Giving something back

Within the midst of all of this excitement, what with the sale of my story and the science fiction conventions and all, it is probably now the best time to give something back. I mentioned in an earlier post my intention to make a larger than normal donation to the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debates. This evening, I made out the check and sent off the following letter to the American Museum of Natural History’s Planned Giving Office:

To Whom It May Concern:

Enclosed is a check for $565.00 as a donation to the Isaac Asimov Memorial Fund, which sponsors the Isaac Asimov Memorial Panel Debate at the Hayden Planetarium.

While I still haven’t had a chance to attend the lectures (scheduling conflicts!), I fully support the goals of these debates. I am so glad to see that there is an ongoing, education project worthy of Isaac Asimov’s name.

I got the basics of science in school, but it was Isaac Asimov who taught me the details and history of science through scores of his nonfiction books. This donation is a small token of my gratitude for a debt that I can never fully repay.

What I failed to mention is that through his fiction and nonfiction writings, Isaac also taught me how to write and I am certain that without his example as a science fiction writer, without having read and devoured his stories, without having learned from his rationality and clarity of thought, I would never have had a chance at writing a story of my own good enough for publication.