Literary Birthday – 2 January – Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was born 2 January 1920, and died 6 April 1992.


  1. If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
  2. Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today – but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
  3. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
  4. When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
  5. The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
  6. In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
  7. I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.
  8. From my close observation of writers… they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.
  9. All you have to do is take a close look at yourself and you will understand everyone else.
  10. Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
  11. Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.
  12. There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.
  13. Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
  14. To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
  15. Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
  16. Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
  17. My feeling is, quite simply, that if there is a god, he has done such a bad job that he isn’t worth discussing.
  18. It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.
  19. Isn’t it sad that you can tell people that the ozone layer is being depleted, the forests are being cut down, the deserts are advancing steadily, that the greenhouse effect will raise the sea level 200 feet, that overpopulation is choking us, that pollution is killing us, that nuclear war may destroy us — and they yawn and settle back for a comfortable nap. But tell them that the Martians are landing, and they scream and run.
  20. There are no happy endings in history, only crisis points that pass.
  21. When asked for advice by beginners, Know your ending, I say, or the river of your story may finally sink into the desert sands and never reach the sea.

Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry. He is famous for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. He was a prolific writer, having written or edited more than 500 books. Asimov, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, was considered one of the ‘Big Three’ science fiction writers during his lifetime. His books include the famous I, Robot, and his most famous works, the Foundation series.

Source for Image

Amanda Patterson

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 2nd January 2013