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2017 August 16, Wednesday

National Science Fiction Day
by Anne Verville
First published online on 2006 January 02.
Editor’s Foreword
Make sure you give your robot the day off.
SFFH: Article

National Science Fiction Day Is January 2, Isaac Asimov’s Birthday

Isaac Asimov was born January 2, 1920–officially, that is. Unofficially, of course, is another matter. He was born in Russia, and I imagine that in those turbulent times people were more concerned about living to see another day than recording the exact day a baby joined the living. However, when the Asimovs arrived in America in 1923, little Isaac’s date of birth had to be declared. It was probably January 2, but who could be sure? What better day to select, the Asimovs may have thought, than the day after the New Year is celebrated? As the year begins, so does our son’s life.

During his lifetime, Asimov received numerous degrees, awards, and other emblems of distinction. I bet that one of his favorite modes of recognition, though, was having his official birthday function as National Science Fiction Day. Of course, Isaac did more than scientifically imagine and create works of science fiction. He wrote between 400 and 500 works of fact, fiction, criticism, religion, and everything in between. (Even Asimov lost count.) Nevertheless, the architects of National Science Fiction Day knew what they were doing. Asimov may have been a PhD chemist, professor, and a member of Mensa (R), but envisioning the future seemed to fire up his imagination more than science, teaching, and interactions with geniuses. He must have been proud of his scientifically fictitious images of space and robots–which sometimes turned out to be more truth than fiction.

To tell the truth, Asimov’s beginnings as a writer were humble. He actually started his career as an author of infamous pulp fiction. He was paid by the word rather than the work, but he had the company of Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. Sci-fi fans certainly know those names.

Science fiction fans also know the influence science fiction has upon the future–the future of our children. (But I’m being redundant.) Do you know someone in the field of space exploration or robotics? Then you can test a hypothesis. Ask this brilliant person is she/he has read one of Isaac Asimov’s robots stories or space fantasies. The answer is more likely to be yes than no.

Have you read any of Asimov’s novels, short stories, or works of non-fiction? Have you read any works of science fiction? If not, then–whether it’s Asimov or not–do it today! You truly don’t know the wonderful worlds you are missing. Are you already a sci-fi aficionado or an Asimov lover? That’s all the more reason for you to honor the day that does the Great One honor! What else are you going to do the day after New Year’s? Keep the celebration going with Science Fiction Day!

Anne Verville is a New Hampshire freelance writer who enjoys reading a variety of novels, but the fantasy genre may quickly become her favorite.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written permission from
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