Isaac Asimov, The Good Doctor (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992)

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Just a brief note to remember the fact that it was 19 years ago today that science fiction and the science world lost Isaac Asimov. It’s hard to believe it has been 19 years. Asimov is my favorite all-time science fiction writer, as well as being my favorite science writer.

I’ve written before about how nearly everything I learned about science, I learned from Isaac Asimov. I own the vast majority of the books he wrote (some rare, a few signed) and have read most of them. Every April, in a kind of homage to Asimov’s memory, I re-read his three volume autobiography. I always start with the last retrospective, I. Asimov, and then go back and read In Memory Yet Green and In Joy Still Felt. I look forward to it every spring, and I never get tired of reading those books. This is the first spring in 16 years that I am just so busy with other tasks that I don’t have time to read these books.

When I decided I wanted to be a science fiction writer, it was Isaac Asimov that I most wanted to be like. Every writer ends up developing a style that is unique to them, but I have tried to model my style as much as possible after Asimov’s. I never got to meet him in person and it is one of the few regrets that I have and why I have made it a point to meet those other science fiction writers who I have admired so much over the years.

My own views of life, science and politics have been heavily influenced by Asimov. He was a rationalist and a clear thinker, and he taught generations of scientists the joys to be found in the mysteries of the universe. And of course, his science fiction entertained millions. Though it is 19 years after his death, I can open any one of his books and hear that Brooklyn-accented voice in my head, as if he were standing next to me, telling me the story or explaining some scientific principle.

And I miss him.

4 thoughts on “Isaac Asimov, The Good Doctor (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992)

  1. Paul, I’m trying to remember the first thing I read by Asimov. I think it was The Caves of Steel. (And, not to make you jealous, but I do have a nice first edition of Asimov on Numbers on the bookshelf.)

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