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I, Asimov: A Memoir Paperback – January 1, 1995
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The long-awaited autobiography of the science fiction master. Filled with his opinions and insights on topics ranging from his own genius and his fear of flying to politics, love, mortality, Hollywood, and religion. Non-fiction.
From Publishers Weekly
Although larded with thin filler material, Asimov's uneven posthumous autobiography also contains some of his liveliest, most incisive writing. The prolific SF novelist and nonfiction author, who died in 1992, discusses working in his father's candy store during the Depression, his unhappy first marriage and bitter divorce, his fulfilling second marriage and his dislike of children, which did not inhibit him from fathering a son and a daughter. We also learn of Asimov's fear of high places, his claustrophilia (his penchant for enclosed, artificially lit places), his compulsion to be prolific and the heart disease of his final years. Filled with cameos of well-known science fiction writers and editors, the narrative is peppered with Asimov's freewheeling thoughts on the Bible, teenagers, Sherlock Holmes, death, censorship and much else. Fans will enjoy his entertaining conversational mix of puckish humor, verve and self-revelation. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
It is likely that these laws will play an ever important role in the development of humanoid robots and artificial intelligence.
There are a number of errors in the book that make it appear that it was transcribed via OCR: "Hitler" is consistently rendered as 'Hider'; "title" as 'tide, and similar foul-ups. However, they won't take away from the reading for anyone who appreciates Asimov. (They certainly would have bothered him, though, as he was highly critical of his own proflific writing output!)
EDIT, September 27, 2010: I'm very pleased to state that this book has been edited for the errors noted in this earleir review of mine and reissued. Good work, publisher!
If you've ever been a fan of Isaac, you must read this book.
Apart from learning more about Asimov himself I think the significant bonuses from my perspective were:
* Great introduction to the skills and processes and development of writing
* Great sense of the early days (and characters) of development of sci-fi as a genre
* Insight into non-fiction writing scope
* Detailed list of books produced
Thanks to the kindle I was able to buy it and read it.
This third volume of his memories is different from the previous two, it is more reflective and more of his opinions are poured concerning his life. Quite valuable are the one or two pages descriptions of colleagues and relatives that successfully portrait in a few lines Science Fiction giants such as Ben Bova, Sprague de Camp, Lester del Rey or John W Campbell.
Asimov if anything is a story-teller, and the fact that he gets you interested in one of his favourite topics (himself) when basically he was someone who spent all his life in front of the keyboard and the conference hall speaks volumes of the quality of the work. The book was finished not long before his death. The fact that certain subject was omitted should not be held against him, AIDS was a stigma that might have brought nasty consequences to his surviving family.
A good read. The Kindle edition has only one image (the Schultz's cartoon wishing him a Happy Birthday) and it was not properly formatted, I don't know if the print edition brought more images. There were only a couple of spelling errors that I was aware of, but since a very expensive paper book I bought not long ago had many more I am a little more lenient concerning those.