Monday, February 20, 2012

Isaac and Me

Issac and I have had a very special relationship for a really long time (I can't remember when I first started reading Asimov, but it seems like he has been a part of my life forever).  I love his robots!   The book I, Robot just changed my world as I knew it.  A whole new concept of science fiction was opened up to me and I have loved robots ever since (the modem I have for my laptop had to be from other would have been acceptable).   I couldn't help but be on the robots side in almost every story.   I would have to say that this enduring love for all things robotic has influenced my life in a few ways, down to what kinds of music I favor (who can resist some really great electronic music or even a song with robots in it??) and what literature I prefer the most (hard science fiction). 
 Asimov's genre of social science fiction was revolutionary... I had only until then seen or read of a future where robots/androids were a thing of fact, and a sign of progress , and it was different to read about a future humanity that was suspicious, scared and even resentful of all that a personal humanoid robot could offer.  The movie I, Robot starring Will Smith, did a great job of highlighting this ( I also appreciated how the movie incorporated the various short stories from the book into the movie story line and I wonder what Isaac would have thought).   While his futures do not include much in the way of technical advances, I think that his perceptions of what humanity will be like is spot on.  It's too bad I won't be around to see it for myself. 

I have just begun to read the Foundation series.  Isaac was kind enough, in his later years, to connect all of his individual series into one future history.  I must admit that I had never seen that before.   I have read his other series separately and had never made the connection with any of them.  Strangely, incredibly, I had managed to read them all, over the years, in the order that Asimov suggested, so now, with Prelude to Foundation, I am able to make connections, and can admittedly feel some nostaligia while reading it for past events and characters (especially the robots, I was on the verge of tearing up a little when they made an appearance).  Of course, now that the connection has been made I am tempted to just go right back to the beginning and 'do the thing properly'.    But then, the vague sense of familiarity just adds to the frustrating and almost helpless feeling of lost history which Isaac is building with Prelude.   It's exciting!  I can't wait to see how the story progresses and I am grateful to Isaac for bringing out in me again that special feeling of pure happiness I get whenever I read one of his wonderful books.

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