Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Idiosyncrasies of Isaac Asimov

I'm busy reading Asimov's authobiography (In Memory Yet Green and In Joy Still Felt), in preparation for an article I'm writing about Asimov.

But I must say Asimov amuses me more often than not. For example, he learned how to type when he was about 13 or so... and he says, "I could type 50 words a minute" and "I could type 90 words a minute." He would always clarify it - he didn't bother to correct his speed for errors, of which he made a lot. And if you correct for errors, he probably only typed about 60 words a minute.

A minor thing, but it's just amusing.

It was after reading Asimov's autobiography that I grew to like him personally (though some of his idiosyncrasies were amusing) - at this point I liked his non-fiction but really didn't care for his fiction writing, the prose was just too old -fashioned.

But when I read his I, Asimov, which I believe was published posthumously, but in which he revealed that he actually had cheated on his first wife at conventions -several times - and various other things, I grew to dislike him again.

Still...that shouldn't and doesn't impact his excellent non-fiction writing, and I think it's too bad that most libraries are de-accessioning his books. Sure, all of his sceience essays are now 40 years old, but they're prescient for all of that!

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