Spotlight – Isaac Asimov

When it comes to stories and science fiction one name pops up over an over again and that is Isaac Asimov. He is mentioned in every conversation on the subject and is known as the father of robotics. Pretty impressive for a man born in 1919 in then then, Gomel Governorate in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. He was born, Isaak Yudovich Ozimov, to a family of orthodox Jewish millers. Even his name derives from the word for winter crops, in which his great-grandfather dealt. No one had any idea that from such humble beginnings would come one of three greatest hardcore science fictions writers of our time. Isaac shares this title with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke.

Isaac Asimov - 1960s
Dr. Isaac Asimov – 1965

Asimov taught himself to read at 5 years old and began reading pulp magazines at a young age. His father outlawed this because he saw no merit in them. However, Asimov persuaded him that the science fiction magazines had the word “Science” in the title, so they were educational. Around the age of 11, he began to write his own stories and by age 19 he discovered science fiction fandom. He was selling stories to those very same pulp magazines his father hated.

After his parents migrated to the United States, Isaac attended public schools in New York. Graduating at 15, he went on to Seth Low Junior College and finally from Columbia University in 1939. Asimov completed his MA in chemistry in 1941 and earned a PhD in biochemistry in 1948. During World War II he worked as a civilian at the Naval Air Experimental Station in Philadelphia.

Asimov’s career can be divided into three segments. His early career, dominated by science fiction, his nonfiction career where he wrote textbooks on Biochemistry and Human Metabolism and finally a return to science fiction. Asimov believed his most enduring contributions would be his “Three Laws of Robotics” and the Foundation series of books.  He was right on both counts.

If you want to learn more about Isaac Asimov, I highly recommend a site called asimovonline.com. Here you will find links to everything from his books to autobiographies about this great man.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we will have a visit from Isaac Asimov himself, one of his famous short stories and a tale about a Martian visitor and his break to the restroom. You won’t want to miss any of this one.

You can listen to this podcast this Thursday (12/03) at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

March 24,2016 – The Thing in the Window (RAS238)
March 31,2016 – The Plainsman (RAS239)
April 7, 2016 – The Asimov Special (RAS240).
April 14, 2016 – Sam Spade (RAS241).
April 21, 2016 – Interview with Pam Ferderbar (RAS242).
April 28, 2016 – (RAS243).

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