AOH :: ASIMOV2.FAQ|
Isaac Asimov FAQ 2/3
Last-modified: 17 April 1995
2.11 Is it true that Asimov had a fear of flying?
Yes, the same author who described spaceflights to other worlds and who
argued valiantly for the cause of rationality suffered from an irrational
fear of heights and flying. This had the consequence of limiting the
range over which he travelled throughout much of his life.
Asimov discovered that he was acrophobic at the New York World's Fair in
1940, when he took his date and first love Irene on a roller coaster,
expecting that it would cause her to cling to him in fear and give him a
chance to kiss her. Instead it was he who was terrified while his date
remained perfectly calm. Two years later, his wife-to-be Gertrude
convinced him to ride on a roller coaster at Coney Island, and he was once
Asimov did in fact fly on an airplane twice in his life. The first time
he did so while working at the Naval Air Experimental Station in
Philadelphia during World War II. While working on dye markers that made
ditched pilots more visible to rescue searchers, he developed a test to
compare dye visibility that did not require a plane flight, but in order
to validate his test he volunteered to fly in a small plane to observe the
markers. He was so absorbed in his observations that he didn't suffer
from any undue fear. His second plane flight took place on his return
from his army station in Hawaii, in which he flew aboard a DC-3 to San
After his military service in Hawaii in 1946, Asimov never ventured so far
from home, and did not often travel great distances. When he did need to
travel significant distances, he usually took a train, or rode in someone
else's car, until he learned to drive in 1950. Oddly enough, he found
that he felt quite comfortable behind the wheel of an automobile. In the
1970's he and Janet travelled by train to Florida and California, and they
took several several sea cruises to such places as the Caribbean, West
Africa, England, and France.
2.12 What other notable quirks, fears, and pet peeves did Asimov have?
Asimov was a teetotaler in later life, mainly because in all of his
experiences with drinking alcoholic beverages, just one or two drinks were
sufficient to get him drunk. On the day he passed the oral examination
for his Ph.D., he drank five Manhattans in celebration, and his friends
had to carry him back to school and try to sober him up. His wife told
him that he spent that entire night in bed giggling every once in a while
and saying "*Doctor* Asimov".
He was completely inept at any athletic activity that required any
coordination; he never learned how to swim or ride a bicycle. Spending
even ten minutes in the summer sun turned his skin a bright red. In the
army he had the worst score in his company on the physical-conditioning
test (though he had the highest score on the intelligence test). He was
afraid of needles and the sight of blood.
Asimov discovered that he was claustrophiliac, meaning that he was fond of
enclosed places. He was quite comfortable in small rooms with no windows,
and always insisted on using artificial lighting when he worked. He
considered the underground cities on Earth in _The_Caves_of_Steel_ as the
ultimate windowless enclosures.
He did not allow anyone to call him by any nicknames, except for a few old
friends who had been calling him Ike for years.
Asimov hated it when his name was misspelled in print or mispronounced by
others. His desire to have his name spelled correctly even resulted in a
1957 short story, "Spell my Name with an 's'".
(Notable instances of his name being misspelled occurred on the cover of
the November 1952 issue of _Galaxy_, which contained "The Martian Way",
and on his 1976 Nebula Award for "The Bicentennial Man".)
When in 1939 he wrote a letter to _Planet_Stories_, which printed it and
spelled his name "Isaac Asenion", he quickly fired off an angry letter to
them. (His friend Lester Del Rey took great delight in referring to him
as "Asenion" for many years afterward. On the other hand, Asimov himself
referred to positronic robots with the Three Laws as "Asenion" robots in
Asimov was quite perturbed when Johnny Carson, host of the Tonight Show,
pronounced his first name as I-ZAK, with equal emphasis on both syllables,
during an appearance on the television show in New York in 1968.
3. Biographical (literary)
3.1 When did he start writing?
When he was eleven years old he began writing
_The_Greenville_Chums_at_College_, which he planned to be the first book
in a series. After writing only eight chapters about the adventures of
boys living in a small town, he gave up after recognizing the fact that he
didn't know what he was talking about. However he made a very important
discovery in the process. After he wrote the first two chapters, he told
the story he had written so far to a friend at school during lunchtime.
