ISAAC ASIMOV (born Isaak Yudovick Ozimov in Russia in 1920 – died 1992 in New York City)

It is very difficult to summarize the life, works and influence of a writer like Asimov in just a few sentences.  His interest in science fiction paralleled his early career as scientist. He enrolled at  Columbia University at just 15 and graduated from there in 1939, the same year that his first published short story, Marooned off Vesta, appeared.  In 1949, after serving at a naval research station during World War II, and obtaining his doctorate from Columbia, he became a professor of biochemistry in the Boston University School of Medicine.  Just one year later, in 1950, he published his first novel and one of his most influential books – I, Robot – which included the three laws of robotics.

Asimov is usually referred to as a “science fiction writer” and some of his novels were very significant in the history of sf – the Foundation trilogy was even awarded a special Hugo Award as the best all-time science fiction series – but he was also an editor, founder of a science fiction magazine, author of mysteries and books for children, and of  many non-fiction books on a wide-ranging field of topics – from the Bible to Shakespeare and the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas .  He was perhaps first and foremost an “explainer” – he was able to write about often technical subjects in a way that was both interesting, easy to understand, and accurate.

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