Thursday, July 15, 2010

Isaac Asimov, greatest sci-fi writer yet

There have been many great science-fiction writers. The golden age, the birth of Hard sf had many great writers like John Campbell,Robert Heinlein and many more . The greatest writer for me however is undoubtedly Isaac Asimov. He was essentially a claustophilic, aviophobic coot who was born in the Soviet Union. When his parents emigrated to the United States. Isaac (three years old at the time) stowed away in their baggage. He has been an American citizen since the age of eight.

At the age of nine, he found the love of his life (in the inanimate sense) when he discovered his first science-fiction magazine. By the time he was eleven, he began to write stories, and at eighteen, he actually worked up the nerve to submit one. It was rejected. After four long months of tribulation and suffering, he sold his first story and, thereafter, he never looked back.

Isaac Asimov was unlike any other writer in his age in that he used real life scientific truths to think of introspective and intriuging possibilities for the future and that in almost all his science fiction works, he used these to build up a universe, with such interesting and intricate technological, social, political structures that till today, many authors still use his fictional universe in their works(the three laws of robotics,positronic brain, the galactic empire,e.t.c.). He invented the term robotics, Psychohistory(which is an actual study), wrote over 500 pieces of work, won over 20 different awards and had 14 honor doctorates. His foundation series and the robot series still are the greatest works of fiction to date, though some may say that other title like the lord of the rings fiction are better or maybe David weber's honorverse build a greater story, I fervently disagree.

Here is a Quote from one of his robot series books, Robots and Empires

My death, Daneel,” he said, “is not important. No individual death among human beings is important. Someone who dies leaves his work behind and that does not entirely die. It never entirely dies as long as humanity exists. --Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Daneel said, “Yes, Partner Elijah.”

“The work of each individual contributes to a totality and so becomes an undying part of the totality. That totality of human lives--past and present and to come--forms a tapestry that has been in existence now for many tens of thousands of years and has been growing more elaborate and, on the whole, more beautiful in all that time. Even the Spacers are an offshoot of the tapestry and they, too, add to the elaborateness and beauty of the pattern. An individual life is one thread in the tapestry and what is one thread compared to the whole?

“Daneel, keep your mind fixed firmly on the tapestry and do not let the trailing off of a single thread affect you. There are so many other threads, each valuable, each contributing--”