Isaac Asimov was born 90 years ago today

Jan. 02, 2010 | 9:07 p.m.

Here it is, 2010, and I still don’t have my flying car. When I was a youngster I was certain that the 21st century would live up to its bookshelf hype and that I would be visiting domed cities on the mountains of Mars or, at the very least, ordering around my robot servants. No such luck. Oh, well; at least I finally got a Wii for my birthday this year.

Today is the second day of 2010 and it would have been the 90th birthday of Isaac Asimov but, alas, we lost the brilliant author and scientist back in 1992. (I should note, for the sake of precision, that his actual birthdate is a bit of a mystery but that he himself celebrated with cake and candles on Jan. 2, so that’s good enough for me.) No one stirred the imagination of science fiction readers quite like Asimov, and I thought it might be interesting to turn to the past today to listen to this storyteller who, for so long, helped us define our visions of the future.

First a bit of vintage Asimov from the days when the preferred pronunciation of “robot” seemed to be “row-butt,” which always makes my young son giggle ….

Here’s a chat between Asimov and Bill Moyers, one of the most thoughtful interviewers of the television age.

Asimov wrote more than 300 books. He was born Petrovichi in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (where the sketchy birth records contributed to his vague arrival date here on Earth), but he grew up in Brooklyn. Here is the biochemist and author talking about climate issues in 1988 ….

Love the mutton chops.If they ever get me my robot butler, I’ll pay extra for the mutton-chop model. Happy New Year, thanks for stopping by ….

— Geoff Boucher


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9 Responses to Isaac Asimov was born 90 years ago today

  1. MikeP says:

    As a teenager I appreciated his science writing, I learned a lot. As an adult I still appreciate that, but his continual self-referencing, and atheism, is now off-putting.

  2. A great man and a great writer…You can take his book as sci-fi or as philosophical, or action… you can always find new things in his work… He is the father of a way of thinking that will never grow old… A true new Jules Verne …

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks Geoff, this made my day.

  4. Thest says:

    MikeP, your view is narrow and I feel sorry for you.
    Here is Isaac, 20+ years ago, laying down all the "global warming" evidence that scientists are finally realizing. Perhaps if we got over selfish tendancies we can heed his warning and become "One Earth under Mind" Instead of many dead nations under gods.

  5. Ruben Tomasov says:

    I remember an article Asimov wrote years ago that I cannot find on the Internet.
    It had to do with the difference between reading an actual book and "reading" a technologically developed substitute such as what is now commonly used, i.e.: ebooks.
    I'm sure there were no ebooks at the time of Asimov's publication of the article I'm trying to find.
    This fact makes the article quite a leap forward in time.
    Thank you,

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