Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reminisces: Pohl on Asimov

As a certified card carrying geek I've read more than my share of books written by Isaac Asimov. Not that I've read them all. He wrote or edited over 500 books so it's hard to even attempt the feat of being an Asimov completionist.

Asimov was one of a group of writers who helped create and define science fiction in the modern sense. They created fantastic stories that still stretch our imaginations and change the way we look at the universe. Another one of those writers is Frederik Pohl.

So it shouldn't have been a surprise that when I found Pohl's site The Way The Future Blogs that I should have found Asimov as well. Pohl has been writing about, among other things, the people that were instrumental in creating science fiction. The site is even billed as an online memoir. So far he's written 5 posts about Asimov with hints that there are more to come. Simply entitled Isaac (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 - so far) they give a glimpse into the mind and man who wrote the Foundation trilogy and created the 3 laws of robotics.

Actually they reveal that Isaac was given the three laws by John Campbell and the title "I, Robot" for the collection of the stories on robots was created by Pohl. And even he borrowed the title from "I, Claudius". History tends to be like that. Much of what we're sure we know tends to be more detailed, nuanced, and textured then we expected.

Pohl is taking the time to give insights into the people that have helped define the world we live in. Without people like Asimov we wouldn't have Star Wars or Star Trek. We wouldn't have the computer revolution the way we know it. These people helped us think beyond ourselves and our worlds. They helped us dream big and tackle the most human ideas and problems in a manner that captivates us to this day.

I can't wait for the Isaac posts to continue.

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