Isaac Asimov?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by GalaxyClass1701, May 28, 2011.

  1. GalaxyClass1701

    GalaxyClass1701 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Location:
    USS Titan
    So for the last few tears my GF's grand mother who is a huge SCFI junky wanted me to read a series of novels by Asimov. I never got to do it and unfortunately she passed away a few weeks ago.

    I feel terrible that I never read them so in her honor I will. My question us have you read books by this author and what is your opinion?
     
  2. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    I read the Three - er - four robot novels. They are very good. About a human plainclothes detective solving mysteries with a robot simiar to Data.
     
  3. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Never heard of him.
     
  4. SinglePurpose

    SinglePurpose Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    The Foundation trilogy
     
  5. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Dennis is being silly.

    Asimov was one of the Big Three, with ACClarke and Heinlein - the shaped SF as we know it today, would be very, very different without them.

    You've heard of the Three Laws of Robotics? He da man.

    The Foundation series is one of the best known SF novel series ever, and for many years was at the top of everyones' lists, kind of a 'Citizen Kane' of SF.

    Personally, I don't think he's a great prose writer by any means, but his big ideas sweep you along. And he won a stack of awards over the years.

    Read his Wikipedia entry.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Start with I, Robot.
     
  7. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Location:
    In the back of beyond
    I miss Asimov. His good-natured personality shines through his work. He wrote a ton of books, not all of them science fiction.
     
  8. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
    I have a signed copy of Foundation that is my proudest geek possession... saw him speak twice. I'd second the Lije Bailey/Daneel Olivaw books for a good start -- start with The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.
     
  9. Captain Dago

    Captain Dago Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    The Emerald City, aka The Promised Land
    Don't forget Ray Bradbury
     
  10. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    He didn't.

    Bradbury just can't compare to the Big 3.
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    That's probably the best, yeah.

    Bradbury doesn't belong with Heinlein or Asimov or Clarke, not necessarily as a matter of importance or quality so much as that he's a very different kind of writer and his influence has been in a different sphere. He has the advantage(?), of course, of being required reading in so many public school curricula. :lol:
     
  12. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Location:
    SB-31, Daran V
    ^^^
    Agreed. I'd group Bradbury with Ellison, and...well, I can't think of a third for that particular group. LeGuin maybe?

    More emotional writing as oppossed to the more sweeping/futuristic style of Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein.
     
  13. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    I was never a big fan of Asimov, for some reason. Or any of the Big Three, for that matter.

    I've read a number of Asimov's works, but they never left much of an impression on me. The last Asimov novel I read was The Gods Themselves, and I couldn't even tell you what that was about.

    I was always a fan of Larry Niven, as a kid, in the 70s and early 80s, and got into the Cyberpunks as a young adult, in the late 80s and early 90s. Compared to them, Asimov's work seemed old-fashioned, dated, and even dull--at least, to me. YMMV, of course.

    I do give him credit for his big ideas, as Australis mentioned. Among other things, it was a non-fiction article by Asimov that gave Larry Niven the idea for one of his very best short stories, the Hugo award-winning "Neutron Star." Asimov himself discusses this here.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA

    Sturgeon?
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Sturgeon belongs with them, yeah - and possibly with the "big three" as well. :lol:

    Asimov was, as has been noted, an unusually humane writer for a guy who came up through the pulps. He didn't write much in the vein of adventure fiction and violence in his stories was occasional and generally had drastic personal consequences - he didn't have a Starship Troopers in him. ;)
     
  16. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    Milky Way Galaxy
    Two of my best "geek possessions" are the last couple of parts to both "Currents Of Space" and "Now You Don't" in their original magazine forms.

    As for the Foundation books, I only read the original trilogy when I re-read the books. Don't care for the books written from the 80's up. Got tired of going back to Seldon, who really only serves the purpose of setting the whole thing up.

    These books work almost like a stage play and I love all the conversations about history and psycho-history.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I think Asimov's prose style is underrated. Sure, it isn't especially flashy or poetic, but it's solid, clear, expressive, efficient, clever, and literate. I quite enjoy the way the Good Doctor uses words.
     
  18. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    io9 recently did a seven-part look at the Foundation series, which was far more interesting and far more insightful than I was expecting. They have a wide-ranging conversation about the series and Asimov, and I was quite fascinated by it.

    In order...

    Foundation
    Foundation and Empire
    Second Foundation
    Foundation's Edge
    Foundation and Earth
    Prelude to Foundation
    Forward the Foundation

    I'd like to think that Asimov is a better writer than Australis suggests above. I think it's the first io9 article that discusses Asimov's prose style, and it pointed out some things that I hadn't noticed. In college I noticed that there's a certain Hemingway-esque-ness to Asimov's prose; it's not just the emphasis on conversation, it's the use of active verbs to drive the story forward.
     
  19. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    Maybe.

    It's been a while since I read any SF criticism, but I think the true distinction is between the Golden Age SF of the 40s and 50s, and the New Wave of the 60s.

    Ellison was part of the New Wave, along with John Brunner, Samuel R. Delany, and Michael Moorcock. I don't think LeGuin was considered a New Wave writer, but she had a lot more in common with them than with her predecessors.

    As progressive as it was, for a television program, Star Trek was pretty old-fashioned compared to literary SF in the late 60s. That's why Forbidden Planet seems like an episode of TOS, despite being made in 1956.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Interesting, seeing as how I enjoy Asimov's prose style but hate Hemingway's. Eye of the beholder.


    Well, naturally. SFTV is almost always a decade or two behind prose SF. The only exception I'm aware of is Max Headroom, which was a cyberpunk show just a few years after the term "cyberpunk" was coined. ST was progressive in that it introduced a television audience to prose-SF concepts and approaches that TV hadn't previously caught up with.
     

Share This Page