Isaac Asimov : The man who wrote even faster

Isaac Asimov (Isaac winter) was born on January 2, 1920 in Russia, Petrovich - the town located not far from Smolensk and four hundred kilometers from Moscow.His parents, Judas and Anna, emigrated to the United States in 1923, bringing with him Isaac and his younger sister.The family settled in Brooklyn, where his father bought in 1926, a confectioner's shop.

religious education in the family have paid quite a bit of time, and soon became an atheist Isaac - which he has never hidden and will not impose.In 1928, Asimov's father made naturalization, which meant that Isaac also became a US citizen.

Once in Asimov was born another son, Stanley, Isaac began to help his father.He got up at six in the morning, delivering newspapers, and after school rushed home late and stuck behind the counter.He had only come to school late or bury in the book, as the father immediately taken to accuse him of laziness.The habit of constant work stayed with him for life.he wrote in his autobiography: "I worked for ten hours

, seven days a week, all the time I spent in the shop even when circumstances forced me to absent himself for a few minutes, I began to torment the question. Lord, but as there is in the shop?"

While his peers after school playing in the fresh air and make friends, Isaac was deprived of this: shop demanded his presence all the time.As a result, he remained unsophisticated in all that concerned to communicate with people - including girls - and so it went on for quite some time.But this disadvantage, he also overcame, and later as a guest on many conventions, fun flirting with women - and was at the same time as blistatelen as in everything else.

Isaac learned to read when he was not even five years old.At seven years old he was already a form at your local library.He read everything and in large quantities.Elementary school he finished with the best results, with only one remark - for their constant chatter in the classroom.

first meeting with SF held in Asimov in 1929: in the shop shelves were instances of "Amazing Stories".Cover of the August issue (two scientists dumbfounded looks at the ball of fire hanging over the experimental set - an illustration for the story Harla Vincent "Barton's Island") it shook, but her father did not allow him to read a magazine, deeming fiction unsuitable reading for her son.The next attempt was made with the magazine "Science Wonder Stories": Isaac persuaded his father that since the word "science" in the title, the magazine must be sufficiently informative.

The school Azimov hit all of their abilities.He jumped through classes and graduated from primary school at age 11, and the main school course - with all sorts of differences in the age of 15 years.Most aid has served his excellent memory he rarely forgot what ever read.Since 1938, he kept a diary.Diaries he kept most of his life, after he had substantial assistance in the writing of various introductions and creating his two-volume autobiography.

received secondary education, Azimov, at the request of the parents, I tried to become a physician.This proved too much for him: at the sight of blood made him feel bad.Isaac then made an attempt to enter the most prestigious college of Columbia University - Colambia Colledge - but not passed on interviewing, writing in his autobiography that he was talkative, unbalanced and does not know how to make a good impression on people.

He was admitted to the junior college Seth Lowe in Brooklyn.A year later, the college closed, and Azimov appeared still at Columbia University, however, as a mere listener, not a student elite kollezhda.

In 1938, the post of chief editor of "Astounding" passed by F. Orlin Tremayne to John W. Campbell.And this magazine becomes Isaac's favorite magazine NF.It is often taken to write letters to the editor.Once, when the next issue of "Astounding" does not appear on a normal day on the shelf father's shop, worried Azimov rushes to the editor, which was located then in Manhattan.Once there two hours later, he learned that the magazine has simply shifted the release schedule.But the precedent was created.When Asimov completed his first short story, "Cosmic Corkscrew", he did not trust his friend and drove to the editor himself.Campbell denied the story, but spent a conversation with young people fascinated by the whole hour.At that time, Campbell was 28, and for eighteen Asimov this man was a living legend.

Campbell rejected and the following story Asimov, but suggested how it could be improved.Over the years, Azimov tried to thank him for his help, but Campbell rejected gratitude, saying that he gave advice to hundreds of writers, but how many of them have become Asimov?

When Campbell rejected and the third offered him a story - and it was the story of "Lost about Vesta" ( "Marooned Off Vesta"), Asimov sent the manuscript in "Amazing Stories".The story has been accepted for publication and Azimov received my first payment - a check for $ 64.Since the first meeting with Campbell's only been four months.Now Asimov was already publishes the author, even though he took a full six attempts before Campbell bought his story (it was the "Trends") and published it in the July issue of 1939.

Asimov meetings with Campbell in which they discussed the next stories, continued regularly.Gradually he became aware of an unpleasant amazement that Campbell was on the political views "slightly to the right of Genghis Khan."Campbell did not believe in the equality of people - the natives of northern Europe, according to him, were definitely much "more equal than others."

