By Isaac Asimov
New one-volume autobiography spans Asimov's existence for the 1st time!
As probably the most proficient and prolific writers of the 20 th century, Isaac Asimov grew to become mythical for his inexhaustible creativity, wide-ranging highbrow interest, and skill for explaining advanced matters in transparent, concise prose. whereas regaling his readers with a major opus of virtually pleasing and illuminating technology fiction and nonfiction books, he additionally discovered time to write down a three-volume autobiography. Now those volumes were condensed into one by way of Asimov's spouse, Janet, who additionally stocks excerpts from letters he wrote to her. jointly those writings supply an intimate portrait of an inventive genius whose love of studying and twiddling with principles is obvious on each web page.
Reading this autobiography is like sitting down with Isaac Asimov and experiencing his witty, enticing, and incredible character firsthand. we're taken care of to many amazing tales approximately his upbringing in Depression-era Brooklyn, his early fascination with the hot technology fiction pulp magazines, the fun of his first released tale, the construction of his recognized tale "Nightfall," the genesis of the root sequence, and the evolution of his inventive existence as a author.
He additionally unearths his internal concepts approximately and reviews with quite a few luminaries in technological know-how and technological know-how fiction. notably, Asimov's autobiography conveys unbounded enthusiasm for his craft, the infectious pleasure of studying and developing, entire highbrow honesty, his powerful humanist convictions, and his countless fund of fine humor and optimism even on the finish of his existence - all informed within the vigorous transparent writing sort that was once his trademark.
Although Janet Jeppson Asimov concludes this paintings with a surprising revelation approximately her husband's loss of life, the amount is obviously meant as a party - because the identify indicates - of a superb, artistic existence. As a poignant coda to this paintings, Janet has appended one brief tale that used to be Isaac's favourite, and his four-hundredth essay in this options approximately technology.
Read or Download It's Been a Good Life PDF
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"I don't have any desire to play the pontificating idiot, pretending that i have all of sudden get a hold of the solutions to all life's questions. really that opposite, i started this publication as an exploration, an workout in self-questing. In different phrases, i wished to determine, as I appeared again at an extended and complex lifestyles, with many twists and turns, how good i have performed at measuring as much as the values i personally have set.
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Extra resources for It's Been a Good Life
And it was once tricky to refute Campbell even if his rules have been totally and madly illogical. And illogical they definitely looked to be to me, for he used to be consistently an idiosyncratic conservative in his view of existence, while i used to be an idiosyncratic liberal-and we by no means agreed on something. but even supposing he stood someplace to the precise of Attila the Hun in politics, he used to be, in individual, as sort, beneficiant, and first rate a man or woman as i've got ever met. He was once the vital editor, who fertilized and nourished an entire new release of writers ... it did not subject that he rejected you. there has been an enthusiasm approximately him and an all-encompassing friendliness that was once contagious. I continuously left him desirous to write additional. a long time later I requested Campbell (with whom I had, via then, grown to be at the closest of phrases) why he had afflicted with one in any respect, because the first tale was once without doubt totally most unlikely. "Yes, it used to be impossible," he stated frankly, for he by no means flattered. "On the opposite hand, I observed anything in You. You have been keen and listened and that i knew you would not hand over regardless of what percentage rejections I passed you. so long as you have been prepared to work flat out at bettering, i used to be keen to paintings with you. " That was once Campbell. I wasn't the one author, no matter if newcomer or old-timer, he used to be to paintings with during this model. Patiently, and out of his personal huge, immense energy and skill, he equipped up a sturdy of the easiest science-fiction writers the realm had, until then, ever visible. again to that fateful day at highway and Smith-in 1938, Isaac's senior yr at Columbia] Campbell promised to learn my tale that evening and to ship a letter, no matter if recognition or rejection, tomorrow. He promised additionally that during case of rejection he might inform me what was once improper with the tale in order that i'll enhance. He lived as much as either gives you. days later, on June 23, the manuscript got here again. It used to be a rejection. As my diary placed it: "At 0:30 I bought again `Cosmic Corkscrew' with a well mannered letter of rejection. He did not just like the gradual starting, the suicide on the finish. " Campbell additionally did not just like the first-person narration and the stiff conversation. He mentioned that the size (nine thousand phrases) used to be inconvenient-too lengthy for a brief tale, too brief for a novelette. Magazines needed to be prepare like jigsaw puzzles, you notice, and sure lengths for person tales are more straightforward than others. i used to be off and operating. the enjoyment of getting spent an hour or extra with Campbell, the fun of conversing nose to nose with an idol, had already stuffed me with the ambition to write down one other science-fiction tale, one who used to be higher than the 1st, in order that i may have celebration to fulfill him back. actually, by the point I back to the shop at the day of that stopover at, I had labored out one other tale in my brain, one I meant to name "Stowaway," and that i waited simply to listen to from Campbell ahead of beginning it. His letter of rejection, while it arrived, used to be so cordial and important that it didn't in the slightest degree hose down my spirits, both. particularly the opposite, for i started "Stowaway" once the rejection got here, being cautious to exploit the 3rd individual, commence fast, and make it the correct length-six thousand phrases ...