I’d forgotten today was National Science Fiction Day. Probably because I haven’t been paying attention.
I wrote yesterday that I intended to read more science fiction this year. My imagination was captured by science fiction almost as soon as I could read, if not before. We had a couple of books about rockets and space exploration. Some of my earliest memories are my parents reading them to me. I don’t recall if they were reprints of some articles Willy Ley wrote or not. I remember they were heavily illustrated. Not surprising since they were for kids.
Star Wars was what really kindled my imagination, sending me to look for science fiction at both the school library and the public library. I remember the main branch of the Wichita Falls library had an entire shelf, maybe two, in the adult section for their science fiction books. And I also bought science fiction at the mall and the flea market.
Soon I was reading Ray Bradbury, Alan Dean Foster, Jack Williamson, and of course Isaac Asimov. I’d seen a copy of The Foundation Trilogy on that shelf in the public library but I hadn’t checked it out. I didn’t have any idea what it was about, and the paperbacks that were in print at the time (shown above) weren’t very informative.
Fast forward a couple of years to when I was in middle school and joined the Science Fiction Book Club. One of the books I got with my introductory order was the club’s edition of The Foundation Trilogy, shown on the left. The cover wasn’t anymore informative as to what the story was about than the paperbacks. I didn’t care. By that time I’d read I, Robot and some of Asimov’s other short stories in some of the anthologies in the school library.
I dove in and enjoyed the original three novels. A few years later, when Asimov wrote some additional volumes and tied them into the robot stories, I read those as well, although I didn’t enjoy them as much.
I’m probably not going to read any of Asimov’s short fiction as a birthday observance. Instead I’m going to honor his memory by writing. Asimov wrote literally hundreds of books in his lifetime. I doubt my output will ever be anything close to his, but I still need to write. This blog post has been a good warm-up.
As for reading Asimov, should The Foundation Trilogy be one of the works I revisit this year? Or should I read some of the robot stories or other short fiction? Maybe a novel of his I haven’t read? There are several of them, such as The Gods Themselves and The Currents of Space. What do ya’ll think?