Transferring his views on literature, he argued that man must necessarily furnish all sorts inoplanetyashek - which is why, by the way, he dismissed the story of Asimov's "Half-breed" ( "Blood"), later printed by Frederick Paul in the first issue of his magazine"Astonishing Stories" in February 1940.In the same "Astonishing" - but in April - Paul issued another story Asimov, "Callistan Menace" ( "The threat from the Callisto").It was the second story written by Asimov and Campbell rejected.

In 1938-1940 Asimov wrote only seven stories that could not be printed and which were later destroyed.After 1940 Asimov published almost every line he wrote.

Because Campbell's views - or due to the fact that his stories of being purchased, often copied editors - Asimov decided to do without the aliens.This has led, in particular, to the emergence of "discriminatory" - and only fully human - populated universe in "Ground".

Another consequence was that Asimov began writing short stories about robots: here questions of human superiority over someone or something was just out of place.The first of these stories was "Robbie" ( "Robbie"), the story of a robot-nurse, which has become another little girl.Campbell rejected the story, "the Amazing" refused to print because of the similarity with the story "I, Robot" ( "I, Robot") Eando Binder.Himself Asimov liked the story, and in the end, it was published in the September issue of "Super Science Stories" in 1940 under the name "Strange Playfellow" ( "Strange nurse").Campbell enthusiastically adopted and published the following story about robots - "Reason" ( "Logic").

During the discussion of the next story about robots, Campbell formulated what later became known as the three laws of robotics.Later, Campbell said that he simply isolate the laws of that Asimov had written.Asimov himself always inferior to honor the authorship of the Three Laws of Campbell, whom he later dedicated a collection of "I, Robot".

March 17, 1941 Asimov was never able to get Campbell to listen to the idea of ​​a new story - in fact had his own idea, suggested by a quote from Ralph Uldo Emerson: "If the stars appear in the sky only one night in a thousand years, how would fervently believed! the people for many generations they have kept the memory of the City of God ... "

- what do you think, - Azimov said Campbell - if people really saw stars every thousand years, what would happen in this case?

Azimov shrugged.

- Yes, they would have went crazy!- He said Kempbell.- Go home and write a story.

story called "Nightfall" ( "The arrival of the night").In 1968, the Association of American fiction (Science Fiction Writers of America) to determine the best works published before the "Nebula" Prize institutions in this list "Nightfall" has won first Asimov himself did not consider this story as the main achievement - much higher he put stories "The Last Question" ( "last question"), "The Bicentennial Man" ( "Bicentennial") and "The Ugly Little Boy" ( "Ugly boy").

Azimov meeting with Campbell, held August 1, 1941, was even more significant.Getting to Manhattan by subway, Azimov was flipping through a collection of comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, and came across an image Ryadovoi Willis, the guard of "Iolanta".The guards ... Soldiers of the Empire ... ... the Roman Empire ... The Galactic Empire!He delved into "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbon, and began to make of this material for the plot of the story.

Campbell reacted to the idea with even more enthusiasm than even the Asimov and asked to write a series of stories with open endings of the death of the First Galactic Empire, a subsequent period of feudalism and the birth of the Second Empire.

first story series called "Foundation" ( "Base").The story was passed quite restrained, but the following story: "The reins and the saddle" ( "Bridle and Saddle") took off in the first place, and all other stories and novels series (with one minor exception) did not drop below second place.Thank fiction writer Asimov was provided - and in fact he was only 22 year!

Azimov graduated from Columbia University in 1939 with a Bachelor of Natural Sciences.Asimov became a master in 1941 and took up his doctoral dissertation.

The yard was 1942.There was a war.One evening, Campbell invited him and introduced to Robert Heinlein, who served time in the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.A few days later Azimov received an official invitation from the commandant of the Navy Yard (other Heinlein) with the proposal as a junior chemist.In fact, military service Asimov, Heinlein called.

Salaries in Navy Yard was quite decent and it allowed Azimov July 25, 1945 to register their marriage with Gertrude Blyugerman, whom he met a few months earlier.

little later to Asimov and Heinlein in Navy Yard joined Sprague de Camp.In such a campaign was worked quite well, and the service Asimov wrote several short stories, among them "Big and small" ( "The Big and the Little") and "Dead Hand" ( "Dead Hand"), two more of the story of the cycle"Base".

Jobs Navy Yard for a long time could not save Asimov from regular service and by 1st November 1945, a few months after the war ended, he was drafted as a private.He served as a clerk in the department, which prepared the atomic bomb tests in the Pacific Ocean, but was sent to the United States even before the first explosion.(More Asimov never flown on airplanes - it is pathologically afraid of heights).He was demobilized in July 1946.

returning to Columbia University, he continued to work on his doctorate in chemistry.As a graduate student, he conducted seminars on your topic.During his first seminar, one student looking at the equations that Asimov had filled the entire board, growled that he did not understand this ever."Nonsense, - said Azimov.- Be careful what I say, and everything will be clear as day."It was the first sign indicating where to lead his fate.

