Isaac Asimov 1920–
(Also wrote under the pseudonym of Paul French) Russianborn American novelist, short story writer, nonfiction writer, essayist, editor, and autobiographer.
Asimov is a prolific writer and is regraded by many critics as the most important and influential author in the science fiction genre. His novels have done much to make science fiction a critically accepted field, and his laws of robotics and the factual information in many of his stories have earned him the respect of laypersons and scientists alike. In his fiction there is an underlying concern for humanity and its survival in the face of advancing technology. His stories often deal with such contemporary social problems as overpopulation, the threat of atomic warfare, or racial prejudice.
Asimov's stories first appeared in the science fiction magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, and most have now been published in such collections as I, Robot, Asimov's Mysteries, and The Bicentennial Man. He is credited as the first writer to integrate successfully the properties of science fiction with those of the detective novel. The Caves of Steel and its sequel, The Naked Sun, are successful works of this type. Asimov's long-awaited sequel to the Foundation trilogy, Foundation's Edge, has recently been published. Like most of his fiction, it is readable, entertaining, and intellectually stimulating. His Foundation trilogy won the Hugo award for best all-time series in 1966 and his novel The Gods Themselves won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1972.
Asimov also writes nonfiction science books to introduce the general public to complex scientific procedures and discoveries and to alert readers to the effects of these scientific advancements.
(See also CLC, Vols. 1, 3, 9, 19; Children's Literature Review, Vol. 5; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 1-4, rev. ed.; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vol. 2; Something about the Author, Vols. 1, 26; and Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 8.)