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15 facts about Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov is best known for writing science fiction novels such as the Foundation and Robot series, but the amazingly prolific author also authored hundreds of mysteries, short stories , scientific guides, essays and even a book of humor. And of course he consulted Star Trek (19459004) (but only after a second look at the show). Look at these 15 facts about the famous humanist.

. 1 Asimov's parents were immigrants who had candy shops.

Asimov was born in Petrovichi (present-day Russia) in 1920 and was just 3 years old when he and his family emigrated to the US For years, Asimov's father Judah has saved enough money from various odd jobs to buy a candy store to buy. His parents worked around the clock to open the store for 1

9 hours a day, and it was a success that kept them afloat during the Great Depression. In the 1930s Judah Asimov bought a number of pastry shops in Brooklyn. During this time, the Asimov family lived in several apartments in the district, including two over their shops. Isaac, his father and his sister (a younger brother was not born yet, and his mother waited until 1938) were in 1928, the US citizens naturalized.

. 2 During his first work, he fell in love with science fiction.

When he was 9 years old, Asimov began working in the family's candy stores. His father expected his son to work many hours, and Asimov got up early and went to bed late to run the business. Although he worked on other part-time jobs – including a textile company and a typist for a university professor – he worked in a certain way in the family business and left him only in his early twenties. In addition to sweets, the stores also sold magazines, and the young Isaac devoured the sci-fi stories he read on their pages and fell in love with the genre.

. 3 Asimov was rejected by almost every school he applied for …

At age 15, Asimov applied to Columbia College, but was rejected because "the [the school’s] quota for Jews for the coming year was already filled "he wrote later. Instead, he attended the Seth Low Junior College, which was linked to Columbia. This school was closed shortly thereafter and he was transferred to Columbia, where he graduated in 1939, a chemistry course. Hoping to become a doctor, Asimov applied to five medical schools in New York, but was rejected by all. For a good measure, he applied again and was rejected by everyone again. He also applied to the Columbia Graduate School of Chemistry, but was not admitted.

. 4 … but finally he did his doctorate.

After speaking to the faculty of Columbia, he managed to convince the school to take him for a year as a doctoral student. His grades were designed for snuff and earned his master's degree in chemistry in 1941. From 1942 to 1945 he worked at the Philadelphia Naval Air Experimental Station – he knew after the Pearl Harbor attack five months ago that the design was about to come, and he preferred to be of some service rather than behind to hide a promotion. Candidate. Later, he wrote that he hoped that with this work, "my work could serve as directly useful for this war effort, and I knew that as a reasonably capable chemist, I could do more than a panic infantryman, and perhaps that would also mean the government . " After the war, he was drafted into a nine-month military service, then returned to Columbia, where he earned a PhD in chemistry in 1948.

5. Asimov had a successful career in the academic world. [19659011] Asimov worked his way up the academic world, switching from a postdoctoral position in Colombia where he focused on the fight against malaria, to a job as a biochemistry teacher at the Boston University Medical School, and his lectures were popular and within He was promoted to Associate Professor for a few years, and he also wrote a biochemistry textbook entitled Biochemistry and Human Metabolism in 1958. He stopped teaching and focused exclusively on writing science fiction years later , 1979, the Boston University Asimov awarded the title of full professor.

6. He used the pseudonym Paul French.

In the 1950s, Asimov wrote a series of six children's science fiction novels under the pseudonym Paul French. The books, collectively referred to as the series Lucky Starr follow David "Lucky" Starr and his adventures around the solar system. Since the publisher Doubleday had hoped to turn the series into a television program, Asimov used a pseudonym just in case the TV adaptation was horrible – he did not want to be tied to something frightening, but he also hated that people started to believe he used the pseudonym to protect his reputation in the scientific community. In the end, the television program did not take place and some of the books are now credited to both French and Asimov.

. 7 Asimov wrote a film musical for Paul McCartney.

Check out the Boston University Archive, and you may find an overview of the story titled "Five and Five and One." Asimov wrote it for Paul McCartney, a longtime sci-fi fan who had asked him to write a screenplay for a sci-fi musical. The idea of ​​the former Beatles focused on a band that realized that aliens embodied it, and he believed that Asimov was the perfect author for the job. Unfortunately, McCartney did not like the treatment of Asimov, and the movie was never filmed.

. 8 He was again a member of the refectory.

Asimov was not afraid to join the club. Some of the groups he belonged to were the Baker Street Irregulars (an exclusive organization for Sherlock Holmes fans), the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the Wodehouse Society, and the Mensa. After joining the world's oldest high-IQ society, Asimov participated in events and was honorary vice president. However, he was included in active membership because of active members who were "brain-stricken and aggressive with respect to their IQs". "They were, as I had been in my youth, putting their intelligence to unwilling victims, and in general, they also felt undervalued and inferior, as a result they had complained about the universe and were rather uncomfortable."

