Monday, January 2, 2017

Isaac Asimov

Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia on this day in 1920. His family moved to Brooklyn when he was three, and his parents ran a candy store, where he was first exposed to the luridly-colored science fiction magazines that would steer him toward his life’s work. Today, Asimov is best-known for the science fiction that he started writing and publishing while still in his teens. Together with Robert Heinlein, he was one of the big science fiction writers of the midcentury who crafted “future history,” what today we would probably call speculative fiction. The ethical questions of artificial intelligence and proper robotic behavior his Robot series of novels explores seem particularly relevant today, though, as Erik van Rheenen notes for Mental Floss, in a speculative essay Asimov also predicted postmodern boredom, wireless technology and automation.
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