In the science fiction genre, Isaac Asimov, Russian-American writer and biochemist, is noted as a master, often called ‘the grandfather of science fiction’. He left behind a legacy which included over 400 books and was regarded as one of the ‘Big Three’ Sci-fi writers during his lifetime.
Asimov’s interest in the genre is said to have begun when he started to read science fiction magazines in his father’s confectionary store. It was this reading habit which would later encourage Asimov to submit his first short story ‘Cosmic Corkscrew’ to Astounding Science Fiction magazine in the 1930s. Interestingly the editor of the magazine rejected the story initially but encouraged Asimov to continue writing. Taking this advice, Asimov, described as a hardworking renaissance man, continued to submit stories and his relationship with Astounding magazine flourished, leading to the significant publication of ‘Nightfall’ in 1941 – a story acclaimed as ‘one of the greatest sci-fi stories of all time’ and which is said to have been the beginning of his long and prolific career in science fiction.
One of Asimov’s most prolific works was the Foundation series which featured Asimov’s fictionalised science ‘psychohistory’. In addition to this series, Asimov is also noted for his Robots series, gaining traction as a master of the science fiction genre. Over the course of his career as a science fiction writer, Asimov won 12 awards including The Hugo Award for best novel and the Nebula Award. His works have inspired many derivative offerings to the genre by popular authors which are encouraged by his wife Janet Asimov as a memorial to her husband’s career.
As of 1977, Asimov was also Editorial Director of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and remained in the role until his death. Asimov’s legacy lives on at the magazine which is still inundated with submissions from writers attempting to follow in his esteemed footsteps