9 After an initial Tiff, Asimov collaborated with the creator of Star Trek .

In 1966, Asimov wrote a review for TV Guide in which he argued that the then-harvest of sci-fi shows – including Star Trek – were in their depiction of Science Fiction inaccurate. Gene Roddenberry, creator of the show, wrote a letter to Asimov to defend himself. After acknowledging that he was a big fan of the author's work, Roddenberry explained that the show had hired several scientific consultants to ensure accuracy and was struggling to produce a new show every week. Roddenberry ended his letter with the conviction that Star Trek would make new people who would buy Asimov's books into sci-fi fans.

The two men became friends and Asimov became a fan of the show. He served as a consultant for Star Trek and gave Roddenberry some action and characterization suggestions. Roddenberry, in turn, attempted to make a film based on Asimov's I, Robot but it never occurred under him (both Roddenberry and Asimov had died a decade before the 2004 Will Smith film).

10th He coined the word robotics .

Karel Čapek, a Czech writer, gave us Robot when he used the word 1921 in a play. Derived from a Slavic term for a slave, the word described humanoid machines that worked on a production line for the factory. In his own short story called "Liar!" In 1941, Asimov was the first to use robotics and referred to the technology that robots possess. The next year, he wrote another short story called "Runaround," in which he introduced his three laws of robotics. These laws explain that a robot can not hurt a human, that it must obey people and protect itself unless it clashes with the first two laws.

. 11 He had extreme acrophobia and aviophobia.

Asimov was a staunch man of reason, but he could never take revenge on his two biggest fears: heights and flies. Two terrible experiences on rollercoasters made him realize in his early twenties that he was an acrophobist. "From what I've seen in movies, it seemed to me my date was screaming and clinging to me, something I thought was sexy," Asimov wrote in his memoir, taking his girlfriend on a rollercoaster ride on the World's Fair 1939 in New York. Instead, the ride had the opposite effect. "I screamed in fright and desperately clung to my appointment, which sat there rigid and unmoved."

A second similar roller coaster ride on Coney Island confirmed his anxiety, and after two early aircraft flights he never set foot on an airplane again. To travel, he took cars and trains to the US and took cruises on his trips to Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Quite ironic for the man whose foundation flew into space thanks to SpaceX.

12th He met his second wife at an autograph session.

Asimov married his first wife, Gertrude – her from the second roller coaster adventure – in 1942, after six months of publicity, and they had two children together. As he described it, her marriage slowly began to deteriorate: "It's just that annoyances multiply, that friction seems slowly incompatible, forgiveness rather reluctant, and with worse grace." Worse was the mercy – later he sometimes blamed his wife's smoking habits and rheumatoid arthritis, although he insisted until the children were older. 19659020 When Asimov autographed a meeting in 1956, he signed autographs at a meeting with Janet Jeppson, a psychiatrist and fan of his letter. A few years later, they met again at a writer's banquet. In the next decade, they started a friendship and correspondence. When Asimov and Gertrude separated in 1970, Jeppson helped him find a flat in New York, just a few blocks away. They soon began dating, and by 1973, when his divorce was over, Asimov married Janet two weeks later.

. 13 Asimov and Jeppson worked together in numerous writing projects.

Asimov collaborated with Jeppson on several science-fiction novels, including the series Norby . As she wrote the most, he polished her manuscripts and had the editors add his name to the book covers for more copies to be sold. In the 1970s, Jeppson wrote science fiction novels for children under the name J.O. Jeppson and she took over the pop-scientific column of her husband after his death. She compiled and edited some of Asimov's memoirs and collected entries from his journals and excerpts from his letters.

fourteenth Asimov was infected with HIV during a blood transfusion …

In 1977 Asimov had a heart attack. Six years later, in December 1983, he had a triple bypass operation in which he received a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, with no doctors' knowledge, the blood they gave him was infected with HIV. Asimov contracted the virus and developed completely into AIDS. On April 6, 1992, he died of heart and kidney failure caused by AIDS.

15 … but his true cause of death became known only in 2002.

Although the family Asimov told the world had AIDS, his doctors advised him against it – the general public was still afraid of HIV and very little was understood about it. His HIV status remained a mystery until 2002, a decade after his death, when Janet uncovered It's Been A Good Life a posthumous collection of letters and other writings she edited. "I discussed this secrecy privately with the doctors, but they also prevailed after Isaac's death," Janet said in a letter to Locus Magazine (a sci-fi and fantasy publication). "The doctors are dead now, and … Isaac's daughter and I have agreed to bring HIV to the public."

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