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November 20, 2005

Sunday Sermonette: Isaac Asimov

Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.
--Isaac Asimov


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Isaac Asimov was among the first of the great Science Fiction writers I started to read when I was younger. Being that he actually was a scientist, it's no wonder his books rang so true. Or that his words are still relevant. Not that he always wrote weighty tomes. Some of his work was genuinely funny.

I always have loved that quote, and have used it on more than one occasion.

Yep. That's one of my favorite Asimov quotes of all time. It's one of the quotes that I use in my .sig file from time to time.

something you dreamt up after being drunk all night

That's a hypothesis. If it survives the hangover and you go on to test it, then it might grow up to be a theory.

This explains why they think Intelligent Design is a scientific theory.

On a side note, Asimov was so prolific that I always imagined him lecturing to a Chemistry class while typing stories. Or in his lab scribbling a story in his notebook, looking up every paragraph or so to monitor an experiment.

I so wanted to call a libertarian a "solarian" the other day, but didn't think they'd get that I was referencing asimov.

asimov was the anti-voyager of psuedo-science babble, he made it sound plausible and believable.

Robots of Dawn, Asimov's obvious premonition/fortelling of those crazy whacky republicans running the whitehouse, the war and the cost of oil stright through the roof of middleclass contempt in 2005.

I don't know. I think Asimov was a good... uh... science fiction-ist, but I don't think he was a very good writer. He got better as he aged, to be sure: Harry Seldon from Prelude to the Foundation was a lot more believable than any of the characters in the original Foundation series, but really, I mean, the dialogue he wrote wasn't really plausible or interesting. Maybe when it comes to sci-fi, I'm too much of a Haymaker and not enough of a Hairshirt like Lindsay.

Back in the old days, SF was literature for real men. There was none of this sissy, girly nonsense about elegant prose, well-formed characters and believable dialog. We had steel-clad robots and plenty of 'em. There were mile-long starships, terrible, awesome weapons and worlds beyond imagining, not to mention all manner of political and social commentary dressed up as bug-eyed aliens.

To call the good doctor a poor writer is to completely miss the point.

Posted by: Chuchundra | November 21, 2005 at 10:47 AM

lol. ya...girl should stay away from sci-fi befor ethey are turning it into soap opera in space.... :P

but there is a good scifi written by woman, and the story is unusual, rather than bang-bang spaceship goes kaboom. It's more a dialectic of perception. (Doomsday book. Connie willis, 1992)

But it's right tho' we barely have a good scifi novel that we can read like futuristic psycho thriller suspense.

Something for the next sermonette: Penn Jillette's "This I Believe" essay, heard on NPR this morning.

Betcha' the writers of the Book of Revelations had wicked hangovers though ...

asimov is a buzz-kill.

Doomsday Book isn't that good... when I read it I liked it, but in retrospect it seems quite pointless.

Also, how is The Robots of Dawn's Aurora a Republican-style society? It does sound a little bit like Huxley's Brave New World, in a way, but nothing like a neo-conservative society.


There was more than booze involved in that wierdness.

Asimov is my hero.

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