I, Asimov: A Memoir
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Arguably the greatest science fiction writer who ever lived, Isaac Asimov also possessed one of the most brilliant and original minds of our time. His accessible style and far-reaching interests in subjects ranging from science to humor to history earned him the nickname "the Great Explainer." I. Asimov is his personal story--vivid, open, and honest--as only Asimov himself could tell it.
Here is the story of the paradoxical genius who wrote of travel to the stars yet refused to fly in airplanes; who imagined alien universes and vast galactic
civilizations while staying home to write; who compulsively authored more than 470 books yet still found the time to share his ideas with some of the great
minds of our century. Here are his wide-ranging thoughts and sharp-eyed observations on everything from religion to politics, love and divorce, friendship and Hollywood, fame and mortality. Here, too, is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the varied personalities--Campbell, Ellison, Heinlein, Clarke, del Rey, Silverberg, and others--who along with Asimov helped shape science fiction.
As unique and irrepressible as the man himself, I. Asimov is the candid memoir of an incomparable talent who entertained readers for nearly half a
century and whose work will surely endure into the future he so vividly envisioned.
was a piece of comic verse about clones, designed to be sung to the tune of “Home on the Range.” I therefore sang it at the close of the talk and it elicited a storm of applause. I eventually wrote four more stanzas to the song and have sung what I have called “The Clone Song” innumerable times to innumerable gatherings. I have written a number of pieces of comic verse to one tune or another, but none have been as popular as “The Clone Song.” This is not surprising, since the conception was
because once certain Jews crucified my Saviour.” I brooded about that on the platform and finally, unable to keep quiet, I said, “Mr. Wiesel, it is a mistake to think that because a group has suffered extreme persecution that is a sign that they are virtuous and innocent. They might be, of course, but the persecution process is no proof of that. The persecution merely shows that the persecuted group is weak. Had they been strong, then, for all we know, they might have been the persecutors.”
had worked on it so long and enjoyed it so much, I resented having to stop. I wondered if there were anything else I could do that would be comparable in pleasure, and what is the only part of English literature to compare with the Bible? Of course—the plays of William Shakespeare. In 1968, I therefore began to write Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare, intending to go over every one of his plays carefully, explaining all the allusions and archaisms, and discussing all his references involving
I waited grimly while the house emptied, and finally, the last item, the very last was “Science Adviser—Isaac Asimov.” Naturally, I applauded loudly, and I distinctly heard a voice in the aisle saying, “There’s Asimov, applauding his own name,” and another tale of my vanity was born. I was also adviser, in 1979, for a few episodes of a pleasant science fiction television series, Salvage 1, featuring Andy Griffith, an actor I admire enormously. Most important of all, I was roped in as originator
rarely present to preside at the meetings. He was aware of the difficulties arising from this and he would speak of having me as president pro tern when he was absent, but I always felt he was joking. I did preside once in a while, though usually it was Walter Frese, the club secretary, who filled in. Eric was also advanced in years and had a pacemaker. On March 6, 1985, soon after his eightieth birthday, he visited an art gallery on Fifty-seventh Street where they had arranged a display of his