Sunday, May 24, 2020

Review of "Yours, Isaac Asimov," edited by Stanley Asimov

Review of

Yours, Isaac Asimov, edited by Stanley Asimov, ISBN 9780385476249

Five out of five stars

The true Asimov and how he felt about the world

 Since Isaac Asimov wrote about so many things and engaged in other literary activities such as preparing anthologies, the precise number of books that he wrote is open to interpretation. He may be the only person to have a book listed in every classification category in the Dewey Decimal system. At this time, the number of books is generally stated as “over 500.”

 Often lost in this is the fact that he wrote over 90,000 letters and postcards. These short items were to friends, colleagues, publishers and nearly everyone that wrote to him. He was so famous that he once received a letter from the Soviet Union addressed to, “Isaac Asimov, Famous author, United States.” Asimov was very diligent in personally reading and answering his mail.

 This book is an edited compilation of his letters, where the editing was done by his brother Stanley. In them, we see Asimov relatively unfiltered, expressing his true thoughts without an editor concerned about the level of sales and profits. Asimov was open about expressing his opinions in his other writings, but here you see him writing where there was no expectation of it being seen by anyone else other than the recipient.

 Many of Asimov’s letters have been lost, which is clearly unfortunate, for like all other items that emanated from his typewriter, they would have been a joy to read.

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