Born: January 2, 1920 (Petrovichi, Russia, family emigrated to the US in 1923)
Died: April 6, 1992 (HIV infection during blood transfusion for an operation in 1983)
Oddly enough, Asimov is not among my favorite sci-fi authors. He just cannot write very well. His style is dry, mechanic, and unengaging. Often times it is plain boring. Dialogue is stilted, and unimaginative. Yet his imagination is vivid, and it is the universes that he manages to create that bring me back to his books time and time again. Oh, how I wish he had the writing skills of Heinlein!
Asimov has written way too much for a single human being. Fortunately, not much of it will find its way to this site, where I will only list his science fiction works. Still, there's quite a few of those, so it won't be a small site either.
Here's a list of books in my Asimov Collection.
The Foundation Universe
- Prelude to Foundation (1988)
- The young mathematician Hari Seldon delivers a seemingly innocuous paper on the theoretical possibility of psychohistory at a convention on Trantor and finds himself fleeing the Imperial grasp of the sinister Eto Demerzel. Accompanied by the beautiful Dors, Hari goes from one sector to another in search of something that would provide the clue to the practical solution to his theoretical problems. Whoever gains the use of psychohistory may well control the Empire.
- Forward the Foundation (1993)
- Hari Seldon is trying to develop psychohistory amid the slow decline and disintegration of the Empire he is trying to save. Despite lack of results, his new science is a very sought-after political weapon. Shielded first by his friends Eto Demerzel and Emperor Cleon I, and then hunted by a populist demagogue, a military junta, and finally by Trantor itself, Seldon finally sets up the two Foundations, but not before losing all those he holds dear.
- Foundation (1951)
- The psycho-historian Hari Seldon founds the Foundation designed to shorten the period of chaos that must follow the fall of the Galactic Empire from thirty thousand years to a millennium. The first two centuries of the Foundation see it emerge through a series of crises from a small world on the Periphery into a successful commerce-based technological world destined to rule the galaxy.
- Foundation and Empire (1952)
- The Foundation encounters two grave perils to its existence. The dying Empire makes one last-ditch attempt to subdue Terminus but court intrigue forces the fall of its illustrious General, ending the threat. Yet, another threat, unforeseen by Seldon, makes itself known. The mutant known as the Mule can control human emotions, and he defeats the Foundation. He begins looking for the secret Second Foundation, rumored to have mental powers as well.
- Second Foundation (1953)
- The Mule's search for the Second Foundation ends in success but during his confrontation with its First Speaker, he loses the mental battle, and is reduced to a peaceful ruler, who soon dies. However, the First Foundation, now resurgent and aware of the power of the Second, plots the latter's destruction. The Second Foundation engineers a complicated plot to convince its sister organization that it has succeeded.
- Foundation's Edge (1982)
- There are some who still do not believe the Second Foundation does not exist. Trevize of Terminus is exiled, pretending to search for Earth while actually looking for the Second Foundation, where intrigues end with one of its Speakers being sent on a search for a planet of people with powers like the Mule's. The power grabs by the mayor of the First Foundation and that Speaker of the Second are checked by a third entity, Gaia, the planet-wide consciousness, that gives Trevize the choice of the Galaxy's future.
- Foundation and Earth (1986)
- Having chosen Galaxia, destroying human individuality and Seldon's Plan, Trevize sets out to find Earth where he hopes he will learn why he made this revolting choice in the first place. He visits several hostile worlds and finally locates the radioactive Earth. On the Moon, he finds the Robot Daneel who reveals to him the secret of the galaxy and provides the stupid answer to Trevize's stupid question.
- Nemesis (1989)
- In the 23rd century, some of humanity leaves on Settlements orbiting in space. One of these settlements is Rotor, which has developed hyper-assisted flight that would allow it to travel to the nearby star Nemesis it has just discovered. While Rotor is busy setting up a brand new world around the planet Erythro and trying to cope with the intelligence there, Earth is developing true FTL flight to save humanity from its ultimate doom in 5,000 years.