When he stopped, his friend demanded that he continue. When Asimov
explained that he had told him all that he had so far, the friend asked to
borrow the book when he was finished reading it. Asimov was astonished to
discover that his friend thought that he was retelling a story that he
read. The implied compliment impressed him so much that, from that day on,
Asimov took himself seriously as a writer.
Asimov's first published writing was a column he did for his high school
newspaper. His first accepted piece was a humorous essay entitled "Little
Brothers", which appeared in _The_Boys_High_Recorder_, his high school's
semi-annual literary publication, in 1934, and is reprinted in
_Before_the_Golden_Age_. He wrote it in a creative writing class he took
that year; a class which almost convinced him to give up writing.
3.2 What was his first published story?
After John Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, rejected his
short stories "Cosmic Corkscrew", "Stowaway" and "This Irrational Planet"
in June, July, and September of 1938, "Marooned Off Vesta" was accepted
for publication by Amazing Stories in October and was published January
3.3 What awards did he win for his writing?
Asimov was presented a special Hugo award in 1963 for "adding science to
science fiction" for his essays in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science
The Foundation Series was awarded the Best All-time Novel Series Hugo
Award in 1966.
_The_Gods_Themselves_ won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for
best novel in 1973.
"The Bicentennial Man" was awarded the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for
best novelette in 1977.
_Foundation's_Edge_ was presented with the Hugo for best novel in 1983.
"Gold" was presented with the Hugo for best novelette in 1992.
He received the James T. Grady Award of the American Chemical Society in 1965.
He was presented with the Westinghouse Science Writing Award in 1967.
He was awarded fourteen honorary doctorate degrees from various universities.
3.4 What is Asimov's last book?
Asimov's publishers have on more than one occasion published the Good
Doctor's "last" book as a marketing ploy. The five titles most often
_Asimov_Laughs_Again_ (the last book he saw published before his death,
published in 1992)
_Forward_the_Foundation_ (his last Foundation novel, published in 1993)
_Frontiers_II_ (his last -- to date -- essay collection, published in 1993)
_I._Asimov:_A_Memoir_ (his last autobiographical volume, published in 1994)
_Gold_ (his last -- to date -- anthology of science fiction stories,
published in 1995)
All this, however, does not preclude the possibility of more books by
Asimov being published in the future. There are, for example, enough
uncollected F&SF science essays for one more collection, and probably
enough uncollected Black Widower stories. Additional volumes could be
published in the "Complete Stories" series, as well as other anthologies
(e.g., "The Honest-to-goodness Complete Robot Stories Book").
All we can say for certain is that with his death, Asimov appears to have
stopped writing. He has, by no means, stopped publishing. It is
therefore probably meaningless to refer to Asimov's "last" book in
absolute chronological terms.
3.5 Of his own work, what were Asimov's favorite and least favorite
novel? What were his favorite and least favorite stories?
Asimov's favorite novel was _The_Gods_Themselves_, largely because of the
middle section, which was both absolutely brilliant and included
non-humans and sex (Asimov had often been accused of being unable to write
stories with non-humans or sex and therefore leaving them out of his
His least favorite novel was _The_Stars_Like_Dust_. It was scheduled for
serialization in _Galaxy_, then edited by Horace Gold. Gold absolutely
insisted on including a subplot about the characters ransacking the Galaxy
for an ancient document which would utterly revolutionize their political
order. In the end, it turns out that the document is "gur Pbafgvghgvba bs
gur Havgrq Fgngrf" (rot-13 coding added as spoiler protection, as if this
sub-par novel could be truly "spoiled" by giving away plot points).
Asimov loathed the subplot and bitterly resented being forced to add it.
He offered to his editor at Doubleday, Walter Bradbury, to remove it for
the hardcover publication, but Bradbury liked the subplot and insisted it
be left in.
Then to add insult to injury, when the first paperback edition was
published by Ace, they changed the title (for the worse) and totally
gutted the novel, to the point that Asimov could hardly recognize it.
Asimov's three favorite stories were (in order): "The Last Question",
"The Bicentennial Man", and "The Ugly Little Boy" (all found in
_The_Best_Science_Fiction_of_Isaac_Asimov_, among other places).
