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Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia. His family migrated to the United States when he was three and settled in New York. Isaac's father established a small candy store and newsagency where Isaac became an avid reader of pulp science fiction magazines. He entered Columbia University at the age of 15 and at 18 sold his first story Marooned off Vesta  to Amazing Stories magazine. Six months later he sold another story, Trends, to the leading science fiction magazine, John W. Campbell's Astounding.

In 1941, Isaac began a series of stories about robots which were first published in Astounding magazine and later collected in the book, I, Robot. In writing these stories, Isaac formulated his famous three Laws of Robotics (although he credited John W. Campbell with the original idea).

Three Laws of Robotics

First Law:
A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law:
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law:
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

In 1942, Isaac wrote a short story called Foundation which led to a series about the fall and revival of a galactic empire published in Astounding magazine and later collected in a series of three books (Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation). By the time the books were published, Isaac Asimov had grown tired of the theme and the story was unfinished. It was not until 1982 that he returned to the theme with Foundation's Edge.

After serving in World War II, Asimov earned a Ph.D. at Columbia in 1948; he taught biochemistry at the Boston University School of Medicine from 1949 to 1958. His first science-fiction novel, Pebble in the Sky, appeared in 1950, and his first non-fiction book, a biochemistry text (Biochemistry and Human Metabolism) written with two colleagues, in 1953. In 1951, writing under the name of Paul French, Asimov began a series of science fiction novels for younger readers telling the adventures of David "Lucky" Starr. In 1954, Asimov wrote his first full-length robot novel, The Caves of Steel, which was a murder mystery with a science fiction setting. 

Asimov turned to writing full time in 1958 and produced his first non-science fiction novel, The Death Dealers. During the 1960s, Asimov produced little science fiction with the exception of the novelisation of the film Fantastic Voyage in 1966. in 1972, he returned to science fiction with The Gods Themselves which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best science fiction novel. Beginning with The Robots of Dawn in 1983, he produced a series of novels which brought together his robot series and the distant future world of the Foundation.

In all, Isaac Asimov authored some 500 books including mystery stories, humour, history, and several volumes on the Bible and Shakespeare and well as the science fiction for which he is most famous. He died in 1992 of heart and kidney failure, aged 72. 

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