Saturday, May 9, 2020

Review of "Isaac Asimov: It’s Been A Good Life," by Janet Jeppson Asimov

Review of

Isaac Asimov: It’s Been A Good Life, by Janet Jeppson Asimov ISBN 1573929689

Five out of five stars

Some insight into the legend

 For many, Isaac Asimov is the secular humanist equivalent of a deity. Not to be worshiped, but to be highly admired. His output of writing material is extraordinary, (over 500 books written or edited), dwarfed only by the breadth of the topics. He was of course most widely known as a science fiction writer, but he also wrote extensively about science, social topics and even some of the greatest of written works, including the Christian bible and the works of Shakespeare.

 This book is a collection of short snippets of Asimov material taken from several different sources, letters to talks to books. Like his writings, there is a great deal of coverage, much of which is about Asimov the man. There is a significant amount of material regarding his personal life and he is very straightforward about the difficulties he had in dealing with people. He was very much a know-it-all that could back it up, which is the type of person that many find the most annoying.

 Edited by his second wife that was also a science fiction writer, this book will contain few insights for the dedicated Asimov fan. The most significant is the revelation that Asimov died from AIDS, having contracted the virus from a blood transfusion. That fact was kept secret for a long time, the revelation is a demonstration of how society has become educated regarding the HIV virus.

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