Among his least favorite stories were:
"Black Friar of the Flame" (found in _The_Early_Asimov_). The story was
his first attempt at a "future historical" and was bounced around from
editor to editor until it was finally published. It was revised a
half-a-dozen times and rejected ten times in a two-year-period. Asimov
was so bitter over the story's history that he swore never again to revise
anything more than twice, and he would even fight over having to do a
(This is his least favorite story among those that most Asimov fans are
likely to have ever read. He also implies in _The_Early_Asimov_ that it
is his least favorite story of all time, but this is clarified in
His all-time least favorite story was "The Portable Star"
(_Thrilling_Wonder_Stories_, Winter 1955). As with "A Woman's Heart,"
Asimov never authorized its anthologization. He describes it as a sleazy
attempt to cash in on the new interest in sex in sf started by Philip Jose
Farmer's 1952 story, "The Lovers."
He also published a story, "A Woman's Heart" in the June 1957 _Satellite_
which he considered so trivial that he never included it in any of his
4. The Foundation/robot Series
4.1 What is this _Forward_the_Foundation_ I keep hearing about?
_Forward_the_Foundation_ is the last-written of the Foundation books. It
was near completion at the time of Asimov's death and published a year
later. It is currently available in both hardback and paperback.
4.2 Did Asimov *really* write _Forward_the_Foundation_? Didn't he die
before it was done, so somebody else really wrote it up from notes?
Yes, Asimov really wrote all of _Forward_the_Foundation_.
_Forward_the_Foundation_ was originally planned to be a series of five
novellas, bridging the chronological gap between _Prelude_to_Foundation_
The first three were completed long before Asimov died and published in
A first draft of the fourth was completed before Asimov's death; since
Asimov's typical writing methodology was to write a first draft, polish it
slightly and use the polished version as the final draft, we can feel
fairly confident that the fourth novella is reasonably close to what
The fifth novella didn't make it beyond the rough outline stage. This is
why the final book consists of four novellas and an epilog.
4.3 What about the contradictions between _Forward_the_Foundation_ and
other Foundation books?
The whole Foundation series is rife with contradictions. There are two
main reasons for this.
First of all, Asimov simply didn't enjoy sweating over details in his
fiction. There are a number of things Asimov enjoyed about writing --
that's why he wrote so much -- but purging his fiction of contradictions
was not one of them. As early as 1945, he was finding it more effort than
it was worth to keep up consistency in the Foundation stories and tried
(three times) to end the series so that he wouldn't have to deal with it.
Secondly, Asimov's overall plan for the series changed. For example, the
robot stories and Foundation stories were originally conceived as existing
in separate fictional universes. It wasn't until the 1980's that he
started to tie them together explicitly. Other examples would involve
major spoilers for some of the later books.
(Also, the stories were written over the course of fifty years, starting
from a time when Asimov was at the unspectacular beginning of his career
and the Golden Age was a year old, to a time when Asimov was one of
science fiction's Big Three and John Campbell, for whom the earliest
stories were written, dead for twenty years. It should not be surprising
that the seventy-year-old Grand Master should find some of the ideas of
the twenty-year-old apprentice not quite up to snuff and not worth
4.4 What is the chronological order of the Foundation books?
In the Author's Note at the beginning of _Prelude_to_Foundation_, Asimov says:
"In any case, the situation has become sufficiently complicated for me to
feel that the readers might welcome a kind of guide to the series, since
they were not written in the order in which (perhaps) they should be read.
"The fourteen books, all published by Doubleday, offer a kind of history
of the future, which is, perhaps, not completely consistent, since I did
not plan consistency to begin with. The chronological order of the books,
in terms of future history (and _not_ of publication date), is as follows:
"1. _The_Complete_Robot_ (1982). This is a collection of thirty-one
robot short stories published between 1940 and 1976 and includes every
story in my earlier collection, _I,_Robot_ (1950). Only one robot short
story has been written since that collection appeared. That is 'Robot
Dreams,' which has not yet appeared in any Doubleday collection.
[_Robot_Dreams_ (1986) does contain it; see also _Robot_Visions_ (1990)]
"2. _The_Caves_of_Steel_ (1954). This is the first of my robot novels.
"3. _The_Naked_Sun_ (1957). The second robot novel.
"4. _The_Robots_of_Dawn (1983). The third robot novel.
"5. _Robots_and_Empire_ (1985). The fourth robot novel.
"6. _The_Currents_of_Space_ (1952). This is the first of my Empire novels.
"7. _The_Stars,_Like_Dust--_ (1951). The second Empire novel.
