Isaac Asimov was born January 2, 1920 in Petrouchi, Russia and came to America with his family in 1923. Always an incredibly intelligent student, Asimov attended prestigious Columbia University and, perhaps surprisingly, graduated with a Master’s Degree not in English but Chemistry. Like it was for many young men at the time, Asimov’s life path was interrupted by the deranged psychoses of Hitler, but as I have proven myself, just because some mad fascist wants to take over the world, that’s no excuse for not trying to becoming a professional writer.
Whether you are a fan of science fiction or any of the other multitudinous genres in which Asimov published, the thing you really have to admire about the man is his diligence. I get very concerned when I see that some of the most talented writers at Associated Content seem to spend a lot of time commenting on the work of others because that means they aren’t writing. Isaac Asimov spent at least eight hours a day in front of his typewriter, seven days a week. You aren’t a writer if you aren’t writing, and buddy, Isaac Asimov was a writer. What makes him even more amazing is that despite a single-minded devotion to producing words, he also had a rich and fascinating life away from the computer. Just as many internet writers belong to Yahoo Groups or spend time at Facebook or MySpace, Asimov was also a social butterfly. He was an active participant in the Baker Street Irregulars, a fan club for Sherlock Holmes if you will. He was also a member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. But he partook of those things only after making sure he had gotten his day’s work done.
Isaac Asimov published his first story in 1939 in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. It would be the beginning of one of the most astounding writing careers ever. Asimov may well be the most prolific writer in human history. Although known primarily as a writer of science fiction, Asimov’s interests span the gamut. Perhaps the genre most associated with Asimov aside from SF is religion. Asimov wrote two huge volumes that cover every aspect of the Bible titled, appropriately enough, Asimov’s Guide to the Bible. Asimov’s approach to the Bible was from a secular perspective, though to accuse him of being an atheistic debunker is to profoundly miss the point. Most of religious literature throughout history has focused on the spiritual side without even attempting to place the well known stories within a historical time frame. Asimov’s guide is particularly fascinating in the way it forces Christians to admit the importance of historical paradox within the Sunday School lessons they literally cling to.
Of course, Isaac Asimov will always be thought of in relation to science fiction and his greatest claim to fame may well be his part in moving that particular genre from the outskirts of respectability into the one of the most influential and commercially successful of all entertainment genres today.