1949 became a turning Asimov in many ways.He finished the story ".. And Now You Do not" ( "... And now - no"), the story of the last series of "base", which gave him with great difficulty.Series managed ostochertet him, and he promised himself more to her not to come back - a word he steadfastly held for 32 years.In April, he received notice that adopted a professor of biochemistry in the School of Medicine at Boston University.He signed a contract with Doubleday publishing house for the publication of his first book - the novel "Pebble in the Sky" ( "Pebble in the Sky") - and got a $ 500 advance.It was a very unusual thing in those days - the novel was issued as a separate publication, not before being "passed" through magazines.

fifties steel swivel Asimov.He is still friends with Campbell, but the worship of the master disappeared.Published "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard, Campbell lost in the eyes of Asimov even the remnants of former greatness.And given the fact that in fiction there are new markets - "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" at the end of 1949 and "the Galaxy" in October 1950 - Asimov was not afraid to remain without publication, ceased to be "the author Campbell."

By Asimov fiction began to show interest and other publishers.Boston firm "Little, Brown" invited him to publish a book.He sent them a "base", but the manuscript was again rejected.I have it "Gnome Press" company.Azimov made a collection of stories about robots, and Fred Paul, the former even then his agent suggested manuscript Marty Greenberg from the same company.

Greenberg published a series of "base" in three volumes, Asimov asked to add a small introduction to the story of the first of them.Proceeds from the sale of this book dopechatok Azimov received regularly.After a few years of this learned "Doubleday", they bought the rights to the series and released the entire trilogy in one volume.This book has become the most significant in the entire writing career Asimov.Over the past decade it has sold and continues to disperse millions of copies.

next in the series of his success was the NF-detective."The Currents of Space", sold in "by Doubleday," printed "the continuation" in "The Astounding," and Horace Gold, the editor of "the Galaxy", also wanted to print something Azimovskaya "continuation".He offered to write a novel about robots.Azimov said that he wrote stories about robots only.Gold offered to write about the crowded world where robots do all the work for the people.Asimov considered this picture overwhelming.Gold, knowing the weakness of Asimov to detectives, suggested the use of a picture of the world as decoration, against which man and robot unravel the murder.The novel "The Caves of Steel" ( "The Caves of Steel"), released in 1954, has become one of the best novels of Asimov.

By the end of 1954 Asimov was already 34. He was at the zenith of his writing career, publishing the "I, Robot", "Base", "Pebble in the Sky," "The Stars, Like Dust," "The Currents of Space" and "Caves of Steel".

But the real future of his career opened "The Chemicals of Life" ( "Chemistry of Life"), a popular science book for teenagers.To his amazement, he discovered that writing documentaries and popular books is easier than fiction.It was not his first experience of this kind - began teaching at Boston University, he began with Dr. William Boyd and Walker Burnham to write a textbook "Biochemistry and Human Metabolism" ( "Biochemistry and Human Metabolism"), released in 1952.Asimov considered this book failed.

"Chemistry of Life", on the contrary, consider it a great success.Popularization of journalism have been more extensive publication possibilities - including in the SF magazines.Continued to appear in print his stories (in 1956 there were particularly large), teenage novels "Paul French's."His novel "The Naked Sun" ( "The Naked Sun") - sequel to "The Caves of Steel".In addition, he tried to write detective stories, and "Doubleday" considered beneficial to publish several collections of his early stories.But Azimov more and more time devoted to popular science articles and books.Revenue from its publications significantly exceeded the salary of the teacher.

In 1958, for the sarcastic remark about the university authorities, Azimov was released from teaching.He fought like a lion to retain the prestigious title of professor consultant and won.Years later, he still occasionally lectured to students, the fame of the most popular lecturer and more often than other teachers, honored respectful applause from the audience.

Could he live on what they get for the literary work?As it turned out, it was not to worry about anything.He was quite far away from the NF to write for a huge number of publications.Moreover, popularizing journalism brings more money than fiction.

Departing from Boston University, he said the former boss that cost and without them - thank God, he is one of the best popularizers of science in the world and will make every effort to become the best in the near future.It failed him even faster than he had expected.

... In 1958, Robert Mills, editor of the "Fantasy and Science Fiction", Azimov offered to conduct a monthly column in a scientific journal.Azimov agreed immediately.The first article appeared in the November issue of the 1958 and all subsequent rooms - without a single pass - out with the heading Asimov.