"8. _Pebble_in_the_Sky_ (1950). The third Empire novel.
"9. _Prelude_to_Foundation_ (1988). This is the first Foundation novel
(although it is the latest written, so far).
[9a. _Forward_the_Foundation_ (1993).]
"10. _Foundation_ (1951). The second Foundation novel. Actually, it is
a collection of four stories, originally published between 1942 and 1944,
plus an introductory section written for the book in 1949.
"11. _Foundation_and_Empire_ (1952). The third Foundation novel, made up
of two stories, originally published in 1945.
"12. _Second_Foundation_ (1953). The fourth Foundation novel, made up of
two stories, originally published in 1948 and 1949.
"13. _Foundation's_Edge_ (1982). The fifth Foundation novel.
"14. _Foundation_and_Earth_ (1983). The sixth Foundation novel."
Note that this order is slightly wrong, in that _Currents_of_Space_
actually takes place *after* _The_Stars,_Like_Dust--_.
4.5 What is the order in which the Foundation books should be read?
There are actually three answers to this question.
A) Read them in the order of action, as listed by Asimov.
B) Read them in the order of publication.
There is no real reason why (A) or (B) is the better order. If you're
more interested in seeing the development of Asimov's universe, writing,
and ideas, you may prefer (B). If you are more interested in the course
of events in Asimov's universe, you may prefer (A). Note, also, that some
of the more recent books contain spoilers for some of the earlier ones, so
the impact of some stories may be lessened if you choose (A).
Note that Asimov in the Author's Note quoted does not actually suggest one
order over the other, but does suggest chronological order as a
C) Just read the ones published in the 1950's (plus _The_Complete_Robot_),
because the later ones all suck.
No true Asimov fan, of course, would agree that any of the Good Doctor's
books "suck," but there is pretty broad feeling that the later books are
not as good as the earlier ones. (There is also pretty broad disagreement
with this assessment.) In particular, _Foundation_and_Earth_ is
considered one of the weaker books in the series. Of course, your mileage
will vary, and you may be one of those who prefers the later books over
the earlier ones.
4.6 What is the significance of the ending of _Foundation_and_Earth_?
_Foundation_and_Earth_ ends with a "hook" for a sequel -- the main problem
of the novel itself has been solved, but a new problem is introduced in
the last few pages which threatens the future of mankind.
Asimov fully intended to write a sequel to _Foundation_and_Earth_,
continuing the story chronologically. He had, however, no specific plans
for how he would develop the problem with which _Foundation_and_Earth_
ends, let alone how to resolve it. His next (and final) two Foundation
books were stories of the life of Hari Seldon, written largely because he
couldn't figure out what would happen after _Foundation_and_Earth_.
He died before he had any specific plans for what would happen next.
4.7 Why do Asimov's books give two reasons why the Earth becomes
Asimov introduced the idea of the Earth becoming radioactive in
_Pebble_In_the_Sky_. It is also a plot element in the other two "Empire"
books, _The_Stars,_Like_Dust_ and _The_Currents_of_Space_. In these three
books, it is always assumed that the Earth became radioactive as a result
of a nuclear war. These books were all written in the early 1950's, when
it was commonly felt that there would be a nuclear war between the United
States and Soviet Union in the next few years.
Later on, Asimov realized that this explanation wouldn't wash. The
effects he described would not be possible as the result of a nuclear
war. He therefore provides a different explanation in _Robots_and_Empire_
Within the fictional universe, the explanation is that the *characters* in
the three Empire novels thought that the Earth became radioactive as a
result of a nuclear war, but that they were wrong.
4.8 Did Asimov write the Foundation books with any plan in mind?
Asimov's original intention was to write a series of longer stories to
complement the series of short stories he was writing about robots. He
started the Foundation series as a saga of the collapse of the First
Galactic Empire and rise of the Second.
