Asimov, Isaac

Asimov, Isaac
born Jan. 2, 1920, Petrovichi, Russia
died April 6, 1992, New York, N.Y., U.S.

Russian-born U.S. author and biochemist.

He arrived in the U.S. at age 3, earned a doctorate from Columbia University, and subsequently taught for many years at Boston University. Before embarking on graduate study, he had already begun publishing his stories. "Nightfall" (1941) is often called the finest science-fiction short story ever written. His I, Robot (1950) greatly influenced how later writers treated intelligent machines. A trilogy of novels
Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation (1951–53)
is widely considered a classic. Asimov's nonfiction science books for lay readers are noted for their lucidity and humour. Immensely prolific, he published more than 300 volumes in all.

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▪ American author
born January 2, 1920, Petrovichi, Russia
died April 6, 1992, New York, New York, U.S.
 American author and biochemist, a highly successful and prolific writer of science fiction and of science books for the layperson. He published about 500 volumes.

      Asimov was brought to the United States at age three. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, graduating from Columbia University in 1939 and taking a Ph.D. there in 1948. He then joined the faculty of Boston University, with which he remained associated thereafter.

      Asimov began contributing stories to science-fiction magazines in 1939 and in 1950 published his first book, Pebble in the Sky. His trilogy of novels, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation (1951–53), which recounts the collapse and rebirth of a vast interstellar empire in the universe of the future, is his most famous work of science fiction. In the short-story collection I, Robot (1950; filmed 2004), he developed a set of ethics for robots and intelligent machines that greatly influenced other writers' treatment of the subject. His other novels and collections of stories included The Stars, like Dust (1951), The Currents of Space (1952), The Caves of Steel (1954), The Naked Sun (1957), Earth Is Room Enough (1957), Foundation's Edge (1982), and The Robots of Dawn (1983). His "Nightfall" (1941) is thought by many to be the finest science-fiction short story ever written. Among Asimov's books on various topics in science, written with lucidity and humour, are The Chemicals of Life (1954), Inside the Atom (1956), The World of Nitrogen (1958), Life and Energy (1962), The Human Brain (1964), The Neutrino (1966), Science, Numbers, and I (1968), Our World in Space (1974), and Views of the Universe (1981). He also published two volumes of autobiography.

Additional Reading
Studies of his life and works include Joseph F. Patrouch, The Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov (1974); Joseph D. Olander and Martin Harry Greenberg (eds.), Isaac Asimov (1977); James Gunn, Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction (1982); William F. Touponce, Isaac Asimov (1991); and Michael White, Asimov: The Unauthorised Life (1994).

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Universalium. 2010.

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