Donald M. Hassler (essay date 1991)
SOURCE: Hassler, Donald M. “The Campbell Years and All the Short Stories.” In Isaac Asimov, pp. 18-36. Mercer Island, Wash.: Starmont House, Inc., 1991.
[In the following essay, Hassler scrutinizes Isaac Asimov's literary origins and assesses his importance as a short fiction writer.]
Many critics writing on Asimov's fiction have argued that the shorter forms not only are where he began but also constitute his extent of narrative competence. Still others argue that science fiction itself is best seen as a short story genre.1 Asimov's mind set from the start, however, tended toward large general themes and hence toward longer and longer narratives. For...
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