It wasn't long before he got bored with the series. Since the
Foundation's ultimate success was guaranteed by psychohistory, there was a
considerable lack of dramatic tension, and it was hard keeping the stories
from contradicting each other. He therefore wrote "The Mule" as a way to
end the series by wrecking the Seldon Plan. That was not satisfactory to
Asimov's public, and he wrote two more Foundation stories (now collected
in _Second_Foundation_) to restore the Plan. The nature and activities of
the Second Foundation were developed only at this point, to make the story
With these last two stories written, he considered himself forever
finished with the Foundation series, even though there were still 700
years of the Plan to run. They would simply be 700 years of the
Foundation's growth and triumph, and really rather dull. He did write one
more Foundation story to open _Foundation_ and nothing more for over
In the 1980's, Asimov was persuaded by Doubleday to write a new Foundation
book. The result was _Foundation's_Edge_. Again, he decided to create a
more interesting story by making up a new threat to the Seldon Plan.
_Foundation's_Edge_ was so successful that Asimov was persuaded to finally
write the third Elijah Baley novel, _The_Robots_of_Dawn_, which created
the first (implicit) connection between the Foundation and Robot books.
This connection, which was *not* anticipated when Asimov started writing
robot and Foundation stories in the 1940's, was made explicit in the next
two books written, _Robots_and_Empire_ and _Foundation_and_Earth_.
Finally, because he wasn't sure what to do next, Asimov wrote
_Prelude_to_Foundation_ and _Forward_the_Foundation_ to tell the story of
Hari Seldon's life and the beginnings of psychohistory.
4.9 Is Data from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" an Asimovian robot?
The television program "Star Trek: The Next Generation" included an
android character, Data, whom we are specifically told (in the episode
"Datalore") was created in an attempt to bring "Asimov's dream of a
positronic robot" to life. Unfortunately, the producers of the show
locked onto the "positronic" aspect as if that were the key quality to
Asimov's robots. Asimov's view was exactly the opposite -- his robots are
"positronic" because positrons had just been discovered when he started
writing robot stories and the word had a nice science-fictiony ring to
it. The use of positrons was just an engineering detail and relatively
unimportant to him.
Asimov's key insight was that, inasmuch as we engineer our tools to be
safe to use, we would do the same with robots once we start making them --
and that the main safeguards for an intelligent being are its ethics. We
would, therefore, build ethics into our robots to keep them going off on
uncontrollable killing sprees.
In some sense, the specific Three (Four) Laws are themselves an
engineering detail, the robotic equivalent of the Ten Commandments -- it
is a specific ethical system but not the only one possible. In Asimov's
universe, they are the basis for robotic ethics and so absolutely
fundamental to robotic design that it is virtually impossible to build a
robot without them.
Asimov tended not to let other people use his specific Laws of Robotics,
but his essential insight -- that robots will have in-built ethical
systems -- is freely used.
In particular, Data *is* an "Asimovian" robot because he *does* have an
in-built ethical system. He does *not* have the Three Laws, however
(witness the episode "Measure of Man" in which he refuses to follow a
direct order from a superior officer [Second Law] without invoking either
danger to a specific human [First Law] or the higher needs of all of
humanity [Zeroth Law]). Moreover, his ethical programming is *not*
fundamental to his design (his prototype, Lore, lacks it altogether, and
Data's ethical program is turned off for much of "Descent, part II").
Asimov stated that Roddenberry asked for his permission to make Data a
positronic robot after the fact. Asimov himself had no input into the
There were plans to have Asimov appear on the show as a holodeck
simulation and talk to Data (just as Stephen Hawking did). A combination
of Asimov's location and ill-health made this impossible.
4.10 What *are* the Laws of Robotics, anyway?
The Three Laws of Robotics are:
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a
human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where
such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does
not conflict with the First or Second Law.
From Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D., as quoted in _I,_Robot_.
In _Robots_and_Empire_ (ch. 63), the "Zeroth Law" is extrapolated, and the
other Three Laws modified accordingly:
0. A robot may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity
to come to harm.
Unlike the Three Laws, however, the Zeroth Law is not a fundamental part
of positronic robotic engineering, is not part of all positronic robots,
and, in fact, requires a very sophisticated robot to even accept it.
Asimov claimed that the Three Laws were originated by John W. Campbell in
a conversation they had on December 23, 1940. Campbell in turn maintained
that he picked them out of Asimov's stories and discussions, and that his
role was merely to state them explicitly.
