English | ePUB | 1.26 MiB | Books: 6
Isaac Asimov (born Isaak Ozimov; c. January 2, 1920 â€“ April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer, and wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.
Asimov wrote 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 novelette “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.
Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov’s Chronology of Science and Discovery, as well as works on astronomy, mathematics, history, William Shakespeare’s writing, and chemistry.
Asimov was a long-time member and vice president of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as “brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs”. He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, and a literary award are named in his honor.
Lucky Starr is the hero of a series of science fiction books by Isaac Asimov, using the pen name “Paul French” and intended for juveniles.
On 23 March 1951, Asimov met with his agent, Frederik Pohl, and Walter I. Bradbury, then the science fiction editor at Doubleday & Co., who had a proposal for him. Pohl and Bradbury wanted Asimov to write a juvenile science fiction novel that would serve as the basis for a television series. Fearing that the novel would be adapted into the “uniformly awful” programming he saw flooding the television channels, he decided to publish it under the pseudonym “Paul French”. Asimov began work on the novel, David Starr: Space Ranger, on 10 June. He completed it on 29 July, and it was published by Doubleday in January 1952. Although plans for the television series fell through, Asimov continued to write novels in the series, eventually producing six. A seventh, Lucky Starr and the Snows of Pluto, was planned, but abandoned when Asimov elected to devote himself to writing non-fiction almost exclusively. With no worries about being associated with an embarrassing televised version, Asimov decided to abandon the pretense that he was not the author (although the books continued to be published under the Paul French pseudonym). He brought the Three Laws of Robotics into Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury, which he wrote in his autobiography “was a dead giveaway to Paul French’s identity for even the most casual reader”.
Eventually, Asimov used his own name in later editions. Some cover pages bear his name only, while others credit “Isaac Asimov writing as Paul French”
The books in suggested reading order:
David Starr: Space Ranger
Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids
Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus
Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury
Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter
Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn