Isaac Asimov Biography
(1920–92), Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, I, Robot, The Rest of the Robots
American author, born in Petrovichi, Russia; he grew up in New York, where he was educated at Columbia University. In 1949 he began his academic career at Boston University Medical School, where he later became Professor of Biochemistry. Throughout the 1940s his science fiction stories appeared in American magazines. The ‘Three Laws of Robotics’, forbidding robots to harm human beings, which had wide influence over the fictional presentation of robots, were proposed in his celebrated story ‘Nightfall’, published in 1941. Much of his writing of the period was assembled into Foundation (1951), Foundation and Empire (1952), and Second Foundation (1953), a narrative of the decline and renewal of a civilization in the distant future. Also among the most notable of his earlier science fiction publications are the short stories of I, Robot (1950) and The Rest of the Robots (1964) and the novels The Caves of Steel (1954) and The Naked Sun (1957). Basing his lucidly written fiction in highly informed scientific speculation, Asimov was strongly instrumental in establishing the concept of variable futures as an essential of much science fiction writing. After producing comparatively little science fiction from about 1960 onward, he extended the imaginative ambit of his earlier work in numerous novels, among them Foundation's Edge (1982), The Robots of Dawn (1983), Prelude to Foundation (1988), and Forward the Foundation (1993). The Complete Stories appeared in two volumes in 1990 and 1992. The extraordinarily prolific Asimov published almost 500 works including science fiction, scientific works, histories, and writing in other genres. Magic (1996; stories and essays) appeared posthumously. In Memory Yet Green (1979) and In Joy Still Felt (1980) are autobiographies. See Utopia and Anti-utopia.