The Three Laws did not appear in Asimov's first two robot stories,
"Robbie" and "Reason", but the First Law was stated in Asimov's third
robot story "Liar!", which also featured the first appearance of
robopsychologist Susan Calvin. (When "Robbie" and "Reason" were included
in _I,_Robot_, they were updated to mention the existence of the first law
and first two laws, respectively.) Yet there was a hint of the three laws
in "Robbie", in which Robbie's owner states that "He can't help being
faithful, loving, and kind. He's a machine - made so." The first story to
explicitly state the Three Laws was "Runaround", which appeared in the
March 1942 issue of _Astounding_Science_Fiction_.
5. Other writings
5.1 What is the relationship between the movie "Fantastic Voyage" and
Asimov wrote the novel from the screenplay. He made a certain number of
changes which he felt were necessary to minimize the scientific
implausibility of the story. Because, as he put it, he wrote quickly and
Hollywood works slowly, the novel came out some six months before the film
was released, giving rise to the idea that the movie was made from the
Asimov was never satisfied with _Fantastic_Voyage_, and he never thought
of it as "his" work. Later, a person who had bought the rights to the
title and concept (but not the characters or situation) of the original
was interested in making _Fantastic_Voyage_II_. Naturally he turned to
Asimov, who at first refused. At some point, Asimov agreed, but insisted
on handling his side as a pure book deal with Doubleday. Consequently,
Asimov's book _Fantastic_Voyage_II_ should not be considered a sequel to
5.2 What did Asimov write besides the Foundation and robot books?
Lots. Asimov published over 500 books by the time of his death. Many of
these, of course, are anthologies of work by other people, and a large
number are juvenile science books, but there are a lot of books left.
Following is a list of some of Asimov's better-known or more influential
works. The list is purely subjective, based on the personal preference of
the FAQ-keepers. There is much which is worthwhile but not listed. See the
full lists of Asimov's works for more information.
A) Other science fiction novels
The Lucky Starr books
Fantastic Voyage, and Fantastic Voyage II
The Gods Themselves
The End of Eternity
B) Science fiction short story collections
Earth is Room Enough
The Martian Way and Other Stories
Nightfall and Other Stories
The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories
The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov
The Hugo Winners/New Hugo Winners (7 volumes)
Isaac Asimov presents the great sf stories (25 volumes for 1939 through 1963)
Black Widower stories (several collections)
A Whiff of Death
Murder at the ABA
Asimov's Guide to the Bible
Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare
Asimov's New Guide to Science
F) Essay collections
F&SF Essay collections
(Asimov had a monthly science column from the early 1950's through 1991)
Asimov on Science Fiction
The Roman Republic
The Roman Empire
H) Other non-fiction
Understanding Physics (aka The History of Physics)
Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor
The Sensuous Dirty Old Man
Asimov Laughs Again
5.3 What is the source of the title of the novel _The_Gods_Themselves_?
The title is obtained from the quote "Against stupidity, the gods
themselves contend in vain", which originally appeared in German in
Friedrich von Schiller's play _Jungfrau_von_Orleans_ (The Maid of Orleans,
or Joan of Arc), Act III, Scene 6. _Bartlett's_Familiar_Quotations_
translates the quote as "Against stupidity the very gods themselves
contend in vain." _The_Oxford_Dictionary_of_Quotations_ gives the
translation "With stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
5.4 Is there an index of his science articles for the Magazine of
Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF)? Of his editorials in Isaac
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (IASFM)?
Asimov compiled a list of his F&SF essays on the occasion of the 20th
anniversary of his first essay, in the November 1978 issue of F&SF, and
reprinted (slightly updated) in the collection _The Road to Infinity_.
That list is ordered alphabetically according to the title of the essay,
and includes a designation of the collection in which each essay appears
as well as a very brief subject description for each essay. However
Asimov went on to write a total of 399 essays, the last of which appeared
in February 1992. (A 400th essay was compiled by Janet after his death
and published in the December 1994 issue of F&SF.)
Of the 174 editorials published in IASFM, dealing mainly with Asimov's
thoughts on Science Fiction, 22 were included in _Asimov on Science
Fiction_ and another 66 in _Asimov's Galaxy_, but he did not compile an
index to these.
Asimov also wrote numerous other essays that were published in other
magazines, many of which have appeared in other essay collections.
Certainly an index to Asimov's essays would be welcomed by avid readers of
his nonfiction, to that end Rich Hatcher (email@example.com) has
ambitiously agreed to compile one, and Ed Seiler, an ambitious list
compiler himself, has agreed to help him out. A great deal of progress
has been made, but more remains to be done.
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