and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know -- even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction -- than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.
  • It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our every man must take on a science fictional way of thinking.
  • Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
  • I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
  • If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster.
  • I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.
  • Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.
  • Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
  • Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
  • When asked what he would do if he only had six months to live: Type faster.

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Jan 2, 1920
Also known as
  • Paul French
  • Dr. "A"
  • George E. Dale
  • H. B. Ogden
  • Asimov
  • isaac_asimov
  • Isaak Judah Ozimov
  • The Human Typewriter
  • Asimov, Isaac
  • Isaak Yudovich Ozimov
  • Atheism
  • Judaism
  • Ashkenazi Jews
  • Jewish people
  • Russian American
  • Jewish American
  • United States of America
  • Columbia University
  • Boston University
Lived in
  • Brooklyn
Apr 6, 1992
New York City

on July 23, 2013


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