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The Writers Forum at SUNY Brockport

Isaac Asimov -- Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov

Host(s): Gregory Fitzgerald, Jack Wolf, and Joshua Duk

Tape order number: C-363

Visit Date: October 20, 1976

Length: 1 hour, 9 minutes

Published as:

  • "A Conversation with Isaac Asimov." Ed. Earl G. Ingersoll. Science Fiction Studies 14 (1987): 68-77

Brief Summary: Asimov refers to science fiction as the branch of literature that deals with the response of humans to changes in science and technology. Looking at the rapid changes of recent decades, he assumes a possible future in which humans are replaced by robots, and links such a future to his own "laws of robotics." Asimov sees a dilution of contemporary science fiction and a rise of "speculative fiction," that is less oriented toward science. He says that good science fiction is difficult to write because of the need to create a new society as the backdrop for plot development.

Work(s) Discussed:

  • "The Bicentennial Man"
  • Foundation Trilogy The Gods Themselves The Caves of Steel Others

Work(s) Read:

  • "Insert Knob A in Hole B"

Writers mentioned:

  • R. Heinelein
  • H. Ellison
  • R. Bradbury
  • A. Toffler
  • A. Bellamy

I think science fiction teaches that there are numerous changes, and that mankind . . . can pick and choose among them; and he should choose one which is for the better, and not one which is for the worse.

-- Isaac Asimov

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