Isaac Asimov

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Isaac Asimov

That’s the introduction to a radio play based on a story by Isaac Asimov, one of the most influential science-fiction writers ever — and one of the busiest. He wrote or edited 500 books and thousands of short stories and magazine articles.

Asimov was born 100 years ago today, in Russia. His family emigrated to the United States when he was three.

During World War II, Asimov worked as a civilian chemist for the Navy. Afterward, he earned a PhD in biochemistry, and joined the faculty of Boston University — a position he held for decades. He discovered, though, that he preferred writing to research. He published his first short story in 1939, and his first novel in 1950.

Asimov is best known for his three laws of robotics, and for the “Foundation” series — stories that chronicled the fall of a galactic empire and the start of another.

Asimov didn’t limit himself to science fiction, though. He also wrote mysteries and other fiction. And in the 1960s he turned mostly to science fact, with forays into history, religion, and even Shakespeare.

Asimov died in 1992. But his fellow scientists have named an asteroid and a crater on Mars in his honor — tributes to an author who transported millions of readers to the stars.


Script by Damond Benningfield

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